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Tehachapi doll maker holds sale

Tehachapi doll maker, Marie Wyman, has been creating and selling her porcelain dolls in Tehachapi for 50 years and during the first two weekends in June, she will be holding a rare sale at the Carriage House.

Long-time area residents will remember the original Dolls by Marie shop that was located across the street from the Apple Shed where she displayed her creations for almost 10 years. That quaint little shop opened on the same day as the brand new Village Grill that was just next door. Marie said her customers would come into the shop to buy special gifts for their mothers and grandmothers. Even truck drivers would stop to buy dolls; some returning later with their wives from as far away as the east coast. Now, at the 50 year mark, she wants to celebrate with a sale.

Marie was not always a doll maker. Born in New Jersey, she came to California in 1953 as an employee of IBM, working with punch cards for the U.S. government. She met her husband Ted and they lived in Torrance for years before moving to Tehachapi. She and a friend took a doll-making class just for fun and she was hooked. She learned all aspects of doll-making and what began as a hobby became a passion and a business for over 50 years. At the peak of her career, she was showing her dolls four times a year at a doll show at the Pasadena Civic Center, bringing home many awards and ribbons.

Marie and her husband built a studio for her doll-making at their home on Highline Rd. They named it the Carriage House and it became a mecca for doll lovers from all over the country. The Victorian style studio contains a showroom and a room to store her heavy molds and all the equipment she needs to create her dolls. The showroom is lined with glass display cases showing off not only her creations, but dolls that she has collected over the years. Her showroom is much like a doll museum.

All Dolls by Marie have been hand made in Tehachapi for 50 years. Marie fired the porcelain for her dolls in a kiln purchased for her by Ted. She started making baby dolls but soon moved to stunning period dolls that she dressed in satin and velvet.

Marie carefully mixed the porcelain and poured it into the molds. She fired, sanded, hand painted and assembled the dolls. Marie has accumulated over 100 heavy molds used to make her dolls.

Clothing for each doll is individually designed and sewn by Marie. She has won many awards for her authentic and accurate historical costuming. In addition to designing and making period clothing, Marie has also made clothing for the American Girl doll series that have been so popular with young girls for many years.

Marie will be opening the Carriage House on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, June 1-3 and June 8-10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. or by appointment. Call (661) 822-6581 to make an appointment with Marie. She will be selling her antique reproduction dolls, fashion dolls and baby dolls, as well as doll dresses and supplies like wigs, shoes, socks and doll stands.

Also being sold are glass cases, bisque greenware and molds. This is a huge opportunity for collectors or for anyone who just loves dolls.

In addition to her dolls, Marie said she will be selling painted ostrich, emu and rhea eggs, and "eggery" supplies.

Don't miss this chance to purchase a doll by Marie. Visit the Carriage House at 17635 Highline Rd., Tehachapi, between Curry Street and Dennison Road.