Berdine Creedy is Celebrating a special anniversary this year. In 1996 she came to America from South Africa. Now 15 years later, Berdine is an American citizen, and she heads her own American doll company. Her earliest dolls were made in poreclain, and then in vinyl, but since 2008, Berdine has released all of her dolls in resin. Berdine has specialized in making girl dolls from pre-schoolers to young teens. She will be launching her latest creations at IDEX 2011.
Berdine is quite enthusiastic about her switch to BJDs. “The BJD’s are so addictive to sculpt and to create, it is a never-ending story. Because they can move in so many directions, they actually tell you what they want and what character they want to be. That makes it sometimes very easy to create.” Her first BJD releases were young teen girls. “They were 12 ¾” high and they were more like a teenager stage. I love the more funky clothing they could wear, just like the teenagers. (Destini, Uniti, Harmoni, Sereniti ).” 2009 Berdine introduced a new doll size. “All my collectors were asking to bring back the “Little Girls” (the size of her earlier vinyl releases). So as always, I listened to them, and I brought back the Creedy Girls. My 2009 also consisted of two 10 ½” girls, Hugs and Kisses. They were extremely popular and sold out.” A few teen dolls similar to the girls from the previous year were released. “In the Masquerade Magic series for 2009, every doll had a resin mask sculpted around their faces for a perfect fit. They were very popular, and at the end of that year I retired the body (Precious and Gorgeous and Princess Charlene). For 2010 I had “Dancing with Grace” where I brought out all the Ballerinas. (Pepper-Mint, Jelly-Tot, Candy-Floss and Lolly-Pop). They were a hit and also sold out last year. That made me do the 8” and the 5” that everyone loved. The 5” were very popular (Tiny Bee-B, Lady-B and B-Fly). To sculpt so small is not as easy, but I manage to keep those faces as near to reality as possible.”
The new 2011 dolls will be on display at IDEX in a few weeks, but they can currently be seen on her two websites along with a statement from Berdine. “This year I will go full circle. I have traveled so much because of my dolls in the last 15 years that I was thinking, what a wonderful idea to do all the dolls Around the World as I traveled or experienced.” The dolls for this series will all have face-ups painted by Berdine herself instead of factory painted faces. The costumes for the girls are being made by American seamstresses Gale Torres and Diana Lemeiux. The soft glass eyes in the dolls are also made by an American company. Berdine plans to limit the numbers of dolls released. “For 2011, I will have very small limited Editions; every single doll will be painted by myself. Delivery will be much slower this year. The highest edition will be 25 of each doll. Clothing will be more traditional. High quality materials like silk will be part of my 2011 series.”
This year there will be an increased focus on OOAK dolls. “What I actually like, and is my passion, is to do the One-of-a-kinds. I collected and brought with me from South Africa lots of old lace and material. Then through the years at all the antique shows or shops, I buy accessories. They tell a lot of stories. I love stories, as you know. I always imagine, what family and from where the laces originated? Then I think, who played with this old doll or animal I get to put with my doll to make her a Unique, one-of-a-kind dressed doll? LOVE that side of my work a lot!”
Berdine hopes this year to experiment with other materials to make unusual art dolls.”My greatest passion is to do art pieces, completely one-of-a-kinds and sculpted as one-of-a-kinds. Last year I did it with my Alice piece, adding the characters that I sculpted out of paper clay and then painted with water color and acrylic paints, and also with some of my one-of-a-kind dressed pieces. I also did a piece this year for the Creedy/Goodreau Convention, that I just love. It was called The other Me. If I could ONLY do that, I would be in Seventh heaven, but that is not what the market is asking right now. It asks for more affordable dolls. But still, whatever I add to my dolls I make sure is very high quality. That is so important to me.”
Berdine is looking forward to the coming year. “I Love what I am doing, and I always say that I am so blessed to do what I love for a living and work with that every day. What more can one ask for? Truly amazing how life takes you to a different Country in your lifetime to meet so many wonderful collectors, that become your best friends and extended family. Isn’t that amazing and great at the same time?”
Photos above: 2010 Dances with Grace dolls, “Me Time” customized Creedy BJD.
“HIGH TEA“ with Berdine and Friends at Idex 2011 will take place on Saturday, January 29, 11:30 am-1:30pm.