Wenn mir Dinge etwas bedeuten, sie mir Freude schenken und mein Herz ansprechen, dann interessieren mich immer auch die Menschen dahinter. Jess Brown ist so ein Mensch. Sie ist die Designerin der Rag Dolls, die Caro von NATURKINDER und ich in der diesjährigen PuppenMITmacherei anfertigen.
Es schwingt viel mit von Jess in ihren Puppen, dem DIY-Buch und den Geschichten von Lulu & Pip und Kiki & Coco in Paris. Ich wußte gleich: Diese Frau hat ein feines Gespür für Kinder und Kindheit, einen unverwechselbaren Sinn für das Schöne sowie Herz und Hand für jedes kleinste Detail und das große Ganze. Ich bin ein großer Fan und freue mich sehr, dass sie sich Zeit für ein kleines Interview genommen hat.
What is your background as an artist? How did you get to doll making?
My background is actually in teaching. I studied early childhood development and worked for 11 years in that field. I specialized in the Reggio Emilia approach which was very hands on. I was very drawn to creating inspired and sophisticated art and toys for children.
How does a typical Jess Brown rag doll look like? And how does it feel to play with it?
The jess brown rag dog definitely has a signature look which has remained unchanged since I created the pattern nearly 18 years ago. Very long and lanky limbs, a spoon shaped head with embroidered star eyes and a felt heart shaped mouth. The hair is reclaimed sweater sewn tight to the head in a bob style. The dolls I create are stuffed with a corn fiber. The stuffing I use is a bit dense and gives the doll a sturdy feeling. I think these qualities make the dolls timeless, not trendy.
What makes a doll a valuable toy for you?
I think that our dolls are a valuable toy because each one is made with such care and intention. I think that both children and adults recognize that. The doll then gains its truest value once it finds its home. A child connecting with the doll is priceless.
Do you have a special tip for doll making? What are the aspects you pay attention to the most when making a doll?
The biggest tip I have for doll making is to have patience with yourself. Don’t worry about following rules. Trust your instinct and be patient as the doll unfolds. This keeps the process special. You can feel it in the finished work. For me, I pay most attention to the face as that’s the part I think most people connect to first. I also spend quite a bit of time and thought on the outfits. I want them to feel created, not just sewn.
How will it go on with your dolls in the future?
I’m not sure. I take each moment as it comes. The dolls bring so much joy to the people who buy them. I can’t imagine not continuing to have that in my life.
Thank you, Jess, for all your inspiration.
© Bilder Jess Brown Design