Art of the Dollmaker

A couple of weeks ago my sewing group came over to work on our latest project. Unfortunately one of the gals couldn’t make it so we decided not to go ahead without her. We couldn’t come up with a simple project to do in a short amount of time so we decided to watch the Art of the Dollmaker documentary film instead. If you haven’t seen this you should. It is an extremely heartfelt look at why we make these little creatures.

The Art of the Dollmaker


The video begins with Dru Esslinger talking about how she started making dolls after her daughter died of cancer, then moves on to other dollmakers. They talk to a lot of the ladies in her club about why they took up this art form and what it does for them. It’s quite a personal look at the processes they go through when creating their art. One of the most outstanding parts is the interview with Lisa Lichtenfels, not only does she talk about her creations but you get to see her studio and works in progress. It’s amazing to see how she creates her figures. This isn’t a how-to video though.
We recently had Christine Shively up here to teach a class – she was interviewed in this film and it was fun to see how different she looks now than when this film was made in 1999. I had forgotten that she was on it so it was a neat surprise.
What was also fun was to watch the gallery at the end of the movie and see which designer’s works you can recognize. Some of them are easy to figure out.
I have to say that I cried the first time I watched this – it really touched my heart.
I was surprised to find that my local library had this DVD in their collection so check with your library if you want to see it. If they don’t have it maybe you can borrow it from another library. I wanted to own it so I ended up buying it. If you get your hands on this and you belong to a club maybe you can all watch it together – it’s really, really worth seeing!

One Response to Art of the Dollmaker

  1. Dominik says:

    Hi,
    a student stop motion production in australia URGENTLY requires a modelmaker who is able to build two puppets for us, one is 20 cm bigh the other one 30 cm. the puppets should be made out of foam latex and have a wire skeletton. your location does not matter , express shipment will be paid extra. The puppets will be needed within 5 weeks

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