Welcome to my website

Here you can read a bit about my Textile Art and Dolls
and the curious world they have come from to see you.
You can spend some time reading their tales and view all works in my portfolio.
I hope you enjoy your time here!
Thank you
x P x

In the beginning of beginnings,
long before I made my textile dolls, I was always painting. On everything.
Although I had made paper-maché dolls as a child with my mother,
I forgot about the joys of doll making when I grew up.
Until a few years back when I lived on a small canal boat and I had to 'downsize' my working space and creations.
Wondering what I could do and make that didn't require a large studio and lots of tools,
I remembered the afternoons I spend creating little dolls at the kitchen table in my childhood days.
That memory sparked a fantastic desire in me to 'go back to that place' and to make dolls again,
so I did.
First I tried my hands on the familiar paper-maché, but that didn't work..
it turned out to be too messy a job to do on a tiny boat you also have to live on.
So to be honest, I arrived at using textile as my main medium for quite practical reasons.
Soon I realized how versatile textile is, and because I never used it before I got excited about the prospect of learning to work with it.
Fabric Fairytale animals and creatures of textile magic are now among my closest companions.

textile animals

I suffer from severe nostalgia... but I find that place of painful yearning to the past to be a great source of inspiration also.
Memories of childhood fairytales, good witches, ghost stories, woodland animals and faeries,
and never ending foggy forests are among my most recurring topics.
My work almost always derives from a sort of escapism, a way into another world.
In that sense I do exactly what I always have been doing ever since my early childhood,
when my main occupation was to escape into my own fantasy world.
To create a place in which to be embraced by magic and enchantment.
There are a few crystal clear memories of such moments successfully coming to fruition.
One is of the afternoons spend in my room covered in murals of my own making,
curtains closed and candles burning, lighting up the Shadow Theatre I had made of Japanese paper and cardboard cut-outs.
Witches and wolves played out their stories behind the screen, dolls and teddies as an audience.

The other, most vivid memory I have of such wonderful escapism is of a late crisp winter afternoon,
cycling through the flat icy country side with my grandmother to see a puppetry show on a farm.
The theatre was set up in the barn, with thick burgundy velvet curtains, wooden school chairs and a magical scent of dust and animals encasing the space.
The setting, the smell, the dimmed light and the puppetry transported me completely,
and I think that this is the feeling I try to relive and capture in my own art and doll universe.

I stitch my creations by hand with cotton, vintage fabrics, discarded textiles, old garments and antique lace, when I can get my hands on it. Sometimes I use clay for hands and faces, as it allows for more detail. I love rummaging fleamarkets and second hand shops to find fabrics and haberdashery. The more worn the textile, the more it speaks to me somehow. As if the material has its own secret story to tell, which for me personally, adds so much to the work I am making. Sometimes the fabrics I use are so worn, I have to somehow 'restore' them in places to make them not fall apart entirely, especially when there are beads and embroidery involved.

Finally I decorate the dolls and sculptures with my drawings, embroidery, beads and sometimes little found objects that are part of the story of the piece.

Story telling is a big part of my work,
each doll and sculpture has their own little fantastical tale to tell
The Theatre of Tales
is a story about Pantovola and the traveling theatre with its strange inhabitants and creatures.
You can read the full story here
The Forgotten Forest
is my most recent story and can be seen here

Animals are an endless source of inspiration for me,
especially wolves.
As a child, and still sometimes now,
I dreamed of wolves almost every night.
At first they were terribly scary creatures,
always chasing and dangerous.
Then one day in my waking life, I met an actual wolf in the Polish woodlands.
(you can read about this strange meeting in my blog post)

Some time after this meeting,
in one particular dream,
the role of the wolf changed.
In this dream forest I saw again a wolf.
but this time I paused to take a closer look at the dream creature,
and noticed that it was in fact made from lots of pieces of fabric.
The wolf was all stitched together like a quilt.

Since that dream, a good 20 years ago,
the wolf became my good omen, wise and mysterious,
guiding me to secret places in the woods.

The doll on the left is called Josephine the Wolf,
she is a Wolf Witch.

She loves drying flowers in her flower press,
her favorite drink is smoked tea from the Pakakucha Mountains

From the fragile age of young childhood,
I adored getting lost in Fairy Tales.
Especially the beautifully illustrated books by the Brothers Grimm have been a fierce life inspiration and affirmation.
Later on I became enchanted by artists such as The Brothers Quay and Jan Švankmaier.

I spend most my childhood dressing up as the fantastical characters of fairytales and stories,
and I still love to spend time doing just that, immersing myself in the world of magic and mystery.

One thing I love most about making my dolls, is to be once again enchanted by the imaginings of otherworldly beings and creating them beautiful clothes and accessories.
Seeing them come to life is quite wonderful.

I often find though, that a doll will start out one way,
beginning with an idea and image in my head, but during the process of their making,
they will change themselves quite forcefully.
It is as if they have their own ideas an opinions of what they should become,
and I only have so much to say on the matter!

I like to use embroidery for details,
or sometimes for the writing of small texts on the doll.
My embroidery is all hand stitched.

Painting is something I still to love do too,
and I often paint things and scenes on the cloth of my dolls, a perfect symbioses.

Another favorite material of mine is coffee.
For drinking of course, and for staining my textiles to make them look all grubby and old

Lady Pavlova & Wolf Gustav were the first two 'Pantovola’ dolls I made
Gustav lives in the Polish woodlands
Lady Pavlova has moved on to pursue a career as a cabaret singer in Oklahoma

Besides my autonomous work, I like to create custom pieces too.
For example I make Guardian Witch Dolls on a bespoke bases,
these are special art dolls who come to life in collaboration with your ideas and wishes.

Would you be interested to find out more about such dolls,
you can read about them here
for your custom doll request please fill out this form
You can find my available ooak dolls and textile sculptures in my shop here

Do you want to know even more then you are welcome to read this recent interview
I gave to Dyeing House Gallery

Thank you for reading

x P x