Reborning…....Perhaps through your World Wide Web travels you may have come across the word ‘reborn’ or reborning.
Maybe you passed on by with a furrowed brow, thinking, yet another religion. Or, maybe your gaze became fixated on the information or even perhaps a vision of lifelike artistry!
The dictionary lists the word reborn as: 'renewed as in recreated or regenerated, especially in order to be more effective or modern, or renewed spiritually'. This term has been adopted by a growing trend of artists/collectors indulging in the transformation of dolls.
Even the term ‘dolls’ is broadening to include not only play dolls or the typical porcelain collectible, but also dolls sculpted with different clay material such as resin and pro sculpt.
And even as far as dolls are being sculpted, molds can be made and poured from silicone or made into vinyl kits!
I, myself have delved into the mysterious world of reborning, enhancing an ordinary play doll, I was captivated by the simple lifelike appeal this craft brings forth.
Years ago collectors of these dolls seemed pleased with a simple vinyl play doll that was enhanced by using permanent painting to add lifelike coloring to the dolls ‘skin’, nails and brows.
Lifelike eyelashes adorned sleeping and open eyed versions, most having the eyes replaced with more ‘alive’ looking plastic or glass eyes.
Most dolls then received fake hair woven in wig caps and some were given newly shaped jointed cloth bodies.
Adding weighting material really seemed to bring out the ‘cuddle’ factor of these reborn dolls. Another ‘turn on’ with the reborn dolls is the fact that most were life size, meaning the doll could be adorned with the wonderful real baby ensembles available!
As time has passed the reborning techniques have greatly improved and some artists out there have really put forth great effort that creates a doll that seems to be truly alive!
Instead of wigging, vinyl, silicone and clay dolls are often ‘rooted’, meaning small needles are used to push hair, albeit faux, mod acrylic, human or alpaca mohair, giving the impression of real baby hair ‘growing’ from the lifelike painted scalp!
Reborn dolls now are given ‘mottled’ baby skin, veining, stork bites and birth marks with special heated painting techniques, white tipped finger nails, opened noses, tear ducts and ‘wet’ eyes, mouths with spit bubbles, magnetic hair bows and pacifiers, cloth bodies with ‘pockets’ for heated packs or voice boxes, weighted with materials such as tiny glass beads or poly pellets and even silicone ‘baby fat’ inserts!
Many reborn artists are able to create ‘portrait dolls’, meaning enhancing a doll, or even sculpting one to resemble one's own child. Just like a dimensional portrait!
Some artists spare no expense when creating the beloved reborn doll!
Many newer vinyl and silicone doll kits are created by experienced sculptors to appear as realistic as possible.
Preemies are sculpted to gestational age with large heads and skinny limbs, delicate hands and feet.
Lifelike newborn sized dolls are also proportionate, and some have expressive hands and faces. Many even have belly and bottom accessorizing plates, including anatomically correct versions. Allowing the reborn doll collector the ability for many cute bare baby poses!
There are an increasing number of large dolls joining the reborn world. Wonderful toddler sizes that even stand on their own, with big smiles and mouths with teeth!
Many reborn doll collectors purchase numerous dolls from favorite reborn artists. There are several artists that are so popular in the reborning communities, any kits they may make available are often scoffed up before they are even produced!
As is any reborns they put forth causes a feeding frenzy!
Reborning also has a profitable side. Experienced reborn doll artists take the time to carefully create the most lifelike version of a baby possible.
It seems quite competitive at times. The better the material used, the most lifelike painting, best rooted hair, lifelike eyes, lashes ect and real baby accessories seems to make or break a reborn artist.
Many reborns are being sold from a few to as much as thousands of dollars! The market for a replica of a baby is steadily increasing! Many reborn doll collectors take their collections so seriously, some even dedicate a room in their home, just to display their collections.
Some may even travel and take their dolls with them out in public. Hence sometimes causing a bit of controversy among those not able to see the ‘attraction’ to such an art!
These types of collectors are often referred to as ‘crazy’ or lacking in correct adult behavior, or being accused of trying to replace children ect.
It may be hard for those looking in, to really see inside a reborn collector’s world. Unless we personally know, we can only make a judgment from the outside.
Many reborn collectors liken their collections to those who may collect other items, such as model train sets, die cast cars, even live animals!
It seems many of those types of collections are more familiar and are easily accepted in general.
I, myself love looking at the innocence of young children, watching them play, learn and experience the world. The reborn doll can represent that time of life when true innocent encompasses a new life.
What better way to capture such innocence, in a tangible, touchable, huggable and commemorative piece of art!
If you are still curious about the art of reborning, explore the web; look for words that include the word reborn. Visit doll forums, sites that make and sell reborn dolls.
Even visit auction sites, you will be blown away and perhaps catch that ‘reborning’ bug yourself! You’ll be glad you did!
About the author: Robin Gilbert has experience reborning dolls for the past 14 years. Though a creative hobby at best, Robin also enjoys buying and selling baby items for use with reborn dolls or actual babies!
Visit her online website at www.classicbabycloset.com and find some great baby items!