Dolls and Doll Artists


As a small girl, I spent my time roaming around my grandparent’s home which was full to the brim with old, beautiful things, including my grandma’s antique doll collection.  Many children, including most of my friends growing up, were terrified of the small, painted faces of the little doll-ladies.  I, on the other hand, loved the little painted details and the frilly, ornate dresses.  And, most of all, I loved the story each doll seemed to tell about where she’d been and where she was headed, all dressed up and ready to go.

I have a couple very sweet and very fancy little dolls from my grandma which I keep as heirlooms, but I figured that the art of handcrafting dolls was all but extinct in modern times.

ValeriaDalmon on Etsy creates incredibly intricate and modern dolls to capture the imagination of doll lovers of all ages. This art doll has interchangeable animal heads; one is a lion, the other a rabbit. Read about ValeriaDalmon and other doll artists on
Lion head art doll by ValeriaDalmon on Etsy.

Recently, on one of my Etsy rambles, I came across a gal, ValeriaDalmon, who makes dolls with the tiniest, most intricate details.

Lion and Rabbit Art Doll handcrafted by ValeriaDamon on Etsy.
Lion and Rabbit head art doll by ValeriaDalmon on Etsy.

They are not dolls meant for children, like many on Etsy.  They are meant for the grown person who still appreciates the secretive life a doll lives while the humans are away.  The art doll above can be commissioned with a removable lion or rabbit head, or both.  I love that the costume is a throw-back to the underclothes of antique dolls.  For a peek behind the scenes in Ms. Damon’s studio, visit her blog.

Lucia Friedericy is a doll artist who creates modern, intricate dolls in fairy tale themes. The costumes her dolls wear harken back to centuries past, but have a distinctive modern appeal.
Snow White by Lucia Friedericy of FriedericyDolls on Etsy.

Lucia Friedericy of FriedericyDolls on Etsy captures whimsical fairyland inhabitants and characters of the past with an unmistakably modern aesthetic, while still indulging her admirer’s taste for ornate costumes designed in rich, fairy tale-appropriate fabrics.  This particular Snow White doll is no longer available but you can check out her Etsy shop where you will find Shakespeare and the White Rabbit waiting to dazzle you.

LoraSolingHandmade captures the romance of past centuries in her modern art dolls. They make one long to dive into that Jane Austen novel again. You can find her shop on Etsy.
Miss Lynetta Quinsey Doll by LoraSolingHandmade on Etsy.

The third and final doll artist to make my list of Etsy favorites is Lora Soling from LoraSolingHandmade.  Ms. Soling states in her artist bio, “Surrounded by old advertising art and antique wooden chests, clocks that tick-tocked, windup toys and mechanical penny banks, the patina of age came to be normal and desirable to my eye.”  Having been raised around relics of the past, her love of the fine details common in antique dolls and other artifacts really shines through.  Each of her dolls is meticulously dressed, giving one the feeling that she has entered a time long ago, when dolls were made by skilled craftspeople and a tiny doll dress received just as much attention in creation as that of a grown woman.  For a look at more of her work, visit her artist website here.


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