A lifelong doll lover and a serious collector since the mid-’90s, Carol Johansen began exploring making her own dolls when, she said, “My taste in dolls outstripped my budget, as it does for many of us.” She took sculpting courses both locally and online from such artists as Diane Keeler and Deb Wood and began making dolls professionally in 2008.
“Children and fantasy characters in polymer clay are my focus,” she said. “It’s always a joy — creating the human figure satisfies something deep in my soul. Seeing a sculpture come to life in my hands; enjoying the sculpting, painting, sewing, cobbling, wig making, and all of the other skills needed to finish a doll is gratifying. Making artwork that displays the best of my skills and evokes emotion in the viewer is what I aspire to achieve with each new creation.
“This year, I’m creating a series of 16-inch children from the 16th through the 20th centuries, holding their dolls of the era. Inspiration comes from many places, including paintings and photographs of small children with their precious ‘friends’ available online. Patience is my first in this series, holding her Queen Anne doll.
“In addition, fantasy figures in the 8- to 10-inch size are always fun to make. Marina, my first mermaid, wishes she had feet so she could wear beautiful shoes!
Johansen is a member of the Original Doll Artists Council of America (ODACA), International Art Doll Registry (IADR), and Professional Doll Makers Art Guild (PDMAG)