This edition of Interview with the Artist showcases the work of a very talented lady from the beautiful Emerald Isle.
She creates the sweetest little Clothespin Dolls and Birthday Cake Toppers that I have ever seen. Her attention to the tiniest of details is absolutely amazing! Take a peek in her etsy shop, but just let me warn you . . . you’re gonna fall in love!
Please meet Carol of Wee Cute Treasures.
Were you interested in art as a child?
Oh yes! I loved painting, drawing and crafting for as long as I can remember.
What were some of the earliest projects that you created?
When I was very young I had a rag doll called Rosie and I made her all sorts of clothes out of my mother’s ‘rag box’ using huge running stitches. The finish must have been very crude but I love designing the clothes seeing them coming into fruition. One of my grandmothers taught me to knit at age 7 and since then I have always had something on my knitting needles! Basically, I can not remember a time when I have not had some creative project ‘on the go’.
When did you first become interested in making dolls?
Since I was about 16 I have made soft toys to sell. Making clothespin dolls came about from visiting a local craft show two years ago. There was a stall selling funky little dolls and I thought that making a little doll could be fun. A Google search lead me to the American style of peg doll (which is much cuter than our European versions) and I was hooked!
Besides making dolls, what other forms of art do you enjoy?
I love everything creative – so I enjoy making greeting cards, knitting, crochet, needlepoint, painting and woodwork. My newest love is miniature work and I am in the process of designing and making my first dollhouse from scratch – no kit!
Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
As a child I adored the illustrated fairy story books which belonged to my mother. They were from a gentler era when girls were unashamedly girly. I have always loved everything flowery and pretty and I think my little dolls reflect this. However, I also love the slightly preppy and neat look of the 40s and 50s. Although every colour in the rainbow is beautiful, I tend to favour pastel colours. For my dolls I have found inspiration from many other talented doll makers and crafters.
Do you keep any examples of your best work – just for yourself?
No! There are times I am really sorry to ship off a little doll because I think she is particularly cute. But I do make sure I keep enough material so that I can make another identical one in years to come – if I ever have time.
What advice would you give to people who would like to begin selling their art, but could use a bit of advice?
If you love what you do it will show. I have a rule. Every doll I make is one I would be happy to keep if it does not sell. I believe it is fine to be inspired by other people’s work, but it is important to put your own stamp on your creations. High quality products stand the test of time. Many people will make cheaper versions of your art, but if your quality is good you can ask a higher price and those people who want a beautiful item will be happy to pay for it. I remember a fellow craftswoman telling never to undersell my work. I also think that consistency is important – both in terms of style and quality. Repeat customers are wonderfully valuable, especially in the early days. Even if you decide to branch out into new areas, look after your core business and it will help finance new ventures. And…most important of all – be patient and enjoy the process.
Although Carol is not taking “special orders” at this time, she frequently adds an adorable selection of seasonal dolls to her etsy shop. Click here to see them!