Ann Rast

Dolls & Collectibles

“Shoe Fairy”


The Shoe Fairy

by Stephanie Blythe & Susan Snodgrass



Stephanie Blythe and Susan Snodgrass began collaborating on making dolls and miniature room boxes in 1977.  Now the artists are best known for their fairies, which they introduced in 1981, but they also create other fantasy figures, such as goddesses and mermaids.  Most pieces are one-of-a-kinds, although they'll do an occasional doll in a limited edition of twenty pieces.  Their work has been exhibited at the Musee des Arts Decoratif at the Louvre, the American Craft Museum in new York City, the Toy Museum of Atlanta, and the Miniature Museum of Kansas City.

Blythe, a graduate of the Philadelphia College of Art, worked as an illustrator, art instructor, and textile designer before turning to the doll making.  It is she who sculpts and paints the original porcelain dolls.  Snodgrass creates the lavish costumes of the pieces using antique laces, metallic fabrics, silk flower petals, and, sometimes, real butterfly wings.  She studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Goodman Theater and has designed clothing, costumes, and jewelry for fashion companies and mixed-media exhibits.

Shoe Fairy is typical of these artists' fantasy dolls, many of which inhabit antique objects such as old shoes, teacups, or champagne glasses, or stand on crystal foundations.  This eight-inch, all-porcelain fairy is a one-of-a-kind.  The fairy's eyes are sculpted closed.  The doll's wig is constructed of dyed Tibetan lamb's wool, the wings are made of hand-painted silk, and the costume is a combination of antique fabrics and lace.  The doll is posed in one of a pair of antique shoes decorated with lace, opals, and Austrian crystals.

This precious fairy is found asleep in a pair of antique slippers.  Fairy is made of porcelain with hand-made clothing and hand-made embellishments.  Undoubtedly, one of the most wonderful treasures you will ever see!  Once I was asked what I would fetch from my house were it ever to catch on fire--this is it!  Fairy wings are all hand-painted, crystals are hand set.  Every detail has been executed with the utmost care by expert artists.  The silk flowers are exquisite!

The shoes are dated 1880s and were found in an antique shop in Cape Cod, MA.  I purchased this in 1992 from the artists at an event held at Dolly Dears in Birmingham, Alabama.  As you can see, one shoe is signed by both artists.