My Art Doll Journey

In the last few weeks I've returned to a first love of mine...art dolls. I first began dabbling in mixed media creating art dolls in 2009. At that time I didn't draw or really paint. I used molds to make the faces and utilized fibers, twigs, and recycled materials to create their bodies . Frustrated with my inability to sculpt or draw faces, I gave up on this love of mine.

One of my first art dolls created in 2009... Inner Child Protection Doll

One of my first art dolls created in 2009... Inner Child Protection Doll

Fast forward 6 years later and I am once again creating these little lovelies that make my heart sing. I've often thought about what it is that draws me to doll making and dolls in general. There is a sense when I am creating a doll that I am bringing forward some aspect of myself. I think Jung said it best...

Dolls are “archetypes that connects the living to the past
by a bridge of emotions, innate mental tendencies, to explain
the inner and outer self.”
— Jung

Creating each doll is a meditative process and each one has her own story, her own purpose for having been created. I am excited to continue to learn new techniques and grow as an artist. I'd love to learn to sew and make hand-sewn dolls. Jointed dolls are high on my list as well. 

I had the privilege of taking an online workshop with Danielle Daniel called Painted Paper Dolls in October of 2014 and it gave me the courage to begin working with new mediums...papier-mâché and paper clay! Best. Class. Ever. I highly recommend it! Below is a doll I created for my mother-in-law for Christmas with techniques learned from her class.

Inspired by Danielle Daniel's class Painted Paper Dolls

Inspired by Danielle Daniel's class Painted Paper Dolls

 Inspired by working with papier-mâché, I hopped on Amazon and ordered some paper clay after hearing about it from a friend. Several messes later, I figured out the best way to create an armature for the type of doll I wanted to create and here they are! 

Paper clay art dolls. January 2015.

Paper clay art dolls. January 2015.

I will continue to practice and refine my technique but I am really pleased with how they've turned out. More importantly, I LOVE how it feels to create each one. I will be offering an online workshop to teach you how to create your own as soon as the new SWA studio space is ready! Woohoo! 

In the meantime...these little ones below are being added to the shop. If you feel like they call to you, don't hesitate to come by and check them out!