Known for the quality of her dolls’ hand-painted eyes and her custom-finished porcelain dolls created from Dianna Effner molds, April Norton’s world has been getting steadily wider since she began selling her creations at local and regional doll shows. “I listed my first doll on eBay in 2009 and found there was an audience for my work on the web,” Norton recalled. “Then about six years ago, I was invited to join a Facebook page he had created that sold Dianna Effner-sculpted dolls. From there I started to find my way around Facebook and other doll pages. It has been so exciting to meet wonderful people from all around the world with similar interests.

“In the last year, although porcelain dollmaking is still my priority, I have branched out a little further with vinyl painting. I enjoy repainting Dianna Effner Little Darlings (mostly exclusive convention souvenirs), and I’ve also worked on a few Paola Reina and Ruby Red Fashion Friends. For me, this includes the added challenge of painting the inset eyes, as well.

“I have a new series of white porcelain dolls in the works for 2020 that I’m excited about. There are six in total, ranging from 10 to 15 inches tall. They will be the most dramatic to date, with my vision of a fantasy/Elizabethan theme. I can’t wait for the dramatic costuming to come together. I’d hoped to be able to give a sneak peek by now, but the quarantine made this impossible. I predict they will be ready sometime in the summer.

With this year at a standstill in so many ways, I intend to use the opportunity to hone my skills and work with what I have, my brushes and my paints. I was fortunate to have some ready bisque at home to create the dolls shown here and some others I am working on, plus I will be doing several repaints. Considering shipping still seems to be moving pretty well and mostly on schedule I have been and will be available for commission work.”

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