Next to my passion for writing is the love I have for creating dolls and teddy bears.
When I made porcelain dolls during the early 1980’s and into the early 90’s, not much oven baked clay existed – if it did, it wasn’t popular for doll making. Back then, character dolls were sculpted by doll artists out of natural clay; a mold was made; porcelain slip was poured into the mold and once dry, green ware was born. After cleaning and sanding the green ware (doll parts), they were fired and then painted with china paints and processed through several more firings (a doll maker either had to own a kiln or pay for the firings.) The porcelain dolls were then assembled and dressed. Antique reproduction dolls were extremely popular items to make and sell, as modern dolls were too.
I had stepped away from doll making for several years, making only a few every now and then. When I attended my first teddy bear show and sale, I fell in love with teddy bear artistry. Nothing would do but to take several bear making classes and try my hand at creating teddy bears. The first time I cut into a small piece of (expensive) mohair, my hands were trembling. You just didn’t buy extra yardage of mohair, so everything was a one time shot. Over several years, I made several bears and eventually called myself a teddy bear artist. I even published the Canadian Teddy Bear News magazine. I was deeply involved in the teddy bear artistry world from about 1999 through to 2006.
Today: Sculptured Art Dolls and Teddy Bears
Stepping back into the doll world over the last five years or so, I am surprised to see so many are sculpting their own dolls from oven-baked and paper clay. With the advent of Pinterest (am I aging myself??) so many creative processes can be shared, which I am sure has caused the doll sculpting industry to flourish. You can do the work out of your own home and not have to depend on a doll studio for classes, firings, and purchasing green ware. Also, tutorials are everywhere on the internet to learn doll making.
Now, I sculpt art dolls and bear faces out of various mediums. I also create my own patterns, sew (or needle felt) teddy bears. Please visit my Gallery for a sample of some of my work. Let me know what you think of my treasures.