Like many dollmakers, I made dolls as a child. And like many dollmakers I was drawn away from the art for a while. During this time I did many other things, including earning my degree in art from the University of Wisconsin. Eventually I returned to dolls. Now I have been making dolls for more than 20 years. I also teach dollmaking, and I love that. I love to see fledgling dollmakers discover their own power of creation.
My dolls are all made entirely of cloth and the faces are painted. The dolls are sewn and stuffed in the same way most cloth dolls are. Then I paint them using traditional portrait techniques to create the illusion of facial features and hair. I dress them in antique and vintage materials.
I am fascinated by historic cloth dolls, particularly the Mother-made variety, which are often made with as much passion as skill. I find them to be very compelling. In my own dolls, I am always striving to perfect the blend of the flat illusion of face and the three-dimensional form of the doll. I like them being mobile in the way that play dolls are mobile. I think this mobility engages the viewer, and invites interaction on a level not offered by sculpture. I created a finely detailed printed cloth doll for the UFDC 2015 convention souvenir, which was probably my biggest dollmaking challenge, both technically and logistically.