Academy dolls call the Archives Room their home

Cara Millburg, Section Editor

The dolls featured in the Christmas video in the Trends and Style section were actually the creations of Ms. Vickie Elkington, who has worked in the Academy business office for 17 years.   Photos cannot capture the details of these hand-painted  porcelain dolls or the number of  hours Ms. Elkington spent in crafting these Academy heirlooms.

The idea for the dolls originates from a request many years ago from Ms. Myra McCleod, an Academy administrator who wanted new students to have a model for the correct uniforms. Nowadays the miniature uniforms on the dolls serve as a reminder of what uniforms Academy students used to wear.

Ms. Elkington had begun taking ceramics on her free time. After creating a strong foundation in the craft,  she took up ceramic doll making. She began classes and with the aid of her teacher she began making the Academy dolls.

“I just saw an ad in the paper for doll making classes and it sounded interesting, ” said Ms. Elkington.

She started making the Academy dolls in 2001. She first purchased the molds for the specific body parts.  The ceramic  process began by pouring the liquid porcelain into the molds and letting it set. She let the pieces dry and then cleaned them. She had to cut out the eyes for the dolls. Then she painted a first coat on each piece, paying attention to details such as the eyebrows and the mouth. She put the painted parts back into the kiln and repeated the process three times. Next came clothing the dolls, which her mother enjoyed helping her make.

After a few months of labor,  the dolls were ready to go to Academy where they now remain in the archives room among a cornucopia of Academy artifacts. The archive room is a little-known gem on the first floor of the main building. Sister Lillian Schneider, who runs the bookstore,  holds the key to this historical cornerstone of Academy.  The Achona staff thanks her for her willingness to open the Archives almost every day for the Journalism staff to take the 800 photos necessary to put together the stop-motion video.