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Meet the Artist…

Name: Jerrold Reilly(2008 ODACA Artist)
Address: 1917 Dougherty Ferry Rd.
St. Louis , MO 63122
Mediums: Carved Wood, Papier Mache, Paperclay®
Phone: 314.822.9100
Fax: n/a
Web Site: n/a
Notes: n/a


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I have been working with wood most of my life, going back to the many hours spent with my grandfather who taught me how to cut profile figures of children and animals on old orange crates which I would then paint.  Once completed, he would then stand them in his rose gardens which, of course, was the greatest encouragement anyone could have given me. From that early love of working with wood, I attended a technical high school where I graduated in woodworking, and have since been engaged in cabinet
type work.    

I was exposed later in life to dolls and automatons at shows and this started my interest in the dolls and how they were assembled. People started realizing my ability to put dolls together and restore them and began giving me work. From this, I became curious to see what I could create from beginning to end. I love working with wood, the planning and the gratification you get when something is completed, and I began carving my first dolls of wood. Most of my dolls are comic or cartoon type characters as that is what I am familiar with from childhood.

I was always fascinated with automatons and started carving them in wood but found them much easier to do with papier mache because of weight and access to the hollow body to insert rods, etc.  It is a challenge to work on the moving parts of an automaton, working the gearing, cams, moving body parts but when they all work correctly it is very gratifying. It was also a challenge learning to do my own metal tooling for the automatons. Some will get to the bitter end and never work well. These I put on a shelf until I figure out the correct way to get all parts working correctly. It is a step by step learning process and I have done it the way I've accomplished everything else in life - trial and error. 

I have made some dolls with wires and armatures and cloth bodies or all papier mache. The cloth bodies are difficult for me due to my lack of sewing abilities. I make most of my own clothes but they are not embellished like most of the costuming I see. I will hopefully improve on this as I continue with costuming my creations. Hopefully, there will be an "ooh" or an "aah" or a smile on someone's face after seeing some of the pieces I lovingly create.

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