Teresa Russon makes very realistic dolls for couples who have lost a child. In fact, she’s baked over 250 dolls in her oven as a way of comforting bereaved parents.
Russon began this work after she lost her son and her mother in a five month period. The mother-of-three says that creating “reborn dolls” helped her deal with her own grief. Her son was 21 when he committed suicide. Now, Russon makes babies for couples who have lost children.
She told the Mirror:
“After my son died I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat, all I did was paint and it made me feel happier. When I finished one doll it brought a bit of happiness back to me and I guess I latched onto that joy so I carried on making more.The reborn dolls I make look exactly like real babies, so you can’t help but want to pick them up and treat them like a living child. If you’ve never lost a child it’s hard to understand, but for grieving families my real-life dolls give something back to them.”
One doll can take Russon up to six months to make. She charges more for these dolls, which are softer because they have more silicone, which is quite expensive. The dolls can cost up to $550.
Teresa’s dolls are made of a silicon and vinyl blend. They are painted and cooked in an oven for several eight minute intervals and then assembled for their owners.
Russon has made dolls for young children all the way up to a lady in her 90s. As you’d expect, she gets some very strange requests too. Some customers ask for reborn baby monkeys, fairies and even Halloween-themed vampire dolls.
The most memorable customer for this English woman:
“For me my most challenging baby to create was one from America, where the lady sent me pictures of her child in a coffin to make sure every detail was precise. I worked with her for around six months trying to get everything from the skin tone to her child’s small birth marks correct. She wanted me to recreate her child who tragically had died, it may seem unusual but it really helped her to move on with her life. Even now, years on she sends me pictures of herself and the reborn doll wherever she goes, even on the beach. Knowing that I’ve helped her and nearly 300 people makes all the long hours painting day and night worth it.”
If you’re interested in seeing more photos of these dolls or would like to buy one for yourself or a loved one, you can visit Russon’s website.