A Doll’s House


Every week I am hoping to do a little ’round up’ of everything that has caught my eye in the world of plush, doll making, soft-sculpture, or what you will! One of the things I find most wonderful about plush (etc!) art is its ability to elide categorization. Who is it for?. What does it do? How am I supposed to respond to this? Is it art? Is it craft? Having taken my first tiny steps down the road of toy making/softy design/plush art I have discovered how difficult it is to explain to others what it is that I do. Soft sculpture/plush art is not particularly established as a form in the UK, there appears to be much more of a tradition in the US and a ‘grammar’ is developing as a result. I hadn’t heard the terms ‘plush art’ or ‘soft-sculpture’ until I began to research what was going on in other countries and forming relationships with artists working in this medium. We have some of the finest makers of plush/dolls/soft sculpture working in the UK, you can scroll down to see pieces from a couple of them. Although I often find myself tongue-tied on the subject of my creatures I celebrate the slippery, taxonomy busting form I have chosen as a vehicle for my creativity.

Here are just some of my recent favourites, they are so outstandingly good, just see for yourself!


Heading up this post are Lewis and Lumi from Le Train Fantome. Also above, the most beautiful Lumi doll. Fanja Ralison is the phenomenal talent behind Le Train Fantome, and yes, she creates her fantastic creatures from her home in the UK.


Wow, Super Ninon is on a roll at the moment. Look at the beauty above and I am so in love with Nero Bolotovski, fabulous wolfy below. I need to find out some more about Super Ninon and be a lot quicker the next time she updates her shop. I would love to know who snagged Mr Bolotovski, they must be so very happy.


Hello Super Wolf!


I absolutely adore everything from A Little Sprout but Juliette is a total dream doll! It seems as if it is quite rare these days to come across a doll with real wool hair, let alone beautiful blue hair. Swoon!


Oh, these rabbits! A delicate soft-as-a-whisper bunny, handmade from vintage angora sweaters by Sonja Ahlers. Sonja has an Etsy shop called Make It Awesome where you can find more of these tiny bunnies, they even have a lucky penny in the belly. These little fellows have such simple and yet such expressive faces, touching is the only word for them. I want one!


Shannah Burton’s shop Das Kaninchen is one of my favourite places on Etsy. I am looking forward to getting a Beuys Bunny for me and Ishi very soon. There is such intelligence behind Shannah’s work and an amazing aesthetic sensibility, a powerful combination. These bunnies certainly defy categorization and I love them for it.


Look out for more on Das Kaninchen here before too long!


Such a cute kitty from Abigail Brown.


Look at Mungo, he is one beautiful Dolphin. Crafted by the unbelievably talented Margie Oomen, of Knitalatte fame. I am hoping that a Mungo will appear in Margie’s shop and that I am quick enough to pounce, Margie’s work sells out in minutes after it is listed, it is so beautiful.


It makes me so happy to come across something new to me and I was overjoyed to make the acquaintance of Heartbroken Wolf Man from The Good Machinery. I was going to save him for my Wolf post but couldn’t wait until then. Oh, he is wonderful!


Donna Wilson is simply amazing, one of the best “Knitting Designers” I have ever seen. I have the biggest crush on Cyril the Squirrel, he likes marmalade and dislikes cottage cheese, I like both but not at the same time.


Ok, so I promised to honour an admiration truce with Miss Astulabee but there was no way that this beauteous creature was going to be left out. Such perfection can be painful to look at for too long, I like to peek in small doses and dream of the day when an Astulabee deer is mine all mine (cross fingers for me please!).


Hooray for Skunkboy Creatures! Just look at this darling Jackalope. I love the fact that Baby Jack is “always thoughtful and never grumpy. Baby Jack’s favorite things are moon shoes to make him extra bouncy and having his velvety tummy rubbed by someone special”. So adorable!

My, there were so many more too! I am very much looking forward to my weekly plush round up, but the question is, will I spend so much time searching out the best work to share with you that I neglect to sit down and work on the new creatures I have been neglecting. We shall see. I’m not sure if I will manage a post tomorrow, all depends on poor Adam who has to work this weekend. I hope to see you soon, love until then. XXX

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8 Responses to A Doll’s House

  1. How do you manage it with no computer at the moment. I am so honored to be among such giants in the plush art/ soft sculpture world. Such wonderful examples and such a wide range of materials and animals. You might be in luck soon since I snagged some lovely fabric today to make some mungo’s. You have been inspiring me to put down my hook for a little while and dream up some new characters. I do hope you get to borrow Adam’s computer tomorrow.

  2. Eerika says:

    Oh, such a parade of lovely, yummy work!
    I discovered a few new plush artists, toy makers, crafters or whatever each amazing maker chooses to call themselves, so thank you for this post. 🙂

    I call myself a toy making elf. Mostly because it makes me giggle and because I do make soft toys (that can be for play or display -isn’t it interesting that the word “display” when broken down to parts means a negation of play, something that isn’t meant for play) and since Santa lives in Lapland (north Finland, I live in the south) I thought the “elf” monicker was apt and funny. 😀 I’m uncomfortable calling myself an artist, so the toy making elf label feels less… well, less charged and burdensome.

    And on the subject of sharing amazing plush makers, you should check out Takiyaje/Lyubow’s work: http://www.flickr.com/photos/takiyaje/ Her dolls are in a word, amazing!

  3. Rose says:

    Such a great eye for cute and whimsical!

    I love them all!

    Especially the wolf and the fox!

  4. fanja says:

    thank you for your lovely words, I am very flattered to be featured in your fabulous list.. I’m right there with you in finding it uneasy to explain to others what I do. i’m still not sure what to call myself either!

  5. nicoletter says:

    Found your etsy shop via flickr and your blog via your etsy shop… 🙂
    Cute shop, fantastic blog!
    Best wishes, nicoletter

  6. Shannah says:

    What amazing work I have humbly found myself surrounded by!!!
    Thank you for including me here in your lovely collection:)
    I really enjoy reading as much as looking here because your writing style is thoughtful and so joyful at the same time.

  7. Tee hee ! I quite like A Little Sprout, myself …
    And Abigail Brown, too ! I didn’t know this cat, tho ! Aceness !!!

    And you already know that we share the same admiration for N. (shhhh I won’t say her name ! Admiration truce, here !)

    x x x

  8. Yay!!! I’m so happy to be here amongst these wonderful artists! You did forget someone, though. I know you don’t like to pat your own back, but your plushies should be here for this great big group hug!!!


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