In 1985, Shirley Merk Blackall ’72 founded Blackall Associates Incorporated/ Masterpiece Dolls of Providence, R. I., to develop her own doll creations. Now celebrating its 25th year, the company introduces new dolls every three months through its web site, www.masterpiecedolls.com.
Blackall created her first line of dolls in 1978 at the Gorham Company, where she was director of marketing for the gift division. Since starting her own company, she has been involved in the development of porcelain, resin, vinyl and silicone/vinyl dolls of all sizes and styles.
The dolls are sculpted by world-renowned doll artists such as Monika Levenig, Monika Peter-Leicht, Doris Stannat, Rosemarie Mueller, Susan Lippl, and Gerlinde Feser. The dolls range in size from 12 to 46 inches and have lifelike expressions.
In celebration of the 25th Anniversary, Levenig sculpted Trinity, a 40-inch vinyl doll with 11 joints for ease in posing. Offered in a limited edition, the doll was introduced Aug. 2. Blackall said Dolls Magazine plans to feature the doll and the company in its October issue.
The dolls, available at retailers in the United States and Europe, previously appeared on Home Shopping Network (1994-2004) and on Home Shopping Europe (2001-2010).