Master Doll Artist Sherry Miller is the renowned doll artist behind some of my favorite collectible dolls, including the adorably chubby Beach Baby, and Ten Little Fingers, Ten Little Toes. Her realistic style always elicits an emotional response, a bond. Miller took some time out of her day to share some inspiration with us.
ADG: How did you get started sculpting collectible dolls?
Miller: My wonderful Mom, Gabby, took lessons and made about 60 beautiful porcelain dolls to hand down to her children and grandchildren. It was something special to us, to our family. Sadly, Mom passed away in 2004. Two years later I had a strong desire to design them, and wanted to try my hand at sculpting baby dolls. If you saw my first five baby heads, I’m sorry to say, they looked like five little old men. Thank goodness I’ve progressed since then! Learning the process took a very long time, but I absolutely loved every minute of it. My passion for design motivates me to be the best I can be. I work very hard to make our collectible baby dolls look as real as possible. That is always my goal.
Pictured below: “Beach Baby” Collectible Doll
ADG: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Miller: First I search for photos of real babies, babies that I love. From there, I draw out key features that capture that precious look only babies have. From there, I might use a cute nose and mouth from one baby, a perfect head (one of the most important features, in my opinion) from another baby, and beautiful twinkling eyes from another baby. I’ll work these features together to design a unique baby look that everyone, including myself, would fall in love with. I also draw a lot of inspiration from my sister, who constantly encourages me and is my confidant and best friend.
Pictured below: “Ten Little Fingers, Ten Little Toes” Baby Doll
ADG: What do you love about designing collectible baby dolls?
Miller: I love sculpting their facial expressions, be it sweet, or puzzled, or pouty. To me, this is one of the most important elements of doll design, and gives each doll individuality and uniqueness. I always start with blocks of clay. From that clay block, I sculpt tiny realistic fingers and toes, I sculpt those sweet chubby creases, I sculpt their facial expressions. I love seeing that block of clay come to life, and I’m always so excited when my creations are finished. I am always so excited to see their precious little faces come to be, and to see the result of my hard work. I also love knowing that the baby dolls I design will bring people happiness. I hope you love the babies I design and sculpt for Ashton-Drake Galleries as much as I do.
Pictured below: Miley Baby Doll
We’re so glad to be working with you, Sherry! You’re invited to enjoy more of Sherry Miller’s collectible dolls designed in collaboration with The Ashton-Drake Galleries. Do you have any of her dolls? We’d love to see them! Share your stories with us in the comments below, via our Facebook wall, or by tagging us with #AshtonDrake on Instagram.