Laura Tuzio Ross

 Interview by

MacPherson Arts & Crafts


1. Where are you from and where do you live now?
I was born and raised in Point Pleasant, NJ. I currently reside in Philadelphia, PA with my husband John, and 2 of my 3 daughters, Isabella (17) and Aliya (11) and my special needs brother in law Shawn.

2. Have you always been interested in dolls?
Yes, I have been interested in all types of dolls since I was a young child. I began drawing babies at the age of 3. I loved paper dolls of babies, making outfits for them to wear. Every Christmas I would ask for a new baby doll, and treasured it greatly. I still have each one. My mother would hand sew outfits for each baby, and I loved opening this gift the most!!

3. When did you first become interested in sculpting?
I was looking for something to do while home with Isabella who was a toddler. I was 31 years old when I began sculpting and realized I “knew” how to do it.

4. How did you first encounter reborn dolls?
I was sculpting before reborn dolls were introduced. Early in my career I was sculpting for Masterpiece dolls and made collectible vinyl dolls. The collectors then began taking them apart and repainting them and rooting hair. That became known as reborning. Sculptors then began selling blank vinyl pieces to these artist so they could create their own realistic babies.

5. Have you sculpted dolls from the time you started sculpting, or did you start off with something else?
I started as a portrait artist, and was also an illustrator for Campbell's Soup for 12 years. I illustrated the Spaghettios Labels with the flying “O’s” and Meatballs etc. Also illustrated the Campbell soup kids for calendars and various collectibles for a while.

6. How long have you been sculpting?
Ive been sculpting for 15 years

7. What medium do you use to sculpt your babies with?
I use Prosculpt polymer clay

8. What inspires & motivates you to sculpt?
Newborn babies inspire me. I love being around them and capturing their unique expressions as I sculpt. I usually change the expression on the sculpture several times before I decide on which “look” to finally bake. I enjoy being able to incorporate a baby’s individual personality in my work and that can be difficult to do when I only have photos for reference.

9. Do you sculpt full time & do you have other hobbies?
Yes, I sculpt/make finished silicone and reborn dolls, full time. I have a staff of three women, and we work in a full doll studio that is located in my home.

10. Do you only sculpt for kit production or do you do custom ~ portrait orders too?
I only sculpt for vinyl kit production and limited edition collectable silicones.

11. When did your first kit come out and what was the baby's name?
My first vinyl kit was "Lee Lee” that came out in 2009, it was a portrait of my daughter Aliya.

12. How many kits have you produced to date?
So far I have produced 23 vinyl doll 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?
Lee Lee, Kylin, Ava Raine, Eleanor Anne/ Wai-Ling, Josiah, Kristaleta, Laura, Lil’ Champ, Melody,
Owen Francis, Shylah, Suzon, Vincent, Walter, Jordyn, Anthony, Dominic, Luca, Myloh, Abigail, and Luv Buggie. “Jaylan” and “Sariah” will be coming out later this Spring and Summer.

14. Which baby of yours has been your all time favorite and why?
My favorite baby is my full body silicone “Alejandro”. He was a portrait of a good friend’s son and each finished silicone took on a unique personality. He also was my most successful silicone baby. My favorite vinyl babies are Abigail and Walter.

15. Do you plan to continue sculpting babies for kits?
Yes of course! I plan to continue sculpting as long as there is a demand and people still love them.

16. How do you feel about the reborn doll industry?
What excites you and what upsets you? It's exciting to see each reborn artist bring my sculpts to life with their own style and technique. It upsets me that thieves in Brazil and China illegally mass produce my kits and wreck my limited editions.

17. How do you feel about the progression of the art of reborning over the past 10 years?

18. Do you think that this industry has a long term future or do you think its just a fad that will blow over?

19.What are your plans and hopes for the future?
I hope to continue to bring joy to those who collect my finished babies and inspiration to the artists who reborn my baby doll kits for many more years to come!

20. Do you have something new in the works?
I am currently working on my 15th anniversary baby named “Celebration”. She is a seven-inch, anatomically correct miniature resin that I am painting by hand. I also have a new full body sleeping baby girl in silicone coming out this summer of 2019, and two new vinyl kits, “Jaylan” and “Sariah”, coming out this Spring and Summer. I have 2 other sculpts, Wesley and Warren in progress that will either be vinyl or silicone for the next coming year.