Glass Onion Bead Company was founded in 1990 by husband and wife team David Johnson and Debbie Austin-Johnson. While starting out as a stained glass studio, we have evolved into a bead store with the largest selection in Northeast Wisconsin. We offer a wide variety of classes with award winning bead instructors.

Thursday, August 22, 2013


Anyone who knows me, knows I have a fascination with doll heads.  There is something interesting to me about imagining what happened to the rest of the doll.  Frozen Charlotte Dolls are something else that have always caught my eye.
Frozen Charlotte is a name used to describe a specific form of china doll made from 1850 through 1920.  The name comes from an American folk ballad which tells the story of a young girl named Charlotte.  She refused to wrap up warmly to go on a sleigh ride in fear that it would cover up her pretty dress. The story tells how she froze to death during the journey.

The frozen Charlotte is usually in the form of a standing doll, naked and moulded all in one piece.  They are sometimes called  a pillar doll or a penny doll, because they usually cost one cent.  Most were made in Germany.  They are usually white porcelain and are mostly found with broken limbs.
I have a great collection of frozen Charlottes and I love to use them in my jewelry.

  With a little imagination, Frozen Charlottes and their "parts" can be used to create one of kind pieces in jewelery, mixed media and altered books. (Photo above from the work of Donna O'Brien)  You can usually find them at flea markets or on ebay.  Many of the dolls will still have some of the dirt on them from where they were dug up.  Years ago, the dolls that were broken or not quite perfect were discarded and buried around the doll factories.  They are now excavating around these doll factories and resurrecting this little gems. There was also a boy version named Frozen Charlie which is distinguished by his boy hair cut. 

This is a beautiful example of using a Frozen Charlotte by Rogergardens.com.  He incorporated old vintage jewelry with the doll to create this wonderful piece. 
 They are little works of art. 

words for the day....
Life is short.  Smile while you still have teeth.

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