Myself, My Story, My Studio

My desk and inspiration journal

Etsy recently launched a new page for sellers who use their site, inviting artists to tell the story behind what they make. This made me super excited, and I immediately started snapping photos and journaling about why I feel compelled to create art dolls. Creating the new page for my Etsy shop inspired me to share those photos and my story here too:

textile art doll in creams and peaches by the free folk
Sonnet, one of my cloth art dolls

The Free Folk: One of a kind art dolls inspired by literature.

I never really grew out of playing with dolls. When I discovered art dolls, I soon realized that this was the perfect outlet for my creativity. Making dolls combines my love for sewing and painting with the joy of creating new characters, each with their own life and story. I started out by creating art dolls based on my favorite fairy tales, but soon expanded to creating dolls inspired by all of my favorite stories – of which there are many!

cloth art doll in victorian clothing holding a bird's nest
All of my cloth dolls and their clothing are handstitched from my own patterns

Doll making is one of the oldest art forms, first used by early tribes to accompany their story-telling rituals. By making dolls based upon the classic stories of my own time, I feel a connection to this long tradition.

a work in progress photo of sculpting paperclay art doll heads
Sculpting Paperclay dolls

Each of my art dolls is one of a kind and entirely hand sculpted and stitched from my own pattern, painted with oil or watercolors, and brought to life with tiny hand-stitched outfits and carefully crafted accessories. Whenever possible, I love incorporating old and found objects such as antique buttons, keys, trimmings, and doll shoes into my work. There’s a certain magic in old things with a history and story, and I feel that this history contributes to the stories that make my art dolls unique.

a miniature art doll's pocket watch that is handmade from watch parts
A tiny handmade doll’s pocket watch

You can view the full page on my Etsy site.

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