Arts & Crafts
to Hanover College crafts fair
HANOVER, Ind. It was on Christmas Day several years ago that
Amelia Mae Watson received the inspiration that would not
only become a hobby but eventually a full-time business.
by Libby Richards
"Mae" Watson creates
her angel dolls at home.
While watching her nephews play with the clay sets they
got for Christmas, she observed them making these ugly things,
like snakes and bugs.
I thought, if they can make those I can make anything I want to,
even dolls, Watson remembers.
While the transition from snakes to dolls may seem a stretch to some
people, Watsons personal interest as a collector of angel dolls
seemed natural enough to her. She began working with special craft clay
and made her first doll, which she described as not very good. Her mother,
however, loved it and told her she should make more.
Watson soon perfected her technique and started taking the dolls to
work with her at Madison State Hospital. After displaying the first
dolls, orders started piling in and shes been making them ever
Examples of her work will be on display on Dec. 4 at the Hanover College
Arts and Crafts Show. Watson will be one of 62 exhibitors selling their
wares at the college's annual event.
Watson's creations fit in nicely with the Christmas show. She has named
her figurines Angels to Cherish because they depict angels
for any and every occasion. There are angels singing, holding baskets
of flowers, angels depicting different holidays and even sports angels.
Recently, she made a collection with the name of her church, St. Stephen's
African Methodist Episcopalian, on it for the church to sell as a commemorative
fund-raiser. While some of the angels are depicted standing, others
are shelf sitters that have a weighted bottom and whose
legs hang down from the shelf. Yet others come in the form of pins to
wear, magnates and Christmas tree decorations.
In addition to the angels, Watson makes figurines that depict children
in various themes. Whether having milk and cookies (her favorite), or
hugging a doll or teddy bear while having tea, the whimsical figures
are finely detailed. And because they are hand-made, no two are the
Watson even makes the clothes that the figures are dressed in. The bases
that they sit on are hand made of clay as well and are signed and dated.
The clay she uses is special craft clay that comes in many colors. Most
recently, to Watsons delight, flesh tones have been made available
eliminating the need to blend colors to achieve the right shade.
Every piece of each figurine is made individually, with the finished
product being baked in the oven to harden for durability.
Watson also makes custom orders in the event that you dont find
a doll or angel that specifically suits your need.
In addition to the Hanover Arts and Crafts Show, you can find Watsons
angels in the gift shop at Kings Daughter Hospital and Carolyns
Picket Fence. This year, one of her dolls won Grand Champion at the
Jefferson County Fair.
"Her work is so beautiful. I'm glad to have her work here,"
said Carolyn Mingione, owner of Carolyn's Picket Fence.
While having experimented with and making the angels for 12 years, it
has been in the last three years that Watson has started making them
Like any artist Watson isnt always happy with the results, but
her mother disagrees when shes critical of any of her pieces.
Mom loves them all, Watson laughs. I guess she has
too since Ive taken over her kitchen to make them.
Mae Watson can be contacted at (812) 866-5560.
Back to December 1999