Musings from the Moonroom

Thoughts on Art, Inspiration, Creativity and Spirit


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Book Review: 500 Handmade Dolls

I recently received the newest book in Lark Books 500 series: 500 Handmade Dolls: Modern Explorations of the Human Form

The book starts with an introduction by Akira Blount, who provides a brief history on the evolution of dolls as an art form.

The book is then divided into five sections: Non-Traditional Dolls, Fantasy Dolls, Found Objects, Assemblages, and Toys, Traditional Dolls, and Cloth Dolls.  The featured artists come from all over the world.

Non-Traditonal Dolls is the largest section and features artists such as Laura Balombini, Debra Dembowski, Lesley-Anne Green, Akira Blount, Dima, Reina Mia Brill, and Mona Adisa Brooks.

Fantasy focuses on art dolls that are projected into the future, fairies, nymphs, and those beings that appear in our imagination.  Featured artists here include Nuala Creed, Tine Kamerbeek, Kim H. Goldfarb, Marilyn K. Radzat, and Tatiana Baeva.

Found Objects, Assemblages, and Toys features art dolls created with an assortment of non-traditional materials.  These are not your mother’s or grandmother’s dolls.  Artist work featured in this section includes Linda and Opie O’Brien, Pamela Hastings, Chomick+Meder and Melody Ellis.

The Traditional art doll section features more stunning dolls that are reminescent of those dolls we remember seeing (and not being allowed to touch) when we were kids.  Several depict dolls in different cultures such as those by artists Kyoko Nakanishi, Sylvia Natterer, Vladimir Gvozdev, Dan Fletcher, Mary Ellen Frank, and Bets van Boxel.

Cloth art dolls, the final section, features dolls created entirely (or almost entirely) from cloth from head to toe.  Artists in this section include Amanda Gary, Georgette Benisty, Dee Dee Triplett, and Mar Gorman.

500 Handmade Dolls is a wonderful and inspiring book!  A definite must have for anyone who makes art dolls or collects art dolls.