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Doll Artistry by Pat Goodrick


26 January 2008

Pat Goodrick did her usual trick of stunning visitors to the market with her exceptionally lifelike dolls that have every mother stopping in their tracks as they pass by. Here are some of the images from her demonstration.

Pat and babies





With and armfull of baies










baby in chair






High chair for a real live ... doll











real faces




close view of reality











crowds of children to daults

Nobody can resist - simply nobody

always someone admiring





part of the ongoing incredulous croud








mother and child and baby





Lovely family picture?












pat and babies






An interesting triplet








ready to talk


Pat's Story

How often has one heard the appreciative comment, "It looks just like the real thing". Many craftsmen and women are able to reproduce images of things that literally cannot be distinguished from the real thing. Animals, flowers, plants, stones, and butterflies are just some of the physical things that have been reproduced in lifelike replicas that easily deceive even the astute critic. How many times have we touched a plastic plant to check whether it is real, and even then could not be sure?


But Pat Goodrick from Melkbos has taken this art of deception to a new dimension where not just the eye, but also the emotions are seduced by the apparent reality of her cloned works of art.


And indeed, her clones mimic human's greatest treasures, babies, those new offspring that promise a continuation of ourselves and that evoke compassion in the toughest heart.


"In June this year I saw an article in a local newspaper advertising the arrival of doll kits," tells Pat. "These kit-form dolls need to be put together, and then painted to produce lifelike babies". Pat Goodrick is well know as a watercolour artist and she believed she had the skill to undertake this challenge of producing lifelike doll-babies.


"I just could not resist trying to make one," she continues, "and since then I have made over 60 of these beautiful dolls." Each one of her "babies" enjoys her full attention so as to make it quite unique With her attention to detail, it can take her 16 hours to make just one.


"I often stay up, working into the early hours because I can't wait to see what the finished doll will look like" she confesses. Even her weekends are often spent happily creating these babies.


Pat has lived in South Africa since 1977, producing many artworks, especially watercolours. She believes that this experience equips her well to mix the right colours and apply the paint and shading in the right places so as to complete the illusion that turn dolls into lifelike babies. Still she finds herself extending her experience by studying every passing baby, examining their features and skin tones so as to add new dimensions to her palette.


Pat says, "It is difficult to call them dolls as they are incredibly life-like with detail such as veins and skin blemishes and red blushing on their tiny feet and hands. I simply have to refer to them as my babies."


Pat has a website to show more of her work. The babies have become so popular, she has difficulty finding time to do landscapes any more.


"I love taking my babies to the Country Craft Market in Somerset West'" says Pat, "if only for the attention they receive, and of course," she says smiling, "also because of the shock that I can evoke with my babies when I carry one around with its tiny face in the hot sun."


"The concerned reactions from caring people who think they are real baby is a vindication of my efforts to produce lifelike dolls.". She adds, "Often my stall is crowded with people cooing in delight"


"But then again." she says with a twinkle in her eye, "I have also been accosted by people who think they are seeing me putting a real baby in the boot of my car. I hope my smile makes them realise they are being deceived," she adds.


Pat says that perhaps as to be expected, her best customers are women who do not want one of her "babies" for their daughters, but rather for themselves. "I know they have absolutely no intention of sharing it with their daughters," she assures. "I also have several doll collectors who place regular orders," says Pat, "and many girls between 6 and 14 years received my babies as Christmas presents last year.


Pats dolls are made of a very durable vinyl that will not break, making them real keepsakes that will last a lifetime or more.


Pat claims that her babies simply have to be seen to be believed, and therefore invited all visitors to the Country Craft Market to take the opportunity to become believers by visiting her stall to view her extensive family of babies. Pat also demonstrated some of the techniques she uses to convert simple vinyl dolls into Pat-a-Cake babies. And she confirmed visitors could both pat and kyk, as well as admire and enthuse.




Last Updated 01 November 2017 16:11