GERI MILANO, Creative Clay Cottage™

I would like to thank Ann Milano Knueppel, daughter of Geri Milano, and Ann's daughter Robyn, for making this page possible with their generous sharing of their time and knowledge. This page would not have been at all possible without their help! Geri's patterns were sold exclusively to the Standard Doll Company™ in New York and so unavailable to the general public except as those lovely doll kits sold by Standard - until now! Ann and Robyn have started making Geri's patterns available to everyone with an interest in doll making. You can find these patterns at their e-bay store: annamk56. We will be adding more to this page as the masterfiles get organized and I find time to enter the new information!

(Robyn gave me this wonderful story about how Creative Clay Cottage™ got its start):
"My grandma's business honestly started somewhat as an accident. One hell of an accident, if you ask me. She started doing this in 1971, only as a hobby. She was raising 5 children and somewhere in between the chaos of 5 kids (haha) she needed a breather. She took an interest in making dolls and soon after was equipped with a few things to begin. My grandpa bought her a small kiln that only held one doll at a time, six different molds and "white diamond" slip. From there she began customizing her patterns for her dolls. Her patterns, as you know are designed to fit styles as far back as the 1800's. They are all hers, hand written and drawn by her. Completely original and unique. As she continued making her dolls, she put her finished ones into a trunk for safe keeping. A few months after, my grandma decided to rent a booth at the Sutter County Fair in California to sell her work. A man walked up and purchased six of her dolls, all sizes from 10 inches to 32 inches.

Six months after the fair, my grandma received a phone call early in the morning (about 5 am) from a man named Marty Henfield, the (then) owner of Standard Doll Company™. My grandma honestly thought it was a joke, and hung up on Mr. Henfield but he called back immediately. He told her he wanted a gross of her dolls, any dolls, of all sizes. My grandma, not knowing what a gross was, kicked the bed in order to get my grandpa's attention. She asked him what a gross was and he replied with "144". She told Mr. Henfield that she would need some time to fill this order. He understood and told her he wasn't requiring fully dressed or assembled dolls. All he wanted was doll kits and informed her he already had her dressed samples. Of course, she figured out that the man at the fair was a buyer from Standard Doll Company. Marty sent my grandma a contract for her to look over and sign, saying that she would sell her dolls to no one else and that every year he would receive six new dressed dolls, completely different from the last bunch as samples to put into his show case.

My grandpa rented my grandma a building close to their house, bought her two medium sized kilns and told my grandma to hire a crew. She had 5 ladies and one man who worked for her. With their help, my grandma was able to fill Marty's orders. My mother, along with my aunt (my uncles never had a major interest in the shop) spent their teen years (and after) learning everything in the shop. My grandma taught them everything...she wanted Creative Clay Cottage™ to be a family business. In 1980, she let her crew go and brought in my mother, my grandpa and my aunt and the four of them together ran everything. She finally had what she wanted - a family oriented business. This is where us lovely grandchildren come in, haha. We ran around that shop like no one's business. I remember being a toddler and sleeping in a play pen in the middle of the shop, while all the painting was going on. We used to sit on the table, square in the middle, and watch everything go on around us. My grandma loved having her grandchildren around...

My grandma lost her battle with cancer in 1988 and the business honestly went down hill. She still had a bit more of the contract to finish out with Standard Doll Company™, so my mother and my grandpa finished it out... then closed the doors. My grandma was gone, the heart of the business was gone and it only felt best to close down.

It's been 20 years, and my mom has decided that she's ready to take on the business again. It's in her blood, and is her dream. The shop my grandma owned (she ended up buying a shop) is still present, still family owned. It's a bit dusty on the inside, but everything is still there. Her kilns, her molds, patterns, even greenware... it's all still there. My mom, my cousin Sarah and I went through the shop earlier this summer and though it was a bit emotional, Sarah and I learned more than we knew. We'd love to restart Creative Clay Cottage™ and maybe one day we will..."

BABY DOLL PATTERNS:

Christening Dress: dress; Doll Size: 14"-16" (Booklet:D)
Notes: # pages plus # pattern sheets; Country: USA; Publisher: Creative Clay Cottage™; Booklet Dimensions(HxW): ; ISBN: None;

CELEBRITY PATTERNS:

Shirley Temple: dress, slip & bloomers; Doll Size: 20"-22" (Booklet:D)
Notes: # pages plus # pattern sheets; Country: USA; Publisher: Creative Clay Cottage™; Booklet Dimensions(HxW): ; ISBN: None;

CHINA DOLL PATTERNS:

Street Dress: ; Doll Size: 10"-12" (Booklet:D)
Notes: # pages plus # pattern sheets; Country: USA; Publisher: Creative Clay Cottage™; Booklet Dimensions(HxW): ; ISBN: None;

Hats & Capes in assorted sizes: ; Doll Size: (Booklet:D)
Notes: # pages plus # pattern sheets; Country: USA; Publisher: Creative Clay Cottage™; Booklet Dimensions(HxW): ; ISBN: None;

Men's Jackets: ; Doll Size: 14"-22" (Booklet:D)
Notes: # pages plus # pattern sheets; Country: USA; Publisher: Creative Clay Cottage™; Booklet Dimensions(HxW): ; ISBN: None;

Pantaloons & Slips: ; Doll Size: 12"-24" (Booklet:D)
Notes: # pages plus # pattern sheets; Country: USA; Publisher: Creative Clay Cottage™; Booklet Dimensions(HxW): ; ISBN: None;

Jackets & Hats: ; Doll Size: 12"-14",15"-16" (Booklet:D)
Notes: # pages plus # pattern sheets; Country: USA; Publisher: Creative Clay Cottage™; Booklet Dimensions(HxW): ; ISBN: None;

FAIRY TALE PATTERNS:

Mother Goose Dress: dress, slip & pantaloons, apron and hat; Doll Size: 18" - 20" (Booklet:D)
Notes: # pages plus # pattern sheets; Country: USA; Publisher: Creative Clay Cottage™; Booklet Dimensions(HxW): ; ISBN: None;

Red Riding Hood: cape, underclothing, basic dress and accesories; Doll Size: 10"-12" (Booklet:D)
Notes: # pages plus # pattern sheets; Country: USA; Publisher: Creative Clay Cottage™; Booklet Dimensions(HxW): ; ISBN: None;

Snow White: Dress, slip, pantaloons, and cape; Doll Size: 14"-16" (Booklet:D)
Notes: # pages plus # pattern sheets; Country: USA; Publisher: Creative Clay Cottage™; Booklet Dimensions(HxW): ; ISBN: None;

HISTORICAL PATTERNS:

1775 Colonial Lady: dress, underclothing, mob cap bonnet & kerchief, accesories; Doll Size: 18"-20" (Booklet:D)
Notes: # pages plus # pattern sheets; Country: USA; Publisher: Creative Clay Cottage™; Booklet Dimensions(HxW): ; ISBN: None;

1780 Colonial Man: breeches, shirt, waistcoat & jacket; Doll Size: 18"-20" (Booklet:D)
Notes: # pages plus # pattern sheets; Country: USA; Publisher: Creative Clay Cottage™; Booklet Dimensions(HxW): ; ISBN: None;

1850 Lady: Scarlet O'Hara: Dress, slip, pantaloons cape, & accesories sheet(fan, jewelry, parasol); Doll Size: 20"-22" (Booklet:D)
Notes: # pages plus # pattern sheets; Country: USA; Publisher: Creative Clay Cottage™; Booklet Dimensions(HxW): ; ISBN: None;

1870 Party Dress from Harper's Bazaar: skirt, slip, drawers, bustle, back slip and drawers, bastle back skirt, and accessories; Doll Size: 24"-26" (Booklet:D)
Notes: # pages plus # pattern sheets; Country: USA; Publisher: Creative Clay Cottage™; Booklet Dimensions(HxW): ; ISBN: None;

NATIONAL COSTUME PATTERNS:

Japanese Kimono: Kimono and undergarments; Doll Size: (Booklet:D)
Notes: # pages plus # pattern sheets; Country: USA; Publisher: Creative Clay Cottage™; Booklet Dimensions(HxW): ; ISBN: None;

ACCESORIES & MISCELLANEOUS PATTERNS:

Pincushion Dolls: also known as Half Dolls- includes instructions on how to connect arms, make a mohair wig; Doll Size: All Sizes (Booklet:D)
Notes: # pages plus # pattern sheets; Country: USA; Publisher: Creative Clay Cottage™; Booklet Dimensions(HxW): ; ISBN: None;

Accesories in assorted sizes: hats, canes, collars, vests, bras, and bustles; Doll Size: (Booklet:D)
Notes: # pages plus # pattern sheets; Country: USA; Publisher: Creative Clay Cottage™; Booklet Dimensions(HxW): ; ISBN: None;

Pattern Name: ; Doll Size: (Booklet:D)
Notes: # pages plus # pattern sheets; Country: USA; Publisher: Creative Clay Cottage™; Booklet Dimensions(HxW): ; ISBN: None;