Doris McGillan & Heritage Designs
Doris McGillan, artist and missionary created Heritage Designs’ Ethnic Dolls. She is a self – taught artist who majored in business at Indiana University. She has traveled the globe acquiring a vast reservoir of culture and spiritual knowledge. Each doll is dressed in luxurious, authentic African fabric and conveys the rhythm and movement of the culture represented. The distinct music and power of African rhythms inspire the flow of the attire and body position. She has numerous awards including juried status - PA Guild of Craftsmen; Art and Culture Award 1993 – The National Coalition of 100 Black Women Inc.; The Ben Award (Best Entrepreneur) – Chester County Chamber of Commerce, 1996; Inducted into the Leo Moss Black Doll Hall of Fame, 1998; commissioned to design a collection for First Lady Hilary Clinton, 2000; featured in the Craft Report Journal, Philadelphia Inquirer, and Prime Time Television.
The cotton fabric is cut in six inch strips and sewn together. It is dyed with juices from berries and mud blended together. Decorative and significant designs are put on the fabric and it is laid in the sun to dry. Initially this art from was done only by men, but the strong demand for it required the entire family to become involved.
The Marketplace Collection is a kaleidoscope of color and excitement. Women are dressed in beautiful traditional colors and fabrics. Children accompany their parents to the markets when school is not an option. Here they learn survival skills and trades.
The Designer Collection includes the traditional cloths worn by the royal family, priest, tribal attire and specail ceremonies. The Designer Collection includes the Bamboo collection.
The African American Trailblazers Collection was inspired by the question of an inquisitive young student. "The Cotton Picker" represents a woman who is dragging a bag of cotton with her baby atop, depicting the struggles of mothers during and after slavery in their efforts to keep their children safe while toiling in the cotton fields. "The Quilter" pays homage to Harriet Tubman, abolistionists and Quakers who led the runaway slaves to freedom via the Underground Railroad. The Quilter and Cotton Picker are limited editions and were inducted into the Hall of Fame for Dolls.
The Art form
Doris McGillan doesn’t fit the image of a doll maker, nor do her dolls fit the classic doll mold. They are at once beautiful and moving, evocative of thousands of years of culture, African and African American.
McGillan’s dolls are like precious sculptures and works of art, rather than playthings. All are dressed in luxurious, authentic African fabric that is finished with a designer formula so that they seem porcelain-like.
October 4th-7th 2009 10:00am-6:00pm
Saint James Art Festival
3rd Street section
Booth number 830B
P.O. Box 3804
Louisville, KY 40201
Phone (502) 635-1842
October 9-10th 2009 10am-9pm
Black Doll Show & Sale
The Prince George Mall
3500 East West Highway, Hyattsville MD
November 1-2 2009 10am-6pm
14th Crafts on Stage
The performing Arts Center
735 Anderson Hill Road Purchase, NY 10577
December 4th-6th 2009 11:00am-6pm
Crafts at the Cathedral
The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine
1047 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10025
For further information and purchases, please visit the following links below