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Dawn Donofrio

 Interview by

MacPherson Arts & Crafts

1. Where are you from and where do you live now?
I am currently living in Brick, NJ, next to my home town of Point Pleasant, NJ

2. Have you always been interested in dolls?
I've always been drawn to faces, so sculpting dolls is just a natural progression. I enjoy that dolls are interactive art that makes people happy and can have a therapeutic effect on them.

3. When did you first become interested in sculpting?
In 2005, when I first learned that people liked collecting little baby figurines, and it was art i could make and sell while home raising my young family.

4. How did you first encounter reborn dolls?
My childhood friend, LTR, introduced me to them. I was blown away at the realism.

5. Have you sculpted dolls from the time you started sculpting, or did you start off with something else?
Yes, I've only sculpted people/babies....and a couple bjds

6. How long have you been sculpting?
Intermittently, Since 2005

7. What medium do you use to sculpt your babies with?
I prefer super sculpey. Prosculpt, if it is a piece to be sold as a ooak.

8. What inspires & motivates you to sculpt?
An artist must create! I love seeing a new idea born. I am inspired by other artists, mostly, and it makes me happy to be able to offer something I created from scratch. That's a great feeling.

9. Do you sculpt full time & do you have other hobbies?
I sculpt as much as I can but not constantly. I need breaks. I decorate, paint, and like to try new little art projects like jewelry making, etc

10. Do you only sculpt for kit production or do you do custom ~ portrait orders too?
I have only sculpted for production in various mediums. Portraits are so much pressure! And with the time it takes to sculpt a doll, it's not cost effective to sell just one.

11. When did your first kit come out and what was the baby's name?
My first kit was named Tru, and it was somewhere around .... 2008? Maybe

12. How many kits have you produced to date?
10, I think ?

Tru
Toby
Tiny Sleeper
Trinity
Andie
Fiona
Jasmine
Indigo
Weston
Brinley

13. Do you have a list of names of all of your kits you have produced as we would love to have an archive directory for your sculpts?
See above. I'm not sure of dates for the early kits

14. Which baby of yours has been your all time favorite and why?
I'm loving my new Brinley big baby. She's such a happy girl! My life took a sideways turn for a bit, and I feel like the clouds are finally starting to clear. Happy Brinley represents a new opportunity, a new outlook and better days ahead.
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15. Do you plan to continue sculpting babies for kits?
Yes, for as long as people are interested in my dolls, depending on the market and overall production costs.

16. How do you feel about the reborn doll industry? What excites you and what upsets you?
Its great to see so many reborn artists building their skillsets over time. I am blown away at the realism they are able to achieve! I also see many new reborn artists and collectors, which is promising.
What's upsetting is the recent shortage of some supplies, production delays and rising costs..along with scam artists, stealing photos, copying kits, and trying to dupe unsuspecting (and new) collectors with nonexistent or unauthorized copies of dolls. It's happening far too much. New collectors see dream dolls at an unbelievable price, and end up getting scammed. They are not aware how much time, effort, skill and quality supplies go into creating a professional looking doll. We need to educate them and create a more welcoming doll community.

17. How do you feel about the progression of the art of reborning over the past 10 years?
I have been on a dollmaking hiatus until recently, but I've been in awe of how far many of the reborn artists have come. I've been watching from the sidelines! I like that we have more options now, like full body babies, or ones with ball jointed heads in some cases. I also am really loving the silicones, and pushing myself to learn as much as I can about that medium. I love watching online tutorials and trying new painting techniques!

18. Do you think that this industry has a long term future or do you think its just a fad that will blow over?
I hope we can keep this art alive! People will always collect dolls. The challenge will be whether artists can keep making a living with their dolls if so much counterfeiting continues to happen. Many sculptors are getting discouraged from creating, and some have stopped. We appreciate all of you who buy authentic from us, or from our trusted dealers like MacPherson! Without you, we couldn't continue. Thank you for helping me do what i love!

19.What are your plans and hopes for the future?
I'm planning some new kits, new silicones, and maybe even a different kind of doll than I've done. Let's see how that goes! I've also always wanted to offer some kind of children's doll that is safe and appropriate for kids.

20. Do you have something new in the works?
I have a few heads that may become kits later in the year, and am starting a sculpt for a new FBS for 2022. I'm toying with a few new projects right now. Any requests? Hoping for the best for everyone in 2022 and beyond xo ~D

 

Results 1 - 3 of 3

Weston by Dawn Donofrio

Weston by Dawn Donofrio
Unfinished Reborn Doll Kit
22" with Full Limbs

$119.99
View Details
My Wishlist

Indigo by Dawn Donofrio

Indigo by Dawn Donofrio
21" UNFINISHED Doll Kit w Full Limbs

$119.99
View Details
My Wishlist

Brinley by Dawn Donofrio

Brinley by Dawn Donofrio
Reborn Doll Kit
24" doll Kit w Full Limbs

$129.99
View Details
My Wishlist
Results 1 - 3 of 3

 

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