Meeting the Makers: Dedalos Art Dolls

Meeting the Makers, Dedalos Art DollsMy name is Patty, I’m 28 and I am a dollmaker from Italy. I live in Florence, where I graduated in Painting two years ago at the Academy of Fine Arts. Florence is an amazing place for the incredible quantity and quality of art masterpieces, not only in the famous museums but also displayed all over the city. Sculpture, architecture and painting are the soul of this unique place, where art and history are constantly in the air. I love this city, because it gave me the opportunity to develop my artistic skills and personality.

Meeting the Makers, Dedalos Art Dolls

My studio consists of a small but cute and bright room in my house. I work on a rough wooden desk, because I like the color and the warmth of this material. I have thousands of colors, crayons, brushes, artist’s paper of all the kinds all around, so when I feel the urge of creating something I feel I am ready to go in no time!

Meeting the Makers, Dedalos Art Dolls

Soon after graduating in Painting, which remains my first love, I decided to try to create some more “plastic” projects, so I started a small productions of figurines. That’s how I landed in doll making in the same period, falling in love with creating small characters. Little by little I developed a constant technique that is my dollmaking process.

Meeting the Makers, Dedalos Art Dolls

My dolls are created from air dry paper clay and acrylic painting, while the clothing is made from vintage fabric and the hair from lambs wool. I pay a lot of attention to the materials. I choose paper clay because I like its rough surface when dry, that allows the paint to grip perfectly. After modeling the body parts of the doll, I’ll let them dry and finish them with some small rasps and different kinds of sandpaper. I then paint all the parts with acrylic paint, from the surface to the tiny details. Once assembled the doll parts with a resistant elastic thread, I try different wigs ( I have basic wigs prepared by me previously for this purpose) to see which one is more harmonized with the doll’s face. Lambs wool is very soft and has many kinds of yarns that give me the possibility of many combination of colors and hairstyles.

Meeting the Makers, Dedalos Art Dolls

I end up customizing the one that seems more appropriate, but I wait to put it on the doll because I prefer to add it after creating the doll’s outfit. This is a part that I really love. Since I was I child I had a strong passion in sewing, and I also learnt the basics of crocheting and knitting. I let my imagination explode in this part of the doll making process, because I end up creating so many details in the dolls clothing and accessories that come to my mind while working. Plus, vintage fabric is always so fascinating for its unique patterns, colors and textures that often suggests interesting connections and atmospheres.

Meeting the Makers, Dedalos Art Dolls

When the doll is finished, I like to create a dedicated fabric covered box, where I include a handwritten paper certificate with the name of the doll. This is how the doll will be shipped to her new home.When I create my dolls I am inspired by characters from paintings, movies, tales and history. I usually don’t make detailed projects before creating a doll, I have some foggy ideas that give me the inspiration to start to create, visions and dreams that I  need to convey in something real. The results are often unexpected and can surprise me.

Meeting the Makers, Dedalos Art Dolls

At a certain point of the work, I feel like the dolls start to develop a more defined personality. When I paint the face and put the tiny wig, the character reveals to me, and the rest of the process comes easily and naturally after that. I received many messages from people asking me about how I create my dolls, so I decided to create a stop motion video to show more about this magic moment. This video has recently been featured on the Etsy Blog.

Where to find Dedalos

I sell my dolls in my online boutique  and I describe my work on my blog. I also manage a facebook page where I update my followers (about 1500 now) with new items and promotions.I’ve been featured on Babble.comPlumetis Magazine Blog, and recently in Contemporary Doll Collector Magazine.

I hope you enjoy my work!

Dedalos Art Dolls _ 10

4 comments

  1. April Heather Art says:

    I just love these!! They are so adorable!! What an absolutely charming video! (I love that the sandpaper was in the shape of a heart!) You’ve got a new fan here Patty-all the way in Pennsylvania! xo

  2. Patty – Your dolls are just adorable and so fun! The amount of detail you put into them is very apparent. Thanks so much for sharing your story! (I especially love seeing how to make the art dolls, because I’ve made a few myself…mine tend to be animals). Love your shop!

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