Monday, August 8, 2016

Before You Bid on Items on the GOODWILL Auction Site...READ THIS!

I had to admit that I'm a bit addicted to eBay and recently, I've discovered that good deals can be found on another auction site:

But don't get too excited!

Because there is a catch.

I won the bid on a box of beautiful dolls from the artist/collector Greta Mae Hedgcock who once lived in Tuscan where she had a shop, Greta's Doll Nook, that she opened in 1979 and in the early 1980's she started the Tuscan Doll Guild.

When I bid on the dolls, I had no idea who the artist was but I knew the minute I saw them that they were special. Well, three were obviously mass produced "collectibles" but I could tell which ones were the quality dolls.

I was very excited about the two large male figures because you don't see many adult male dolls in porcelain dolls. And since I could not see most of the dolls, I took a chance based on the two large male dolls alone!

BUT...I've had trouble with Goodwill's shipping standards before and I've had some fragile things arrive broken so, in fear this would happen again, I contacted customer service and ask that they please wrap them carefully.

Well...I guess you know where this is heading!

Have you ever seen that Moluccan Cockatoo, Peaches? If not, take a break and watch this video!
If you have seen Peaches, then you'll know how I reacted when I opened the box and found that these fragile porcelain dolls had NOT BEEN WRAPPED in ANYTHING. They were just tossed in a box all piled up on top of each other with some peanuts dumped over them for good measure! HA!
Well, as it turned out, FIVE of the dolls were damaged and, you guessed it, TWO of those were the large male dolls. (You might want to watch the Peaches video again!)
I hate this happened but I would put boots on him anyway.
Okay! This REALLY made me open up a can of PEACHES!
Do you realize how impossible this will be to glue back together!
That is the "socket" where her ball joint rotates.
Chipped Knee

Broken MISSING finger.
 I know...they're only dolls!

But here is my perspective on this.

Yes, it is true that MANY people donate junk that they don't want to Goodwill just to be rid of it.

Another broken finger...but we found it!
However, there are those who truly believe that by donating good quality items to places like Goodwill they are helping out their community, those less fortunate, or hope that their collections and gently used items will go to someone else who can enjoy and appreciate them.

Thankfully, where I live, we have a church run disaster relief thrift shop so we know our money and our donations are a part of something meaningful...and if you've read in the news some of the issues with Goodwill, then you know what I mean.

But I digress.

I feel it is the responsibility of these charitable organizations to treat the donated goods with some respect, not only as a sign of gratitude to those who donate, but to those willing to purchase said items.

If wants to compete with the almighty, then they will have to work on their customer service.

At least on eBay, there are checks and balances in place to maintain some sort of decorum, but apparently Goodwill does not appreciate the customer and since there are no repercussions save offering the buyer their money back (the offending Goodwill only offered me less than half of what I paid for the dolls), it does not offer anything in the form of damages to irreplaceable items such as these dolls.

I mean, I was so excited to get these dolls (that took the Goodwill way too long to ship! It was supposed to be 5 Days...more like 10) I was anxious to see them. Like any good work of art, you just want to look at it and study how it is done, right?

So, unboxing the damaged dolls made me SO stressed that I was up until 2 AM fretting about it.

Then, after some sleep, it dawned on me that is was not my purpose to finish or even keep these dolls.

I am a Zombie/Gothic Doll and Santa artist.

And since some of these beautiful dolls are really out of my league, I realized that it was my duty to see that these dolls go to someone who would cherish them. But not just the dolls, some history of their artist/collector as well.
I LOVE this lady!
She is wearing a toile or maybe it is her slip.

I always loved dolls as a little girl and I still do love them. I know, crazy, right?

Oh, you don't know crazy until you read this part!

I had no idea who "Greta" was, only that her name was engraved (when the porcelain was greenware) and the dates she worked on some of these dolls.

But as I "played" with each one, they revealed Greta's story to me.

I learned (having found nothing online about "Greta") from the dolls that she had died, and not recently. I also knew that these were not her only dolls, and that she had created many, many more. I knew the dolls clothing had been constructed by her as well. There really is an energy associated with each piece that she crafted, insomuch that when I picked up the Duck House, The Broadway Collection, or the other doll with the very long peach dress, I got nothing except a strong desire to turn them into zombies!

You see, when underpaid workers in China throw together mass produced dolls, there is a sense of apathy and disappointment that stays with the dolls. YOU THINK I'M KIDDING! Just look at their faces and their lifeless eyes. PURE APATHY and DISAPPOINTMENT!

But even when I get ahold of them and turn them into zombies they change and a personality develops!

Because when an ARTIST crafts a doll, they put some of themselves, usually the best of themselves, into their work and you can see it in the dolls eyes...probably because the artist sets or paints the eyes so they will look at you...but more because that is what being an artist is and that's what art is for!

Whether it is Starry Night or a rag doll sewn by my's all an artistic and expression of very unique creativities.
These are from a ROMANS mold.
But I digress...again!

What I really want to share is that after photographing and "handling" this pair of her dolls, I had a feeling that I should look up where the Goodwill was that I purchased these dolls. When I found out it was in Arizona (Tuscan) I did a search under "Greta Tuscan Doll Artist" and found this wonderful article written by Kimberly Matas with the Arizona Daily Star.

Greta Mae Hedgcock: Dolls played a vital role in life of Tucson woman

I know...see! The dolls told me those things about her!

We live in a society where if one thing is good, more is better. And I honor that code as well as any hoarder! But...I am putting the majority of the dolls (along with some of my baby dolls that were too cute to zombify) on eBay in hopes they will find a home where they will be treasured.

I'm only keeping two or three of her dolls. Two boys with porcelain heads and composition bodies, because they are smaller and will fit neatly on a shelf in my studio. The larger boy is signed by Greta in 2002 and the smaller one is not signed but when I hold him in my hand, I get this feeling that he meant something to her and that he is supposed to stay with me. There is also small girl, signed by Greta, that I feel I am supposed to keep.

You know, I say I am going to "finish" them, but I have feeling they are already complete!

Thank you, Greta!

And you incompetent workers at Goodwill...well, I wonder what Peaches would have to say about you!