Feature,  News

Like Father, like daughter

Georgina Ritson tells how she inherited her father’s creative addiction.

Georgina’s father made lots of toys for her when she was young, but with Georgina aged 11, he embarked on his most ambitious project to date, a five storey Georgian dolls’ house that Georgina still cherishes today and is  featured on her website and in many magazine articles. Both Georgina & her father have spent a mind-boggling amount of time working on it since 1993.

Her father made all 14 the windows and internal doors from scratch. in fact it was such a time consuming project that it sat in their family dining room for at least two years while it was being built.

I remember Grandad Ritson standing in front of it during a visit, shaking his head and saying: “Bill, you’re mad.” 

Eight years ago, Georgina finally had room for the dolls’ house in her own home and she has been working on it ever since; redecorating & improving it all the time. She is currently working on the façade, experimenting with stone effect techniques. When she is AWOL from her table at KDF, you can be rest assured that she is sniffing around looking for her latest find. Grandad Ritson is no longer around to see the madness continue.

This dolls house explains so much about Georgina’s work. There are six steps involved in producing her dolls: casting, firing, painting, assembling, costuming and wig-making.  Each step requires different skills. She uses traditional porcelain techniques to create the pieces that form her figures, drawing inspiration from the “golden age” of doll making. She does not glaze her porcelain, but hand paints each face with china paint. These experimental techniques and attention to detail must be founded in watching her father work on her dolls house & understanding that you have to try different skills to get the finish you want.

Once the porcelain process is over, Georgina begins assembling the figures and turning them into characters with costumes and hairstyles. Once again, her inspiration comes from paintings and photographs, or, for her more modern characters, from memory. 

I do love working in miniature. It is completely absorbing and therapeutic. The atmosphere at KDF is wonderful and although we are unable to meet in person this year, I am still enjoying the connection through the virtual Online Showcases. 

Georgina has entered the Perfection in Miniature Awards every year & her entries are always a popular talking point. She says her ballerina in 2016 was the most difficult to perfect, but her favourite was Marie Antoinette from the 1st PIMA in 2015. 

www.georginaritsondolls.com

How do you keep the pets out of the kitchen? Georgina’s cats are never far away from her work