My name is Cynthia Toy (Yes really, my parents named me after Cinderella but that's another story) and I have been a doll maker for about...hmm...ever... but seriously and professionally for about 25 years.
I have had a love for dolls all my life, in fact my sister and I spent much of our childhood making up elaborate backgrounds and scenarios for our many dolls. I began my dollmaking career when I was 6 with a simple cookie cutter shape that had yarn hair and one button eye. Unfortunately for some reason that’s all the face that doll ever had, but we called her “one eye Susie” and played with her all the time! My mother, an excellent seamstress, taught me sewing and knitting, and I had a very “crafty” grandmother who was always trying some new technique and then passing it on to her grandkids. I definitely learned a lot from both of them, and I’m pretty sure I also inherited my mom’s acute fiber addiction in the bargain. I studied costume construction in college, where I majored in theater, and it was there I started making cloth masks for mime performances. Being a fiber junkie, I took classes in all sorts of needle arts along the way but curiously none in doll making. I really got into making dolls again when my 3 sons were small, creating a cast of occupants for a castle my husband built. It was so much fun I just had to keep at it. I started out making Waldorf style dolls and my dollhouse dolls developed from this technique. Later, I tried a few patterns by other doll makers, but I couldn’t find a style that fit the dolls I saw in my head. It was after reading Suzanna Oroyan’s wonderful book, Anatomy of a Doll, that I was inspired to develop my own designs. It’s been very much a process of trial and error, but I have learned so much along the way.
I love to make dolls, it never gets boring because so many different techniques are involved... tired of sewing? You can glue for awhile, or knit, or play clay, or stuff, cut, weave... there's all kinds of fun to be had and new techniques to learn all the time. I'm also a huge believer in all things fairy and making dolls lets all those fairies that have been living in my head find their way into the world. (Whew, it gets crowded in there!) The hardest part for me is letting my babies go off to new owners...but that's what pays the bills, so off they go!
Each of my dolls requires many hours to make as I design and create each doll completely from start to finish. Many of the dolls are made from the inside out with no patterns and each face is carefully drawn and painted by hand using no patterns or stencils. Because of this, no two dolls are EVER exactly alike, they are all one of a kind; like people, each has its own distinct personality.
You can find purchase available dolls in my Etsy Shop
or find out consignment info on my Contact
I am a Froud Artist of the month (May '07) and my dolls have been featured in the Fall 2006 and Winter 2007 issues of "Art Doll Quarterly" magazine. You can find me many places on the web, here are just a few:
My Etsy Shop