Message regarding cancellation of 2020 NIADA School

Last week I received a message from Arrowmont School Director Jim Scarsella announcing that they are cancelling all classes through August 8. In discussion with the Board this week, we have decided to cancel our onsite conference and school for 2020. This decision was not made lightly as the conference committee has been working for almost 2 years to make this conference a success.
I’d like to thank NIADA President Cindee Moyer for her constant support as we tried to navigate through these difficult times. I would like to especially thank my co-chair Stephanie Blythe, School coordinator Gracie Coleman and website guru Chris Chomick. We all worked hard to bring you an exciting, fun-filled school and conference full of teachers and programs from all over the world and the US.
It is pretty disheartening to see it come to naught, but at least we can say we did not endanger anyone in the process and our decisions were all made with our students, teachers and guests in mind.
Finally, I’d like to thank all of you who, whether veteran attendees or newcomers, are so dedicated in supporting and attending our school and conference year after year. You are the reason we do this and I hope you will join me in looking forward to next year in Seattle.
Stay Safe,
Larry Blount
2020 Conference Co-ordinator

NIADA 2020 Conference & Dollmaking School at Arrowmont is cancelled due to the COVID-19 virus

Please note you do not have to request a Refund due to the cancellation of our 2020 NIADA Dollmaking School & Conference at Arrowmont. We will be refunding all deposits and registration monies via PayPal. This is a time consuming task.

If you have not received your refund in a reasonable amount of time please contact treasurer@niada.org

The NIADA Dollmaking School offers classes for anyone wishing to learn dollmaking techniques from NIADA Artists. Classes are taught for all skill levels in techniques such as sculpting, painting, fabric-figure making, textile design, armature design, costuming and more. Conference registration is not required to attend the Dollmaking School.

2020 Dollmaking School Dates

Monday, August 10th to Wednesday, August 12th

Class Location

Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
SCHOOL HAS BEEN CANCELLED

Dollmaking School Registration

When you have paid via PayPal you will be automatically sent back to this website to fill out the Conference, Critique and Dollmaking School Registration form.

Full-day classes run from 9:00am to 5:00pm with a break for lunch from Noon to 1:00pm. Evening classes run from 7:00pm to 10:00pm. The studios will be open until 10:00pm each night for students to continue work on their projects but the teachers are not required to be there in the evenings.

Some classes require payment of a fee for a kit providing materials necessary for participating in the class. All kit fees will be collected by the teachers on the first day of class.

Class Registrar: Stephanie Blythe
Dollmaking School Co-coordinator: Gracie Coleman

By registering online you agree to our terms and conditions.

Cancellation Policy
Frequently Asked Questions

Dollmaking School Schedule

TIME
TEACHER
#DAYS
CLASS TITLE
ROOM
9:00am–5:00pm Christine Shively-Benjamin Two Day
Hats On Hats Off Room TBA
9:00am–5:00pm Shelley Thornton
Two Day
Needle Sculpted Cloth Head
Room TBA
9:00am–5:00pm Marlaine Verhelst Two Day
All About The Head Room TBA
9:00am–5:00pm Kate Church Three Day Busted Room TBA
9:00am–5:00pm Eva Hodinková Three Day The Magic of Puppets Room TBA
1:00pm–5:00pm Lesley Keeble One+Half Day
Laughter Is The Best Medicine Room TBA

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TIME
TEACHER
#DAYS
CLASS TITLE
ROOM
9:00am–5:00pm Christine Shively-Benjamin Two Day
Hats On Hats Off Room TBA
9:00am–5:00pm Shelley Thornton
Two Day
Needle Sculpted Cloth Head Room TBA
9:00am–5:00pm Marlaine Verhelst Two Day
All About The Head Room TBA
9:00am–5:00pm Kate Church Three Day Busted Room TBA
9:00am–5:00pm Eva Hodinková Three Day The Magic of Puppets Room TBA
9:00am–5:00pm Lesley Keeble
One+Half Day
Laughter Is The Best Medicine Room TBA

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TIME
TEACHER
#DAYS
CLASS TITLE
ROOM
9:00am–5:00pm Leslie O’Leary
One Day
Art Happens At The Finish Line Room TBA
9:00am–5:00pm Anna Potapova One Day
How to Create a Realistic Dandelion
Room TBA
9:00am–5:00pm Donna May Robinson One Day
A Better Way With Bodies Room TBA
9:00am–5:00pm Shelley Thornton
One Day
Create Patterns for Clothes and 3D Forms Room TBA
9:00am–5:00pm Marlaine Verhelst One Day
Let’s Do Hands & Feet Room TBA
9:00am–5:00pm Kate Church Three Day Busted Room TBA
9:00am–5:00pm Eva Hodinková Three Day The Magic of Puppets Room TBA
7:00pm–10:00pm Marlaine Verhelst Half Day (eve)
Playing with Synthetic Organza Room TBA

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HALF-DAY CLASS

Playing with Synthetic Organza

With Marlaine Verhelst

Half Day Class (evening)
Wednesday, August 12th
– 7:00pm to 10:00pm

Description
Students will learn how to use synthetic organza to create decorations or clothes for your dolls.

Daily Class outline
3 hr class. Students will receive instruction as they play with chosen materials.

Class level
All – Beginner, Intermediate & Advanced

What will students take away?
Students will learn how to work with organza and the results of the project of their choice. Fun!
Teacher provides: All supplies – Organza in many colors, candles and incense sticks to melt the fabric.
Kit Fee: $5.00. Teacher will collect payment during class.
Students must bring: Sharp Fabric scissors.
Class Size: Minimum 4, Maximum 12.

CLASS FEE

ONE DAY CLASS

Art Happens At The Finish Line

With Leslie O’Leary

One Day Class
Wednesday, August 12th
– 9:00am to 5:00pm

Description
Join me, Leslie O’Leary, as I share with you my years of experience of understanding what makes your doll have an expert finish. We will discover inspirational textile choices and methods to get master finishes. I will bring many samples to enhance your learning experience.

Class level
All – Beginner, Intermediate & Advanced

What will students take away?
An understanding of finishing details and techniques that enhance and do not overwhelm your art.
Teacher provides: Worksheet hand-outs.
Kit Fee: $15.00. Teacher will collect payment during class.
Students must bring: Please bring your doll project to share in discussion and discovery in this workshop, and any fabrics or trims.
Class Size: Minimum 5, Maximum 15.

CLASS FEE

How to Create a Realistic Dandelion

With Anna Potapova

One Day Class
Wednesday, August 12th
– 9:00am to 5:00pm

Description
I will teach you how, with a little wool and silk, to create a dandelion very similar to natural, as a great accessory for your doll.

Class level
Beginner

What will students take away?
Students will take home a completed dandelion and knowledge, plus materials to make one on their own.
Teacher provides: All materials.
Kit Fee: No kit fee.
Students must bring: Scissors and a margin in patience.
Class Size: Minimum 6, Maximum 15.

CLASS FEE

A Better Way With Bodies

With Donna May Robinson

One Day Class
Wednesday, August 12th
– 9:00am to 5:00pm

Description
Donna May will share her experience in all aspects of pattern drafting and creating a better cloth doll body. Fabric types, essential measurements, proportions, pattern layout in relation to fabric, stuffing tips and inner structures will be covered. This is a lecture-only class with notebook provided to add notes and follow along.

Class level
Beginner & Intermediate

What will students take away?
Notebook with information and knowledge to create a better cloth body.
Teacher provides: Notebooks.
Kit Fee: No kit fee.
Students must bring: Pencil or pen.
Class Size: Minimum 3, Maximum 8.

CLASS FEE

How to Create Patterns for Doll Costumes and 3D Stuffed Cloth Forms

With Shelley Thornton

One Day Class
Wednesday, August 12th
– 9:00am to 5:00pm

Description
Shelley will demonstrate some easy methods for making clothing patterns for garments that will fit your dolls perfectly. She will also demonstrate useful, ingenious methods for making patterns for 3-D stuffed cloth objects and body parts. She will also share the theories and thought processes she uses to make the combinations of fabrics, colors, and patterns that set her work apart.

Class level
Beginner

What will students take away?
In-depth knowledge of Shelley’s techniques for making patterns for doll clothing as well as 3-D stuffed cloth objects and body parts, and a view inside Shelley’s mind as she explains how she creates her combinations of fabrics, colors and patterns.
Teacher provides: No supplies.
Kit Fee: No kit fee.
Students must bring: Notebook, pens and pencils – Camera or phone (if desired) to document information presented.
Class Size: Minimum 4, Maximum 15.

CLASS FEE

Let’s Do Hands & Feet

With Marlaine Verhelst

One Day Class
Wednesday, August 12th
– 9:00am to 5:00pm

Description
Easy step-by-step techniques for sculpting realistic hands and bare feet for a 2.8-inch head in air dry clay with lots of tips and tricks.

Class level
All – Beginner, Intermediate & Advanced

What will students take away?
Knowledge about hands and feet and a complete set of hands and feet.
Teacher provides: All materials, including prepared base forms for hand palms and feet in addition to sculpting tools.
Kit Fee: $10.00. Teacher will collect payment during class.
Students must bring: Bubble wrap to safely transport projects home.
Class Size: Minimum 4, Maximum 12.

CLASS FEE

ONE + HALF DAY CLASS

Laughter Is The Best Medicine

With Lesley Gail Keeble

One + Half Day Class
Monday, August 10th (afternoon)
– 1:00pm to 5:00pm
Tuesday, August 11th
– 9:00am to 5:00pm

Description
Expect to laugh out loud using your own imagination creating a family of stylized, paper clay character heads. Using the provided pre-sculpt face shell you will add proportional facial features. Next, we’ll make flexible push molds with non-toxic, Flexible Silicone Putty. Pulling the clay wet from the mold makes it easy to stretch the face, add clay or exaggerate facial features. This is the method I use to develop my signature style. Come ready to play!

Class level
Beginner & Intermediate

What will students take away?
Knowledge of basic facial anatomy Basic push mold knowledge/avoiding undercuts Options for neck shapes and breastplates Knowledge of attaching heads to cloth bodies or wire armatures Demo of cloth skin application, chalks, paints and final sprays Knowledge to build a cohesive body of heads Source list of tools, materials Heads to finish at home Booklet of photos and drawings of basic anatomical proportions, facial exaggerations, ethnic facial differences and directions for steps covered in class
Teacher provides: Two, paper clay 2.5-3-inch oval face blanks – ready to add clay features and sculpt immediately Printed booklet of directions, facial anatomy, differences in a variety of ethnic features, photos, drawings, list of tools and materials, resources and inspirations.
Kit Fee: $20.00. Teacher will collect payment during class.
Students must bring: See list below

Click here for supply list

• 1 package of Premier Brand Activa paper clay in the red wrapper. This clay only – no substitutes. (Available on Amazon or Dick Blick).
• 1 Silicone Kit from Townsend Atelier in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Order online well before class. Purchase the sample pack or smallest size. Bring this product only as I cannot guarantee results from other brands. This is the best quality product and is priced fairly.
• 2 zip-lock bags for clay • Apron and portable light if needed
• 2 small plastic water containers with lids
• 3/16-inch wooden dowels cut in 5-6-inch lengths. About 4 pieces
• 1-inch Round Styrofoam balls (Michael’s)
• Basic clay tools like clay shapers or Kemper tools. I will send photos upon registration. You need just a few. DO NOT spend a lot of money on tools.
• Flat head synthetic brushes ¼ & ½ inches to smooth clay
• Round tip brushes – sizes small & medium with soft bristles to push clay around
• X-acto knife • Small pencil sharpener, sketch book for notes, pencil, pen
• Swatch of fine cotton knit to cover head (time permitting)
• Small bottle Aleene’s Tacky glue
• 1 or 2 small wood blocks or small commercial bases with 3/16 drilled hole
• Round scriber or other pointy tool to define facial features once dry
• Sharp scriber or similar tool for eye definition
• Old rag/washcloth to clean hands
• Fingernail sanding sponges from rough to fine
• Several sheets of freezer paper – 12×12 or larger
• Masking tape or scotch tape  

Class Size: Minimum 5, Maximum 10.

CLASS FEE
Conference Registrant
$187.50

Non-Conference Registrant
$217.50

TWO DAY CLASS

Hats On Hats Off

With Christine Shively-Benjamin

Two Day Class
Monday, August 10th
– 9:00am to 5:00pm
Tuesday, August 11th
– 9:00am to 5:00pm

Description
Make a small work of art for your doll. This hat class will employ reclaimed materials like file folders that work along side wool felt, trims, wire and metallic Momi paper.

The student will construct a tailor made, individual, whimsical hat that incorporates the principles of color composition, and arrangement of geometric patterns with organic and three-dimensional items. Animal, botanical and random shapes will add that touch of personality to the finished hat.

Class level
Intermediate

What will students take away?
Each student will design their own hat with wool felt, file folders and Momi paper using Christine’s methods of construction that blend a certain level of planning with extemporaneous bursts of inspiration. Learning to use color, shape, simple manipulation techniques and constructing hand stitched embellishments will add to the bag of tricks the student can use when creating little works of art for their dolls.
Teacher provides: Paper patterns, some written instructions and color pictures of design choices. Assorted wool felt colors, floral wire, file folders, Momi paper, small patterns for animal and floral choices, assorted colors of embroidery floss, metallic floss, stuffing tools, etc.
Kit Fee: $15.00. Teacher will collect payment during class.
Students must bring: Paper and fabric scissors • Handfuls of assorted beads & findings • Aileen’s Tacky Glue • Seed beads • Small amount of Polyfil • Small wire cutters and needle nose pliers.
Class Size: Minimum 3, Maximum 12.

CLASS FEE

Needle Sculpted Cloth Head Covered with Fabric “Skin”

With Shelley Thornton

Two Day Class
Monday, August 10th
– 9:00am to 5:00pm
Tuesday, August 11th
– 9:00am to 5:00pm

Description
You will make a head, learning the techniques Shelley has developed for her own work: constructing a stuffed, seamed cloth understructure, refining the shape with needlesculpting, then covering it with a knit fabric “skin.” Techniques for face embroidery, quilted-ear application, and ball joints for cloth dolls will also be demonstrated.

Class level
Beginner. Students should have basic hand and machine sewing skills.

What will students take away?
In-depth knowledge and practice of process and skills used in making a fabric covered, needle sculpted head, the instruction booklet to refer to at home, and their own practice head to complete and/or make into a complete doll at home.
Teacher provides: Printed pattern and instruction booklets, two fabrics needed, and threads and floss to share.
Kit Fee: $12.00. Teacher will collect payment during class.
Students must bring: See list below

Click here for supply list

• Scissors (for paper and fabric) • Fabric eraser • Brown colored pencil (the good, art kind like PRISMACOLOR) must be soft enough to mark on cloth • Pencil sharpener • Stuffing (I use wool batting, polyester is fine—the kind that can be packed hard, do NOT use cotton) My heads are large and stuffed firmly so bring more than you think you’ll need. • Stuffing tool (I use the one marketed by Barbara Willis)
• Pin vise (not absolutely essential, but a VERY useful tool for all stuffed cloth work…look for it at hobby stores or industrial tool supply stores. It must be one that screws down to zero, so that it can tightly hold a needle.) This works like a handle to hold a needle, so you can use the needle to pull and rearrange the stuffing after it is packed hard. A thicker needle is used (like for ribbon embroidery), and I cut off the eye end with wire cutters before inserting it into the vise. If you can’t find a vise, I’ll show you how to improvise a way to hold your sculpting needle.
Thread: regular sewing thread and button/craft heavier thread, both in similar color to your skin fabric (fabric in kit will be a light peach color unless you request otherwise), and nylon upholstery thread (in off-white) plus button/craft thread of brown or dark red. I will bring extra thread to share if you don’t have access to these.
Needles: regular sewing needles (one at least 2” long); one five-inch dollmaking needle; one thicker sharp (not darning) regular-length needle (I use a ribbon embroidery needle…get the thickest one you find) for pin vise; curved needle (like for quilting) is useful too • Round ball-headed, ball point pins • Paper • Pencil • Hemostats (for turning fabric constructions inside out) not necessary, but bring if you have them. Some people like to use them to stuff also. • Thimble • Sewing machine (You can bring yours IF YOU ARE LOCAL or driving. If not, there will be machines there for you to use. There is not very much machine sewing, so people can share).
 

Please let me know if you will be able to bring a machine: artist@shelleythornton.com
Class Size: Minimum 4, Maximum 15.

CLASS FEE

All About The Head

With Marlaine Verhelst

Two Day Class
Monday, August 10th
– 9:00am to 5:00pm
Tuesday, August 11th
– 9:00am to 5:00pm

Description
Students will sculpt a whimsical doll head in air dry clay, paint the head and decorate it with a hat.

Daily Class outline
Day 1: Sculpt A Doll Head
Day 2: Paint the head and play with hair and hats

Class level
All – Beginner, Intermediate & Advanced

What will students take away?
Students will gain knowledge of working with air dry clay, sculpting a face, painting with water colors. And a lot of fun!
Teacher provides: One clay covered Styrofoam eggs for the head, clay to finish, paint, varnish, all tools needed, plus a choice of materials for hair and hats.
Kit Fee: $10.00. Teacher will collect payment during class.
Students must bring: Box or bubble wrap to transport finished heads.
Class Size: Minimum 6, Maximum 12.

CLASS FEE

THREE DAY CLASS

Busted

With Kate Church

Three Day Class
Monday, August 10th
– 9:00am to 5:00pm
Tuesday, August 11th
– 9:00am to 5:00pm
Wednesday, August 12th
– 9:00am to 5:00pm

Description
This three-day class will be making a 6” bust out of polymer clay and mixed media materials. Students will learn how to work with polymer clay on a larger scale and techniques for adding colourants on the surface to create an interesting, alive patina. The bust is the form we will be using and students will learn some interesting skills of working with wire and cloth to create the form for their pieces.

Class level
All – Beginner, Intermediate & Advanced

What will students take away?
The bust: approx. 6-inches tall. Skills taught will be working in polymer clay on a larger scale and ideas for colouring and surfacing the clay. Mixed media process for the shoulders will incorporate wire, cloth and paint. The class will be a combination of directly useful technical skills and the art of playfulness to make their pieces unique and personal.
Teacher provides: All basic materials.
Kit Fee: $30.00. Teacher will collect payment during class.
Students must bring: Pasta machine (please advise if this is possible) • Alcohol wipes to clean machines and hands • Any kind of super glue
Fabric glue: a good tacky fabric glue for attaching fibre (cloth and/or hair) • Knitting needles to use for sculpting: small double pointed around 4mm • Scissors (traveling ones if you’re flying with carry-on luggage)
Hair stuff: feathers, roving, string, yarn, raffia, etc. • Fabric scraps or treasures for details or decorating
Class Size: Minimum 8, Maximum 12.

CLASS FEE

The Magic of Puppets

With Eva Hodinková

Three Day Class
Monday, August 10th
– 9:00am to 5:00pm
Tuesday, August 11th
– 9:00am to 5:00pm
Wednesday, August 12th
– 9:00am to 5:00pm

Description
In this course students will learn how to carve and assemble a fantasy puppet — how to give life to wood. You will learn why a puppet is a magical object and types of puppets, in addition to joints. I will also show you how to create a technical drawing of a puppet.

Class level
Beginner

What will students take away?
Students will learn how to safely use carving tools, carving techniques, how to connect puppet parts and how to finish and paint the wood. Students will also learn techniques of model preparation and how to copy the model into wood.
Teacher provides: Wooden parts for puppets and will lend carving tools (chisel & knife) for use while in class.
Kit Fee: $20.00. Teacher will collect payment during class.
Students must bring: A wooden board: 11 inches wide, 13 inches tall, 1-inch thickness (for body protection)
– Modeling clay for the head
– Acrylic paint and a paintbrush to finish wood
– Pencil
– Woodcarvers protective gloves
– Please inform instructor evahodinkova@gmail.com in advance if bringing your own chisel and knife.
Class Size: Minimum 7, Maximum 12.

CLASS FEE

Location

Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts
556 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738
All are welcome!

NIADA Membership or Conference registration is not required to attend the Dollmaking School.