Saturday, September 20, 2014

Doll by Kor January Spoken Into Existence

Doll by Kor January, photograph courtesy of Kor January
It was either at the 2004 or 2005 International Philadelphia Black Doll Show when I first saw up close and personal hand-carved dolls by doll artist, Kor January.  Before that time, I had only seen photographs of his dolls.  At the doll show, even though I admired and coveted ownership of one, I passed on purchasing due to cost.  Throughout the years, I regretted that decision.

Recently, a member of my Facebook group shared a photograph of one of her doll groupings.  One of the dolls in the group was by Kor January, which reminded me that my collection would not be complete without one of his hand-carved, one of a kind dolls.  As a comment to the posted photo, I wrote:  A Kor January doll is at the top of my wish list. I wish I knew how to contact him.

Several other group members mentioned their desire to own a Kor January doll as well.  Another collector located the artist's telephone number and contacted him.  During their conversation, January shared several photographs of available dolls.  The shared photos and his telephone number were posted to the group.  Of the dolls shown, two tugged at my heart strings, one more than the other.

After a lengthy conversation with the artist, I purchased the doll that is partially shown above.  This 14-inch doll that is constructed of poplar wood for body, lower arms/hands, and lower legs/feet with oak used for upper arms and legs, can be seen in full in the next photos that Kor shared with me after our several-minute conversation concluded.

This delightful little one has hand-carved features and carved strands of hair on her head that is painted black.  Four separate yarn twists create her ponytail strands.

I love her little pouty mouth and downward arched feet!

So pensive.

Her joints are steel with articulation at the neck, shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees.

Look at her with her "hand on her imagination." (As a young girl, did your mother or other female elder ever tell you to "Get your hands off your imagination" when you placed them your hips?)

Be careful, don't fall.  You've got some traveling to do!

My adorable OOAK hand-carved wood doll by Kor January prior to traveling to Texas, photographs courtesy of the artist

In the photographs, Kor illustrates the doll's multiple poses, which he said is not a feature he adds to all dolls.   He felt the need to apologize for getting carried away with photographing my little girl and sending as many of the photographs to me.  I reassured him that an apology was not necessary.  The photos just made me more eager for her to arrive.

Because he was not pleased with the pants she was wearing originally, before sending my doll, Kor made another pair of pants using the same vintage striped mattress ticking fabric she wore originally with her original off-white ivory blouse. 


After she arrived, I bonded with her immediately and took a few additional photographs, but as I suspected, mine are not as great as Kor's.  


(Over enhanced color)

Home at last...


Kor said he will leave the naming up to me.  I haven't decided firmly on what her name will be, but until I do, I think I will call her Libbie.  


*****
A native of Monrovia, Liberia, who now resides in Cincinnati, Ohio, Kor January's artist profile is included in Black Dolls Proud, Bold & Beautiful by Nayda Rondon (Reverie Publishing Company, 2004).  About his dolls, ninety percent of which are children, January shared with Rondon:


...With my art I escape into fantasy to create glimpses of dreams, visions of what I'd like life to be, or something that captures a moment or feeling in time that I want to re-create.  I want my work to take you to a better place.

In an online search for images of his dolls, I only found blog-post coverage of a 2011 Columbus, Ohio doll show here.   Kor also has an Etsy shop that opened in 2012, but it is currently empty.  At the time of this writing, he plans to exhibit his dolls at the 2014 Detroit Doll Show on November 1, 2014.

***** 

I believe there is power in the tongue (in the words we speak) and that we can speak things into existence, both positive and negative.  For this reason, I also believe, it is very important to be mindful of the things we say as well as the thoughts we think.  
 

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23 comments:

  1. This is a beautiful art doll, there's something so special about her that I've never seen before. What a treasure for your collection! Kor January is an amazing artist!

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    1. Thank you, Night Owl. Some dolls just exude personality and character and my Libbie is certainly one of them. Simple pieces of wood have been wondrously transformed into a work of art by the artist.

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  2. Thanks for sharing this very talented artist's work. Your new doll is precious!

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    1. Thank you, P. and you're welcome. You know me, I love sharing good doll news. Kor's dolls certainly fall into that category. He deserves more presence in cyberspace.

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  3. She is absolutely beautiful and I am thinking I want one too. Your words are very wise and as such...I speak PEACE.

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    1. Thank you the grandmomy -- I speak love; it conquers all.

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  4. She really is amazing and the craftsmanship is outstanding. The way she can pose - just so cool.

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    1. I love her pose-ability, Muff. In a conversation with the artist yesterday, he shared that her pose-ability is possessed by only one of two dolls with it. He is working on the second now, so Libbie must be the first with this type body.

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  5. She is definitely a cutie, with her little earrings on. I'm glad you have her too, she was meant to be with you. Kor truly has gifted hands to carve something so beautiful. Congratulations.

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    1. Hi Brini,

      Yes, I forgot to mention her little gold tone earrings, but you know I documented those on my spreadsheet.

      Kor is truly gifted.

      Thank you for the congrats!

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  6. Beautiful! Congratulations on getting her!

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    1. Thanks, GG! It feels good to be able to cross a long desired doll off your mental want list.

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  7. Congrats,Debbie!!
    You have an amazing piece!It was great to know she is articulated!!This is so nice for all kind of dolls!!
    Talking about it I'm glad to discover that my Debbie is not in a model muse but in a belly button body.Better and better for movement on pictures.I'm also glad to know that the posting that is a tribute to you is now on TOP on my blog!Thanks My Friend!!

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    1. My little Libbie is quite amazing, Jorge.

      It is good to know that my namesake has the belly button body that I remember you enjoy. I look forward to seeing her featured on your blog soon. I know her photos will be outstanding.

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    2. Thank you,Debbie!! I really LOVE this doll and will tell more about some reasons of my satisfaction about her.

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  8. This doll is such a cutie. I love that she has articulation! The artist is quite talented.

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  9. What a beautifully made doll by Kor just for you Black Doll Enthusiast! I love her facial features and hair. Thank you so very much for mentioning that Kor will be attending the Detroit Doll Show. And I really appreciate you sharing the link as well. We/I appreciate all that you do.

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    1. Thank you, Sandy and you're welcome! Here's wishing you and Kor and other exhibitors much success at the show. I hope to see lots of post-show videos and photos!

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Thank you! Your comments are appreciated!