What is Reborning?
When 'reborning' began, in the early 2000's, it was done by stripping a Store bought baby doll of factory paint and repainting with veins, mottling and varying colors to give a 3 dimensional skin tone, replacing the eyes for more realistic ones, adding a jointed flannel or does suede type body that moves better and is weighted to feel like a real baby......thus, you are giving new life or reborning a doll.
Wikipedia describes 'reborning' as the customized art of creating a beautiful , realistic version of a live, breathing baby from an ordinary vinyl doll, or doll kit. Each artist uses their own techniques and personalities to bring to "life" a doll, thus making each one, an original one of a kind baby (aka OOAK). Due to a recent UK Documentary titled "Fake Babies", it has given a new awareness to the Reborning art. Reborn Artists prefer the term "reborn" as it describes the "rebirth" of a doll. Reborn babies have also been featured, recently, on The View, Dr. Phil, Inside Edition and 20/20.
I spend weeks, sometimes months creating each baby. It is a very intensive process that involves taking a kit or sculpt and painting on multiple layers of Genesis Heat Set paints. These paints are permanent and each layer is baked on before applying another. Veining, mottling, blushing and highlighting every crease and crevice is added. The hair is micro rooted. This takes the most time as I only allow 1-2 hairs per "follicle", going over the head, using tweezers and plucking any follicle that has more than 2. I spend a great deal on selecting the layette, making sure the color and style of the outfit brings out the best in the baby. I then weigh the body to perfection, using the highest grade faux fleece stuffing and fine, round glass beads in all the right places so your baby will flop as a newborn would. I spend hours photographing the baby to capture the correct color of the baby. The hours spent are endless. It truly is a labor of love! The results produce a lifelike baby that can be treasured and passed down through generations. Once reborned, these dolls are not meant for young children, but the grown "child at heart".
I retired from nursing, after a 12 year career as a Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse due to a severe latex allergy. Over the years, I have looked at infant skin tones from a 24 week gestation newborn with the shiny, transparent skin, to the growing preemie with the visible veins, but lanky limbs with no fat. Also, the newborns with a full head of hair and blotchy skin tone, to the bald baby with peaches and cream complexion. I've paid close attention to the forcep marks from a difficult delivery, to the jaundiced, yellow skin (that a lot of breast fed babies have), to the scratched faces babies have made due to the need to make contact--and their face is the closest thing. I try to portray this look, and features in each baby I create. Each one is different, just like each newborn is different. If one of my babies touches you in some way, please bid for there will never be another exactly like it, and no way for me, even with the same sculpt, to duplicate it exactly. Each baby is truly a One of a kind.