Monday, May 21, 2012

Cabbage Patch Dolls - The Beginning

The Beginning.
In 1976, 21 year old art student Xavier Roberts rediscovered "needle molding"  a German technique of fabric sculpture from the early 1800's.  Robert's mother was a quilter and he had been interested in quilting and had learned how to quilt from her.  Combining the two skills, he created his first soft sculpture.
Roberts was working his way through art school as Manager of the Unicoi Craft Shop in Helen, GA. where he had learned marketing while working there, and he used his skills to market his adoptable Little People as they were first called with a birth certificate.
Roberts entered the Osceola Art Show in Kissimmee, Florida with "Dexter", one of his adoptable little people and won a first place ribbon.  Back home in Georgia, Roberts and five of his art school friends began Original Appalachian Artworks, Inc.  They renovated the old L. G. Neal Medical Clinic, a turn of the century medical facility in Cleveland, Georgia, calling it Baby Land General Hospital.  Here the needle sculptured dolls were birthed and adopted to their owners complete with birth certificate.  These dolls are different from the mass produced dolls as their heads were cloth and they were hand made.  Not being able to produce the dolls fast enough a contract was give to Coleco to mass produce the dolls and the rest is history.

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