American Lacemaker Figures

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Wendy Lawton - Bobbin Lace

Wendy Lawton made her first doll in 1978. She and her husband Keith opened The Lawton Doll Company in Turlock, California in 1983. They have produced more than 250 limited edition dolls. Lawton has won the DOTY (Doll of the Year sponsored by the magazine Doll Reader) eleven times, and the Dolls of Excellence Award (sponsored by Dolls Magazine, Jones Publishing) three times. I asked Wendy how she came about the idea for this doll, and here’s an answer that should please Jules Kliot:
“I have always loved the Lacis in Berkeley, CA. It was on a trip there that I first saw bobbin lace.”

This doll is part of the Wendy Lawton “Fabric of America” collection. The other doll in the series is “Zudie’s Coverlet – 1996.  My example was purchased directly through the Wendy Lawton company in 2007. It was apparently the last one they had in stock, but did not have the correct chair. I bought a poor substitute on Ebay, it’s a bit too high and her feet are off the floor. I’m still looking for the right chair. The Lawton advertisement shows the pillow with the bobbins on the wrong side – I’ve corrected this in the display. The pillow has elastic loops on the ends that go over her hands to secure the pillow in place, which cannot be seen in the photo. The doll is very beautifully made, 16” high, porcelain head and hands with a jointed wooden frame and a human hair wig.  The ‘lace’ on the pillow is machine-made, and the bobbins are secured with small brass pins.

first posted 1/19/2009


From the Wendy Lawton web site,, reprinted with their permission:


Bobbin Lace – 1997
Edition of 350

Retail Price $895


She loves to sit with her lace-making cushion in her lap as she works the complicated stitches with large pins and small bobbins to create her delicate bobbin lace. Working over an age-old design pricked in parchment paper, she plys her craft in much the same manner as it was done in the old country. Emeline has porcelain hands and head on a spring-jointed wooden body and is 16" tall. Her lace pillow is a traditional lace bolster made of cotton and flax, complete with bobbins and lace-in-progress. The ladder back chair is completely handmade in the Lawton workshops and is available separately.