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Member Spotlight: Jordan Taylor

Welcome to Art Dolls Only's Member SPOTLIGHT! ADO shares an article focusing on it's members on the 5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th and 30th of each month! (February's 30th installment will share on the 28th)

Today's member spotlight is Jordan Taylor of The Free Folk.  Jordan is a student studying creative writing, and a librarian.  She has always loved books and writing, but her other life-long love is art.  Creating art dolls combines both loves.

§          What kind of Art Dolls do you create? What is your primary medium?
All of my art dolls and their clothing are hand-stitched, and some have limbs jointed with buttons. I have a few patterns I work from, but usually modify them for every doll I create. I like experimenting with different ways to color my dolls’ bodies and faces. Most often I use watercolors and artist’s pencils, but I have recently been trying 
painting my dolls’ entire bodies with oil paint, and then carefully sanding them down smooth when they are dry.

           How long have you been a doll maker? How did you get your start in doll making?
I have been a doll maker for most of my life, but have only been selling my dolls for about five years. My mom taught me how to sew when I was still very young, and I used to sew tiny delicate dresses for my favorite dolls. When I was older, I started creating sock dolls with yarn hair and simple faces. It wasn’t until my grandfather 
gave me a small soft sculpture elf art doll that I started researching cloth art dolls and decided to make my own.
H    How has your practice change over time?
My first art dolls were all elves and fairies – I’m a fantasy nerd! They had simpler bodies than the dolls I create now, and were usually sewn into one static position. Now I create a much wider array of characters, and I enjoy creating dolls that are jointed or posable.
            Do you have a favorite doll that you have made?
My favorite doll that I’ve made is probably still Madapple. He is a rather sweet Victorian Steampunk vampire who has an owl familiar named Luna. He now lives with a very special family in Ireland!
            What are your favorite materials to create with?
I love creating with antique or vintage materials – linen from my grandmother’s sewing cabinet, antique buttons, rusty skeleton keys… They have their own stories and history, which is what I’m striving to capture in my dolls’ characters.
            Where does your inspiration come from?
Most of my inspiration comes from my favorite stories. The tag-line I use for my work is “art dolls inspired by a love for literature”. Even when I’m not creating well-known characters like Jane Eyre or Alice in Wonderland, my love of reading still finds a way to sneak in, like in my doll built around the theme of Shakespeare’s love sonnets.
           What does your work area look like? 

Most often I work at the wooden desk which has been passed down through my mom’s family. It has many layers of paint, but most recently I painted it a light blue color that I really love. When I have to spread out further, I work on my bedroom floor!
b          What research do you do before you create?
Researching a new character I want to create is sometimes the most fun part of the entire process for me. If I’m planning a character from a book, I reread the book and research other artists’ representations of the character before starting my own sketches. During my Alice in Wonderland project last summer, I read “Alice” three times, and found just about every artist who ever illustrated the book! Even though my dolls don’t look much like any of the artists’ illustrations, I can still look at them and see certain elements that were influenced by different people. If I’m creating a historical character, I also research the time period, especially fashion from the time. I’m that person who gets really excited about the stitching on clothing in historical museums!
             What are you currently working on? 

Right now I’m working on four “Green Angels”, small dolls using natural elements and tea staining. They’re going to have jointed limbs made from sticks, something that I have never tried before.
           Where can our fans find you on line? 
My shop on Etsy:
My Facebook fan page:
My Flickr photostream:

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