The doll is the image of the human being. Children mirror themselves in a doll, imitate what is being done with them or the siblings while at the same time the doll can become a trustworthy friend. The relationship of the child with the doll can be much deeper than we think.
It goes without saying that dolls are equally important to boys and girls, though some children don't form a close bond with a doll, which is perfectly normal.
The dolls are made from natural materials only (wool, cotton, silk and are stuffed with sheep's wool) and they are made by hand.
Children are always touching everything and develop their feeling this way. By experiencing the qualities of nature they can develop a real feeling. Synthetic material is dead matter, scientifically put together. When we make things by hand, we put something of ourselves into it and a child does feel that you give them more than the material part only.
Biographical notes on Carla de Jong
Carla was born in Holland, where she attended a Rudolf Steiner school for her primary school years, (origin of the doll making!). She studied medicine and graduated in 1970, the year she married Chris.
Shortly after, they migrated to Australia and started their "Ozzie" life in Melbourne. The medical degree was not recognised here, which was a major disappointment that took years to overcome. When the children were little, Carla started making dolls for them, which soon extended to making them for others, ending in a little doll-making venture. She then started doll-making classes at home and conducted classes and weekend workshops at other venues.
The wooden toys started in a similar fashion. She started work in the garage and soon was selling dolls and wooden toys. Since those early days she "up-graded" from the garage to her own cedar workshop in the backyard.
Carla has exhibited at: all but the first Craft Expo at Glenaeon, the Woollahra Craft Show, Bowral Craft Expo, St Albans Gallery, Her toys can be found in the Early Childhood section of the Australian Museum in Sydney ("Kids' Island"), playgroups, kindergartens, doctors' and dentists' waiting rooms and various other venues.
What started as a hobby has grown into a full-time job with a job satisfaction one can only dream of!
Carla and Chris have four grown-up children, who all attended Glenaeon for their schooling and they are the proud grandparents of eleven grandchildren.