Edith Trinkler has a passion for dolls
Let’s say the love of your life isn’t human, or even alive for that matter. What could the passion be? For Edith Trinkler, it’s dolls.
Trinkler began making dolls as a fluke, almost. A Swiss exchange student asked for Trinkler’s help making a porcelain doll. She realized what fun it was, and took a class in Gardnerville. Now she’s teaching classes.
“I take classes in Sparks, and sometimes I teach,” Trinkler said in her heavy Swiss accent. “My teacher tells me that I need to work on my confidence!” she said. “I started with porcelain and now I realize that I could make 10 dolls and not one would look the same as another.”
Trinkler married her husband, Roland, in 1982 and they came to America from Switzerland. The couple started out in Long Island, where they lived for nine years, and then the Trinklers moved to Minden because they had traveled here and also to pursue another hobby.
– Great place for soaring. “We had actually been to Minden before we had moved to Long Island, and we thought the area was beautiful. We also decided to move here because it was a great place for soaring,” Trinkler said.
Trinkler has been soaring for a number of years and has many pictures of her and her husband in their gliders in both Minden and Switzerland.
“Minden is known for being an excellent place to soar. Recently, I got to fly with the world champion, which was very exciting,” she said.
Trinkler’s dolls are shown at numerous places around the world, the closest being Especially For You on Eddy Street in Gardnerville and Down on the Farm, which is located on Airport Road in Minden. Her dolls are also available in New Mexico and in Switzerland.
“When I went to the Christmas craft fair at Douglas High School, Marcia from Especially For You was there and I asked if she would like to have my dolls for her shop. I have been there and at Down on the Farm for over a year now,” Trinkler said.
Trinkler’s two children, Michael, 5, and Patrick, 7, also enjoy the dolls.
“I wanted to start making vinyl dolls so that children would be able to touch them. With the porcelain, it’s too likely that the dolls will break. When I got the first package of the vinyl dolls, that are 22 inches long, my boys both decided that they wanted one. I wasn’t sure if that was a good idea, and I asked my neighbor, who said that would be all right for them to have one. Patrick picked one that turned out to look just like Michael. They really loved the dolls,” Trinkler said.
– Every one is different. Trinkler mentioned that every doll is different, that there are maybe two or three outfits that are made out of the same material.
“I have so many ideas for dolls, I just don’t have enough hours in the day,” Trinkler said. “Everything has to balance, everything has to fit. I love my family, I really don’t mind cleaning, I just need something for myself.”
It usually takes Trinkler six to eight hours to make a vinyl doll and about 50 hours to make a porcelain doll.
“That time doesn’t include picking out material or wigs for the dolls. With the porcelain dolls, a lot of the time takes place in Sparks, using my teacher’s kiln,” Trinkler said.
Vinyl dolls are usually $137.50, and in New Mexico the costs are a bit higher, according to Trinkler. She also said that the knitted-outfit dolls are more expensive. Porcelain dolls start at $250.
Trinkler’s calendar is getting busy already with the Sept. 26 Sierra Doll Show at the Reno Livestock Events Center, the Nov. 14 Craft Show at Carson High and the Dec. 5 Douglas High School Christmas Craft Fair. She takes at least 20 dolls to each show.
Trinkler said that many times she has a parent or grandparent who buys a doll because it reminds them of a child. In such a case, it is possible to special order a doll.
“I also can make a doll to match a particular room, if there is left over material, for color coding and such,” Trinkler said.
Different varieties of dolls include African American, Native American, Caucasian and Hispanic. She also makes a vinyl infant doll which is 19 inches long, and she carries an 18-inch vinyl doll.
While Trinkler said that her family hasn’t had a chance to travel much, she said that the family manages to go to Switzerland from time to time.
“We go about every three years,” she said. “We pack up the boys and the whole family goes.”
Trinkler also said that she and her husband will talk in Swiss around the boys, and while Patrick and Michael don’t speak much of the language, they can answer their parents questions in English.
“It really is quite amazing,” Trinkler said. “My boys can understand Swiss, speak English and are learning Spanish. I am in total support of what they learn in school. I think it’s best for them to learn language at an early age when they aren’t so apprehensive about making mistakes in front of their classmates.”
Trinkler learned some English when she was a nanny in England at 18.
“I was there for a year with two little boys. Good thing I was with them for most of the time because I spoke very little English and they could help me,” she said.
– Lots of support. Trinkler has many people in her life who have helped her along the way.
“I’d like to say a thank-you to my dear husband and my children for their support and a special thanks to my mom and dad. My mom taught me to sew and knit, and also, my friend, Bernadette, in Switzerland, who is Michael’s godmother and has done knitting for two or three dolls. I also would like to thank my porcelain teacher and my loyal customers who I appreciate so much,” Trinkler said.
Trinkler added that Bernadette recently sent a fax wishing Michael a good start in school and also said that she had a new outfit ready to go. Trinkler’s mother still helps with the sewing when Trinkler has too much work on her own.
Edith Trinkler can be reached at 782-7058.
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