Artist Yvonne’s lifelike dolls are ‘reborn’ as substitute babies

A Westcountry artist who makes incredibly lifelike dolls says she is regularly contacted by people wanting to use them as a substitute for real babies – and even to replace dead ones.

The dolls each take four weeks to make and their bodies are weighted with glass beads or steel shots to make them feel as life-like as possible.

Each hair is meticulously added individually to the baby’s head and eyelids, which can take 40 hours to complete.

The dolls are then painted with veins and then layer upon layer of paint to build up the skin tones to give them a realistic look before being placed in a kiln to set.

Each “reborn” has fingernails, milk spots, flaky skin and downy baby hair, and can weigh up to 9lbs.

Artist Yvonne Walters, 56, who makes the dolls in Newquay, said: “Some people find having the dolls therapeutic while others send pictures of babies that mean something to them. I can generally make one that’s similar.

“I’ve been approached by women who have lost babies and want a doll to remember them by.”

Yvonne, who also runs a guest house in Newquay, sells the dolls for thousands of pounds at a time and makes them by placing them in the oven, which acts as a kiln.

She added: “I don’t understand it myself but if people take solace in them then that’s OK as far as I’m concerned.

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