Art Dolls for the Tattered Victorian Gothic in You: “Black-Eyed Suzie”

by Edward Gorey

While I spend the rest of this week finishing my original Gothic Faery Tale, “Roses, Briars, Blood”, I thought it would be fun to take a look at Gothic Tales in another medium: Art Dolls. I love interesting dolls, and have made some myself, based on fairy tale characters, over the years. I have a small collection of antique china dolls — the worst fear of tough Cockney men, several of whom told me, including a serious Ghost Buster from the East End of  London: “There’s nothing scares me more then one of them old china dollies!”

I found Black Eyed Suzie’s doll blog quite by accident. I am so glad I did! The artist’s real name is Sarah Faber, but she goes by Black Eyed Suzie.

The Black Eyed Suzie dolls remind me of  damp, foggy Victorian England; aristocratic ladies strolling around the ornamental gardens, lonely in their  turreted stately homes with their one-hundred rooms, or walking in the bleak streets of London in the rain. They are often haunted by ghosts of lost children, or suicides. Like the Governess in “Turn of the Screw”, they have a look of tragedy about them, both real, and imagined.

Black-Eyed Suzie

Sarah says in the video below, that some of her dolls  are inspired by Edward Gorey. They fit very well, I think, with my theme of Gothic Faery Tales. Faery Tales don’t only live in books or on the pages of a blog. They also appear in art, and  these dolls are art. Gothic Faery Tales also manifest in fashion, decor, music, and films. What we we perceive as the dark side of Faery Tales can be expressed through whatever medium creates that mysterious, disturbing, haunting atmosphere that pulls us where we know we should not go…

Here are some dolls to haunt you…

This one is called Agatha. She reminds me of a brilliant play I saw in Seattle in the early 1990’s based on Edgar Allen Poe’s Fall of the House of Usher, combined with another piece that took place in a madhouse, and  done in the style of the Grande Guignol, 18-19th century Paris’s Theatre of Horrors. Madwomen romped freely in bare hoop shirts, like portable cages, showing off the bloodstained crotches of their pantaloons….

“Oh my God! He stormed into the house, carried me off, and ravished me. Then he threw me out of the coach into a ditch, saying he had had enough — that now I am useless, ruined!  “Good luck!” he shouted as he drove away. I can still hear the sound of the whip and the screaming horses. What will become of me? I shall be forced to seek revenge!”

We found this poor lady wandering about outside in the snow, unescorted, and without a cloak or bonnet. Does anyone know her name, or why she is out in the cold? What has happened to bring her such a pass? The only thing she remembers is the sound of howling….

In this video, Sarah discusses her inspirations and how she makes her beautiful dolls.

Though the shop be haunted by ghosts of dead dolls…

You must check out Black Eyed Suzie’s blog at: They are handmade, one of kind, and for sale to the most discriminating collectors…

We love comments. Let us know what you think please…or we shall have to bother you when you are alone, in the night time, in the dark, alone….