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Sylvia Manning

Interview by

MacPherson Arts & Crafts


1. Where are you from and where do you live now?
I'm originally from South Africa but now live in The United Kingdom and have done so for 17 years

2. Have you always been interested in dolls?
Yes I have always loved dolls. From Kewpie , Pierrot clowns, baby dolls etc

3. When did you first become interested in sculpting?
I have always been creative. I used to paint in oils and I have also sculpted in various mediums. I used to love doing "soft sculptures" (Creating large art forms out of canvas, then painting them in oils)

4. How did you first encounter reborn dolls?
I was looking for items for my first Grand baby online and came across reborns and I knew straight away that I would love creating them.

5. Have you sculpted dolls from the time you started sculpting, or did you start off with something else?
Yes I have always sculpted babies, even while I was reborning.

6. How long have you been sculpting?
As I have explained ,I have always sculpted in some way, but only started sculpting newborns about ten years ago.

7. What medium do you use to sculpt your babies with?
I use Sculpey and Monster clay.

8. What inspires & motivates you to sculpt?
Definitely my grand babies and newborn photography

9. Do you sculpt full time & do you have other hobbies?
I sculpt and make my silicone babies full time. However, I do a fair amount of sewing ,knitting, crochet and creating toys for my grand children.

10. Do you only sculpt for kit production or do you do custom ~ portrait orders too?
I don't take any custom orders, I find the process too stressful. I love to create babies without the pressure of delivering at a certain time .

11. When did your first kit come out and what was the baby's name?
My first kit came out in 2013, a baby called - Bella-ne'

12. How many kits have you produced to date?
I have produced 6 kits

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?
Bella-ne, Dixie, Mouse baby twins awake and asleep, Mouse character and Lily-Marlaine

14. Which baby of yours has been your all time favorite and why?
Lily-Marlaine - my crawling kit was my all time favourite- she was a big challenge.

15. Do you plan to continue sculpting babies for kits?
I do plan to keep sculpting for kits, however, I will be very selective as to what kit I choose to reproduce as the market is flooded with too many kits right now.

16. How do you feel about the reborn doll industry? What excites you and what upsets you?
I worry whether the reborn industry will survive with all the illegal copies of kits flooding the market. Some of my kits have been copied for fake vinyl and silicone dolls and its extremely disappointing and demotivating.

17. How do you feel about the progression of the art of reborning over the past 10 years?
Reborn artists are very creative and inventive and the art is evolving all the time.

18. Do you think that this industry has a long term future or do you think its just a fad that will blow over?
Not sure- I think the market being flooded with fake kits is a huge problem and it could well mean the end of vinyl kits.

19.What are your plans and hopes for the future?
I'm hoping to continue creating my silicone dolls and vinyl baby kits for many years to come -I absolutely love my job!

20. Do you have something new in the works?
Yes!! always! I am never not working on my babies

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Rocky by Sylvia Manning ~ SOLD OUT

Rocky by Sylvia Manning ~ SOLD OUT

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