Musings from the Moonroom

Thoughts on Art, Inspiration, Creativity and Spirit

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.

9 thoughts on “Book Review: 500 Handmade Dolls

  1. I’ve been dying to get that book. I was hoping to find it in a local bookstore, but I think I’ll have to go ahead and order it from Amazon now.

  2. I’ve just put that on my amazon wishlist based on your review, Amy. It sounds like a fantastic book for an artist’s library!

  3. It is a great book. Unfortunately, I was unable to find it at my local bookstores and decided to order it through Amazon. It was published in early November. I’m sure the local bookstores will eventually carry it but Amazon is able to bring it to you sooner.


  4. Received my copy yesterday. The book 500 Handmade Dolls is beautiful. The pictures are high quality. I saw several old friends in the book and discovered artists I never heard of. The book gave me several ‘wows’. Unfortunately I saw the shipping costs to Europe (I live in The Netherlands) are quite high. I would like to order some for my students. Have to figure out what would be the best way. Any ideas?
    Marlaine Verhelst

  5. 500 Dolls is definitely an inspiring book Marlaine. Perhaps one of the Amazon international links (UK, Germany) would be beneficial in securing lower shipping costs.


  6. I finally found the work of Dima, actually Дима ПЖ.

    It’s a very interesting and original work. Unfortunately, as many others Russian doll artists, it’s impossible to know anything about because all is written in Russian…

    Please, visit the site
    and try some “blind” research.


  7. Thanks for the link Eveline; I’ll check it out.


  8. Oh, I love Kyoko Nakanishi’s work…

  9. I never saw the book till suddenly today the title.

    A little information for who don’t knows:
    My dolls and figures are worldwide known for the expression of ‘inner human beauty’ (how was described my work in an article).


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