Liviana Sirmans is a reborn doll artist, also known as a “reborner” and she makes incredibly lifelike dolls.
Liviana was first exposed to reborn dolls 10 years ago and was so fascinated that she bought one over eBay and being emailing with it’s creator and soon was buying the components and making her very own dolls.
Each reborn doll she makes is unique and finely detailed — even down to having the individual strands of hair micro-rooted.
The vinyl head, arms and legs must be washed to eliminate the grease and accumulation from being touched. After they are completely dried, she begins painting the veins. While the veins on the arms and legs are painted on the outside, the veins in the head are painted from the inside.
Reborn dolls are the rage all over the world. Jayne Seddon has taken reborn to the next level. She not only makes the dolls look like real babies, she spritzes them with a “newborn smell” and some of them have a “breathing” mechanism to make them look as real as possible. In fact, some of her patrons have asked her to make a replica of their own babies (whether deceased or all grown up). In her shop she has a “nursery” with cribs and incubators. The reborns are sent home with their own special birth certificate.
“Jayne is a leader in this field, not only running classes teaching the art but she has also made a step-by-step DVD for people who live further afield.
She teaches people the painstaking process of how to create the vinyl dolls. It can take 40 hours alone just to root the hair (mohair is used because it’s so soft) and painting can take three days as each layer has to be baked separately.
A real labour of love, each doll can take Jayne as long as three months to complete as she fits her other commitments around them.”
While reborn dolls have been a craze for USA and Canada since the 1990’s it has taken a while for the craze to hit South Africa. Because the import costs were so high a local, Rina Muller, decided to make her own. Soon it spurred a home based business which quickly turned into a factory.
“Her dolls have also been used in therapy. She made a doll for a woman who taught classes on Down syndrome children. She made one for a woman giving classes at a clinic on how to care for premature babies. And she made dolls for a woman in Pretoria who worked with abused children.
Muller says she and her team work a great deal with sick children and use the baby dolls to raise funds for them.
One of her dolls was even featured in Winnie, a film based on the life of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, starring Jennifer Hudson. The movie company sent Muller a photo of Madikizela-Mandela as a baby and asked her to make a replica. Producers paid R2 500 for the doll.”
So if you are interested in people taking a second-look at your doll may be a reborn doll is for you. If you live in South Africa, then Baltorina’s Unique Babies may be the perfect place for you to start!