Hilary is the creator of Khadil dolls. In her studio she brings to life very tender, unique and natural dolls. In her own words, her dolls are “Sustainably handmade heirloom dolls crafted in New Zealand using natural materials, wool stuffing & a foot-powered Singer sewing machine.” It is evident that these beautiful dolls have been made with care and love. As it is a tradition to have a new feature each full moon, on June 9th we started a monthly feature dedicated to her special work on the Instagram account of dollmakers. We find her work very inspiring and we bet you will love it too. So here is the interview with her and also a selection of her huggable dolls. Thank you Hilary!
– What would you like to share about yourself?
HILARY: I am a dollmaker and illustrator living in Christchurch, New Zealand. I love the stillness of mornings and creating.
– Can you describe your dolls in one sentence?
HILARY: Wholesome, handmade dolls to inspire adventure, imagination and connection within.
– When did you start making dolls?
HILARY: I made my first doll while doing The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron after a stint of bad health and feeling utterly lost in the world.
– What motivated you to start your own brand?
HILARY: Khadil (pronounced ‘cuddle’) is my dream to re-ignite our inner child and re-awaken our imagination through joyful, soft creations. This world can sometimes be a little overwhelming and I want to make things that connect us within, center us, so we can move forward from our heart.
– Which part of the process you enjoy the most?
HILARY: Definitely stitching on the eyes, at that moment the doll or illustration comes alive with their own little personality.
– What makes it challenging for you? / What challenges you?
HILARY: I am challenged by anxiety and putting way too much pressure and expectation upon myself – basically my creations soothe and center me first, then I hope they carry that same power out into the world.
– Favorite materials/ tools/ fabrics/ suppliers, etc.
HILARY: My favourite materials are those that are handmade – handspun thread, handwoven cotton, hand-block printed cloth – there are no machines used in the making of some of my fabrics. I feel these fabrics contain the consciousness and heart of empowered artisans and carry the energy of loving hands. I use only natural materials, environmentally friendly and ethically sourced or upcycled, and stuff the dolls with wool. I feel all of this connects the doll’s beholder to the wonderful people around them and the healing natural world. I also use an incredible 1946 Foot-treadle Singer sewing machine and love the feeling of investing myself into every stitch!
– What do you consider to set a fair price to your work?
HILARY: I just try to put my whole heart into each doll, and price them at the minimum time a doll takes to make.
– What´s the soundtrack to your doll making process?
HILARY: I really like music that is calming and centering, something that touches my heart.
– Any advice to other fellow doll makers?
HILARY: I feel that dolls are really important and we should all keep making them. I love to think that one of my dolls may become the life-long best friend of a little person out there or be gifted to a ‘grown up’, a doll to remind us that we are always safe and loved. Dolls have a powerful and magical way of bringing out our inner voice of intuition to guide us, and we have a lot of stimulus in our culture now which draws us away from that. So, I think we should all just keep making dolls! And I definitely recommend The Artist’s Way.