My miniatures club recently had its annual Christmas party, and one of the traditions is a gift exchange. As seems to be common in miniatures clubs, the gift is always a dollhouse miniature or something used for making miniatures. Since fate has had me out of town for on several of our monthly meeting nights, and because it’s Christmas, I wanted to make my gift a little extra special.
Lots of miniaturists have tiny nurseries or Christmas scenes to decorate, and Christmas is full of childhood memories and wishes, so I decided to make a toy. As a personal touch, I made it a bunny. I was going for the sort of rustic look of porcelain dolls from the Victorian era, with understated arms and legs and more attention paid to the face.
About halfway through sculpting the bunny, I realized he was looking a lot like Edward Tulane. If you haven’t read this beautiful children’s book, you should, and it will lead you through the full spectrum of emotions. If you got teary-eyed like I did at the Velveteen Rabbit, you won’t stand a chance with this book. Edward is a porcelain rabbit with fluffy wired ears and blue eyes. As you can see, I didn’t stray too far from that design.
My version’s body is made of polymer clay, with a layer of white gesso to give it some texture. This doll is actually a casting I made from my original sculpt, meaning I have the molds if I ever wish to make more. I think more bonnie bunnies may bounce into the world next Easter, with a rainbow of pastel bows and eyes.
He is held together with antiqued brass headpins and is nicely poseable. Like Edward, he has wired ears covered in plush fabric and a fluffy tail. I had a lot of fun painting the face and giving him rosy cheeks. As you can see from the penny, he is pretty petite!
As an extra bonus for the recipient, I bought a copy of The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane to go with the doll. In the gift exchange, he went to a mother who has a young son, and they love reading books together. I also know she has a miniature boy’s nursery, and I would hope my little rabbit would look good there or in one of her other scenes. I couldn’t be happier with the outcome.