The seeds of creativity were planted in my childhood under the patient tutelage of my mother, who imparted her love of sewing and hand crafts to me. Upon leaving school I completed a three-year Fashion Design Course and trained and worked as a costume designer for fashion and theatre, creating masquerade and fancy dress costumes. During the late 1980s I started making reproductions of antique porcelain dolls. It didn’t take long before I felt constrained by the rigid style, and moved on to sculpting original dolls. Porcelain has always been my medium of choice, thanks to its perfectly smooth surface for sculpting and painting. While it’s unforgiving to work with and a little tricky to perfect, the reward is its translucence and longevity.
Working from photos and life models, I translate my observations of the human body into realistic clay figures. I start with a block of porcelain clay. When the clay sculpture is completed I use casting plaster to make multiple-piece slip-cast molds, which enables me to produce a small edition of each sculpt. Taking something from a thought and conjuring up an image of what I want to create involves costuming, shoe-making, wigging, making jewellery and even the chair—everything bespoke so it can truly be called an artist doll. With a good working knowledge of all facets of the doll industry, I produce limited-edition dolls, design accessories for the hobby-doll market, lecture and teach hands- on workshops and online classes.