blog_LindaMurrayR-072517

Meet Master Doll Artist Linda Murray

July 7, 2017
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One of the most exciting aspects about working at The Ashton-Drake Galleries is seeing how Master Doll Artists breathe life into our collectible dolls. We have partnered with award-winning doll artist Linda Murray for over a decade now, and she never ceases to amaze us with her ability to capture the sweetness and innocence of childhood in her sculpts. Some of her creations for Ashton-Drake Galleries include Olivia, Alicia and Sophia.

We recently got to chat with Ms. Murray about her work and inspirations.

Ashton-Drake: How did you get your start as a master doll artist?
Linda Murray: Sculpting dolls started off as a hobby, became a passion, and then a full-time career. I started sculpting in wet clay many, many years ago, to make molds for my pressed cloth dolls. These were my passion for many years until the doll world changed direction and the need to sculpt in polymer clay became obvious. My very first sculpt in polymer clay was of my twin sister as a little toddler, but sadly I had not mastered the baking and the head fell off in the middle of the night and rolled across the floor! I spent two solid years practicing sculpting in this very different medium and did not start selling until I felt I had achieved a realism I was satisfied with. I cannot imagine life without being able to create my babies.

AD: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Murray: In all of my sculpts, I try to re-create the special moments I have had with my own family, that certain look that portrays love, curiosity, happiness, wonderment. That certain expression that makes a doll human and lifelike. I do not proceed with a sculpt until I feel that certain something shine through. When I can look at the sculpt, and the face looks back with life behind the eyes and an expression that means something.

AD: What makes each of your creations special?
Murray: They have all been so beautiful to me, each and every one totally unique and their own person. I try to bring out the individual personalities in each and every one. I try to portray the mind behind the sculpted face through all the features. However, the eyes are by far the most important for expressing emotion. A doll has to have life behind the eyes. There has to be an intelligence shining through. That first searching look from all my children and grandchildren when they had just been born have all been uniquely different. My eldest daughter, Amy, had a serenity and peace about her, gentle and giving. My son, sleeping on his tummy, raised his head and managed to look around the room with wide open intelligent blue eyes, just minutes after being born, full of curiosity. My youngest daughter cuddled up, needing love and attention, happy to just nestle in my arms. Now I see the same in all my gorgeous grandchildren. All of them so different, so unique and just as precious. Being surrounded by them all is the greatest gift, and every moment with them is a memory in the making.

AD: Who is your favorite Ashton-Drake doll?
Murray: My favorite Ashton-Drake doll so far is Sophia, the sleeping baby. In the “flesh,” I really warmed to her. In the future, I would love the opportunity to do a very young baby like Sophia, not with any gizmos or gadgets, but just a beautiful, weighted, snuggly open eye newborn.

    • Johnnie
    • August 25, 2017

    I love your beautiful babies I’m going to purchase me one next week I already seen the one I’m getting

    • Sherry
    • August 26, 2017

    I just purchased Sophia. My granddaughters love her and soon as I can afford will buy more. She even smells like a new baby. Thank you for the making of these babies.

    • Martha Benton
    • August 26, 2017

    I love your babies except for one thing. I don’t like them having cloth bodies. And the ones that have a “shell” body over the cloth do not look good at all. The back does not meet the back of the head and makes them look like a hunchback. I love the all vinyl or silicone babies. I make clothes for them and I don’t find it attractive to have cloth showing as part of their body.

    • Damaris
    • August 26, 2017

    Love the dolls. When my son was about 1 years old,
    I bought a doll that looked just like him when he was born. That was in 1997. I wish I can find that doll and buy it. The one I bought was a gift to his godmother.

    • Jean
    • August 26, 2017

    Linda, you are truly blessed to have such a wonderful talent. I am amazed how truly life like they are. I have one of your baby’s. I dress her up like she is real. Iam 74 and still love dolls.

    • Christina Dill
    • August 26, 2017

    Hey there,
    I have Sophia and I love her so much. My mom bought Sophia for fer years ago as a Christmas present for me.
    Linda Marie does beautiful work on her dolls.

    • Melissa Anne Miller
    • August 26, 2017

    So glad Sophia has such a loving mom!

    • Melissa Anne Miller
    • August 26, 2017

    Thank you for the compliment, we’ll pass it along to Linda! Never too old for dolls 🙂

    • Melissa Anne Miller
    • August 26, 2017

    If you email me a picture of your son at adgblog@ashtondrake.com, I’ll ask our team if we can figure out which doll that was!

    • Melissa Anne Miller
    • August 26, 2017

    Hi Martha, thanks for the feedback, I’m passing it along to our team.

    • Melissa Anne Miller
    • August 26, 2017

    Sophia loves you right back! 🙂

    • Melissa Anne Miller
    • August 26, 2017

    Ooh, hooray! Which one are you getting?

    • Joyceholmes
    • August 26, 2017

    Make more with rooted hair

    • Kerry Beaumont
    • August 29, 2017

    Hi Melissa I would love to know if I sent you a picture from I was a baby if you can make a doll look just like my baby picture

    • Melissa Anne Miller
    • August 30, 2017

    Hi Kerry,
    Every year, Ashton-Drake Galleries hosts a photo contest on our Facebook page. You can find more details here: http://www.ashtondrake.com/products/302154004_ava-elise-cutest-baby-poseable-baby.html. Unfortunately, we don’t currently do one-offs.

  1. I recently purchased Michael Doll I love to the moon and back. I this adorable doll. I am very pleased with my purchase where can I get other clothes for him

    • Linda
    • September 6, 2017

    Is it possible to pay installments to purchase a doll?

    • Melissa Anne Miller
    • September 6, 2017

    Hi Linda,
    Yes, it is possible to pay in installments! You’ll see the installment price listed for each of our dolls. Installments are charged about monthly, directly to the payment method you authorized at checkout, and installments are interest free! We ship your item after you’ve paid the first installment. Hope that helps!

    • Ginette Morin
    • September 9, 2017

    Hi!! I love your work and i fell in love with Clementine ..the monkey doll that i could not leave her there …i needed to buy her …I live in Valleyfield and i am very happy to know that you are close to my home …i’m in Valleyfield … I wish that you send me your phone number or address … Out of all the Reborn and animal babies i have notice that your babies have a soul …they really look alive …something that some other artist have lost …keep making more …i will be interested in reborn kits, hope to do business with you again…

    • Carolyn
    • September 13, 2017

    I would like to purchase a doll. I want to know if it is possible to communicate with the artist? I am leaning toward one artist but I have questions. I want to make sure I know what I am buying. I have read too much getting the real thing.

    • Ginette Morin
    • September 14, 2017

    wish that Linda Murray gets in contact with me …I bought Clementine from you and paid with Master Card …i noticed that the amount was not taken on my card … Please let me know what i need to do …i really want Clementine …i live in Valleyfield …and i can pay cash, i don’t have a paypal account … 450-800-3505

    • Melissa Anne Miller
    • September 15, 2017

    Hi Carolyn, it’s sometimes challenging to connect directly with the artist, but you can try calling our customer service team and seeing if they can help? Here’s their number: 1-800-634-5164. Good luck!

    • Melissa Anne Miller
    • September 15, 2017

    Hi Ginette, best thing to do would be to call our Customer Service team, they can help sort everything out. You can reach them directly at 1-800-634-5164.

    • Melissa Anne Miller
    • September 15, 2017

    I’m so glad you love our babies! Definitely feel free to call our customer service reps here: 1-800-634-5164

    • Lisa Dillard
    • June 3, 2018

    Many reborn artists and collectors say the Ashton Drake dolls are not real Reborns that they are Factory made. Are these dolls hand-painted? Do you guys have any videos of the making of your dolls? What is your process of making these beautiful babies? I have several of them. I bought special Joy for my granddaughter. And then purchased several from a family member that their mother passed away and she was a collector.
    THANK YOU , Lisa

    • Melissa Anne Miller
    • June 13, 2018

    Hi Lisa, all of our dolls are indeed hand-painted and hand-crafted too. The doll’s features are painted by a skilled craftsperson to achieve the specific look for each doll. Eyes are carefully positioned and hair is expertly applied whether it is hand-rooted, glued or a wig! You can see the detailed descriptions of our dolls on our website. As for videos, we definitely have several featured on our YouTube channel! Click here to see them. We’re so glad our dolls have brought you and your family joy, thank you for letting us know!

    • Sarah Dunn
    • August 20, 2019

    We just ordered “Little Peanut” for our 9 yr old daughter. She has wanted Peanut for years now, I’m so happy we can buy this precious doll for her , thank you !

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