Paula Walton, working from her circa 1790 home, re-creates items that embody women’s decorative arts of the 18th and 19th Centuries. Since learning to sew at the age of eleven, Walton has been immersed in many forms of textile arts. She has been drawn to the multimedia art of doll making as a way to meld some of the numerous skills she has mastered.
Walton is fascinated by the types of handwork that women traditionally did at home. However, her doll making also incorporates techniques used by professional doll makers in the late 18th and 19th Centuries. All of her designs are meticulously researched, whether they are reproductions or original works based on historical construction methods. Many of the pieces she reproduces are from her own collection of antiques.
In addition to doll making, Walton makes reproduction historical clothing and flags, quilts, penny rugs, embroidered samplers, teddy bears, fabric and fur animals, Father Christmas figures, and candy containers. She paints murals, floorcloths, theorems, window shades, and does decorative and grain painting on furniture. Some of her dolls, candy containers, and other items are accented with scherenschnitte that she hand-cuts. When time permits, she restores antique carousel horses.
Walton regularly teaches and demonstrates various skills, including hearth cooking. She also does freelance design work. Her creations have been pictured in The New York Times, Teddy Bear Review, Teddy Bear Source Book, Cross Stitch and Country Crafts, Crafting Traditions, Christmas From the Heart, Christmas All Through The House, Scrap Crafts from A to Z, Holiday Cooking, and Early American Life. She has been listed in the Directory of Traditional American Crafts for several years, often in more than one category.
Artists appearing in the 20201 Directory of Traditional American Crafts have been selected, and the best of their handiwork has been photographed at Cedar Grove, an 18th Century house museum operated by the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Look for the Directory in our August 2021 issue.
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