My pieces are meant to make people smile. I like to make dolls because they are so close to human beings that viewers can feel quite touched by them.
I began dollmaking after receiving my degree as an illustrator in 1975. One of my teachers, a writer and illustrator of children’s books, made dolls for fun, for her children to play with. When she showed us those dolls, I was fascinated. Though my teacher was not a professional dollmaker, the dolls showed the same intriguing character as her drawings. They were simple dolls, with a strong expression. They are still my source of inspiration for keeping it simple, and the expression I want to achieve.
I consider my dolls three-dimensional illustrations of imaginary stories. I work in several materials, most of my pieces are sculpted directly in porcelain, but I like to use air-drying clay for props. When I make animals, I model them from papier-mâché around a base of styrofoam. After creating a doll in my head, I sometimes hate to make it because it already exists perfectly in my head—it could still be a masterpiece. I feel like the making is only a craft, not a creative process.
I became a member of NIADA in 1999. I find that NIADA gives me self-confidence and the opportunity to meet many interesting people. I travel extensively, exhibiting and teaching workshops; one particularly special event is my yearly Doll Holiday and Workshop Week in Paris, France.