Spun Cotton Ornaments

All of the items shown here are of my own design; they are not exact copies of any particular antique. They are however, based on numerous similar antiques. They have been made using the methods and materials that would have been used to create these types of decorations in their original time periods. These are new ornaments, which I have signed and dated. Each ornament is made one at a time, without the use of a pattern, so every one is unique. Sizes listed are approximate.

The heyday of spun cotton ornaments, which were generally Christmas tree decorations, was from 1880- to the early 1900’s. Spun cotton ornaments were most typically made with either lithographed paper scrap, bisque, or spun cotton faces. Lithographed paper scraps were being imported from Germany to the United States as early as the 1840’s. I adhere to very traditional construction techniques when making my ornaments, meticulously hand spinning loose bleached cotton fibers over wire armatures and dressing figures in intricate, detailed costumes. When using clay faces, I make molds from antique doll heads in my personal collection, then carefully hand cast and paint each head.