Meet the Artist…

Name: Linda Willins (2003 ODACA Artist)
Address: 3 Churchwell Close, Bradford Abbas
Sherborne, Dorset UK DT9 6SP
Mediums: Porcelain, Paper cast
Phone: 011.44.1935.425062
Fax: n/a
Web Site: Linda Claire Dolls
Notes: n/a


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I was born in Maryville, Missouri where I lived until my family moved to Iowa when I was seven years old. Eventually, I attended the University of Iowa and studied studio arts. Then I moved to St. Paul, MN where I received a four-year scholarship at the College of St. Catherine (part of the University of St. Thomas) in studio arts. It never occurred to me that one day I would turn my artistic talents to doll-making.

Many years later my mother asked me to take lessons with her to learn how to make a porcelain doll. A few modern reproductions later I was hooked! Something important was happening as I crafted those dolls; I became aware not only of how each sculptor perceived human anatomy but also of the 'soul' each doll seemed to possess. This was something I'd never seen in 'store-bought' dolls. I purchased a Contemporary Doll magazine and saw more dolls from some of these same artists as well as my early heroes Paul Crees and Peter Coe.

In 1994 I moved to an English country village and after settling in, tried my hand at sculpting. It was three years later that I had my first award-winning doll and I have won top international awards each year since. Amongst the awards are best of show (professional) at the KM Productions convention in California in both 2002 and 2003. The Three Graces won a Doll Art Award of Excellance at Santa Fe in 1998 and Best of Show in Bohlet, CA in 1998. Anne won Best of Category and Popular Choice at the IDS Convention in England in 2000.

I continue to create dolls in porcelain because I feel there is so much unexplored potential in this tried and proven material as a medium. Fired paper using porcelain as the clay base is my current interest. It has a different texture from the normal use of porcelain and accepts paint differently. I like to portray a 1920's-1930's long slender elegant look which would have suited my grandmother had she not lived a difficult life in the 'dust bowl' with a family of seven children.

Since I moved to England I have become acutely aware of the cultural behavior of American society and how we perceive ourselves and how other cultures perceive us. These differences are promoted through our dolls. I want my dolls to reflect my American attitudes and a way of life Americans expect and strive for.

In addition to various exhibitions, conventions, and speaking engagements, I am chairman of the Southern Belles chapter of the Global Doll Society 2002-2003. We have 75 members. I have written articles for several publications and am proud to be a member of ODACA. Life just keeps getting better!

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