Today's member spotlight is Kay Warner.
What kind of Art Dolls do you create?
I make textile figures, art dolls and also collectible dolls that are suitable for children.
What is your primary medium?Cloth, with embroidery and embellishment.
How long have you been a doll maker?About five years.
How did you get your start in doll making?Making dolls for my grandchildren.
Where did you learn to make dolls?I bought two books: The Book of Doll Making by Alicia Merrett and The Dolls Dressmaker by Venus Dodge. I read both books from cover to cover, tried out some of the techniques and then set to and designed and made twin dolls for my grandaughter. Then I bought Creative Cloth Doll Making by Patti Medaris Culea, adding more techniques and making quite a different type of doll. Things have just sort of escalated since then.
Share a little about your first doll.These were my first proper cloth dolls:
What are your favorite materials to create with?I like to create a base fabric by needlefelting fabric scraps and wool fibres by machine, then embellishing it with hand embroidery. I like the way I can change the appearance of a piece of fabric with just a few simple stitches.
What does your work area look like?
Do you have any doll artists that inspire you?Everybody inspires me!
What food, drink, song inspires you?A glass or two of wine always helps!
What memorable responses have you had to your work?When I explained to a customer that the more heavily embroidered and embellished dolls were more expensive because of the hours of work that had gone into them she replied “and you expect us to pay for that?”!
What research do you do before you create?Mostly, from an initial vague idea the dolls emerge as I make them. However, recently a customer asked if I would make a particular doll. A representation of the Pagan/Celtic Goddess Brigid. I did lots of research and reading for that and came up with this:
What are you currently working on?One or two things.
I'm trying to improve the clothing for the “dress-up” dolls I make. It needs to be easy enough for small fingers to cope with and much less bulky. Because I designed the pattern with a doll/teddy shape, it is quite difficult to fit the clothes.
Enjoying the commission for a Goddess Brigid doll has set me off on a series of, possibly, both Brigids and other goddesses, so there will be lots more reading and researching going on!