By Aliki Kraterou
This artist creates unbelievable lookalike crochet dolls using nothing more than yarn – so special needs children never feel alone.
Mum-of-six Nathalie Amiel, from Israel, somehow captures every person’s specific characteristics and spirit and is able to include it in her dolls.
Her work has travelled across the world bringing joy to children and adults with special needs, who end up with a doll that looks just like them.
One little girl received an adorable doll with a breathing mask just like hers while another tot had a tracheotomy doll that resembled her exactly.
Nathalie, who is mum to David 21, Rachel 20, Mat ,18, Orya 14, Aderet, 10 and Aviya, five, said it all started when her youngest son was fed up of her knitted gifts so he showed her how to use social media.
She said: “I had no clue and no idea what to do so my son showed me how to post pictures so people would start seeing the things I make.
“He actually said that if I made him one more sweater he would through it away!”
Each doll takes at least 12 hours, many kilometres of yarn and thousands of loving stitches to create.
Of course some of them need something extra which could be anything – as one of Nathalie’s dolls with a breathing device, is made out of a plastic bottle and the lid of toothpaste.
Nathalie said: “I do like creating the dolls for children with special needs more than everything because I know how much it will mean to those children to have a doll that looks just like them.
“My family is very supportive-even though they are all totally fed up of my dolls, yarns and all the fluff that’s all over the house all the time.
“That’s why I have a nice studio at home where I keep everything I can get my hands on and use all kinds of materials to create the dolls.
“With each doll I want to ensure an heirloom quality product that can be cherished for years and generations to come.
“I feel so grateful for the wonderful opportunity I have to reach out and share my precious creations with the world.
“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been moved to tears.”