and my doll making adventure
My name is Tatiana and I live in Novi Sad, the regional capital of Vojvodina, an area spanning much of northern Serbia. By trade, I am a piano teacher, but my curiosity and imagination drive me to seek new endeavors and opportunities to exercise my creativity. Throughout my life, I’ve made numerous forays into various fields of art and science.
Besides music, in which I’ve received a formal education and in which my field of work is, I’ve also devoted parts of my life studying psychology and pedagogy. Most often, however, I’ve found myself in the field of visual arts, making clothes, accessories, and decorative items made from cloth, or combining textiles with other materials..
I started sewing long ago, back in my teenage years. The textures of fabrics, the sensation of touching them, the patterning of motifs, the shades of colours and their mixing… all of this represents a challenge for my creativity and an inexhaustible starting point for my research, of which I never tire.
Somewhere along the way, I developed an interest in making dolls out of cloth. This happened during a period of somewhat difficult circumstances in my life, as a form of therapy and emotional healing. Interestingly, for a long time, I didn’t see dollmaking as a field that I would stick to for a long period of time. In terms of invested time, effort and materials, lingering in this art seemed like a luxury that I could not afford. Making one of my dolls is a rather complicated project, requiring focus and ample time. Completing just one takes 40 to 60 hours on average, depending on the size of the doll and the complexity of it’s clothing. As I’m more of a sprint than a marathon person, it took some adjusting on my part to such a slow and tedious process.
The dolls that I make are best described as “Waldorf inspired art dolls”. They are a form that originated in and evolved from the traditional Waldorf doll, the product of Rudolf Steiner, also the person behind the concept of Waldorf education. While traditional Waldorf dolls are made according to a strict set of rules, Waldorf-inspired dolls abide by only some of those rules. Like their traditional counterpart, they’re made entirely out of natural materials – a basis of wool, skin made from cotton jersey cloth, and embroidered eyes. However, unlike their relatively simple progenitor, Waldorf-inspired dolls contain numerous additions and increased complexity, in the interest of improved performance and enabling it to fit it’s creator’s vision better. In this process, every dollmaker has to find the best way of expressing themselves and to produce a work and style that is unique.
Since I prefer to learn on my own, without much instruction or mentorship, I am largely self -taught in this field. Because of that, my learning process was much more slow and stressful, and I likely gained some habits that make work more complicated and difficult. On the plus side, it resulted in a greater number of unique approaches to problems.
The constant search for new avenues of self-expression ensures that the work of every dedicated dollmaker continues to change and evolve. There are countless paths to take, both known and unknown, waiting to be discovered, and this is what makes the adventure so exciting.
And a few more little things …