About The Artist
Hey hey! So this is a little about me. I'm now a 43 year old gay man, currently residing in Colchester, England, though I've lived all over this country, as well as in San Francisco and Atlanta in the US.
I've been creating One-Of-A-Kind fashion dolls for almost twenty years and have received no formal artistic training. Instead, I've strived to continually refine my skills and to add new ones to my repertoire, striving to be the best I possibly can.
I fell in to the craft of customised dolls almost by accident. In 1997, I'd bought myself a couple of playline Barbie dolls (having been a little gay boy that always wanted a Barbie of his own, but with parents who disapproved of boys with Barbie dolls) and a Barbie-loving friend bought me a book that had some photos of dolls other people had customised. The idea fascinated me, and when I found myself needing to occupy my time in early recovery, I started playing around with thrift-store Superstars, jumbo braid kanekalon hair, stretchy sequin trim and a glue gun. The rest, as they say, is history. I work nigh-on exclusively with Barbie (and her friends and family) - I enjoy the challenge of 1/6 scale, and especially adore the wonderful face scults of the Twist n Turn, Vintage/Silkstone & Steffie molds.
When I'm not creating dolls, I'm busy with volunteer work in the drug/alcohol recovery field, knitting (I knit the jumper I'm wearing in the picture above), cooking, baking, spending time with friends and family and various other activities.
About The Work
I pride myself upon paying the utmost attention to detail and using the highest quality materials available. I work almost exclusively with pure silks & cottons, unless no other option is available. I source my fabrics from all over the world, mostly on my travels - London, Berlin, Berne, New York, Los Angeles, as well as independent fabric store here in San Francisco.A lot of my stitchwork is handsewn, using Japanese silk threads and beading needles, for as fine and delicate a finish as possible.
Jewelry findings are 14k gold, 14k gold-filled or Sterling Silver and crystals are always Swarovski, the very best. The shoes I use are by either Mattel or Dressmaker Details whilst the boots are imported from Asia.
For my reroots, I use saran hair, which is the best fiber I've worked with - I've tried most of the other fibers (Kanekalon, Toyokalon and Nylon) and whilst they have admirable properties, saran is the silkiest, the softest, the most natural-looking.
When repainting, I use Liquitex Acrylics and Golden Fluid Acrylics, both are artist-quality paints. The sealant I use is Windsor & Newton Matte varnish, which, to my knowledge, gives the most matte finish available. Using the best doesn't come cheaply - the materials and doll alone, when creating an OOAK Silkstone, run from $50 to $100 or more. Add to that the 20 to 40 or so hours of work that goes in to each creation, and you will see why my creations cost what they do.I take pride in my work and believe that my customer gets excellent value for money.
WhOoooHoOOOoo Noir arrived today and she is FABULOUS!!!!! My son (20 yo) who doesn't pay much attion to my Barbie's thinks Noir is Great. Of course I had to tell him all the hard work and detail that goes into such a doll lol
"Mon Amie is pure perfection. She is so lovely and believe it or not - even more beautiful in real life. Your photos are beautiful and she is stunning in every sense of the word - I cannot believe my luck. She has stolen my heart and has a very special place in my collection. Thank you for the lovely signed photo - I will proudly display it with Mon Amie. You are so talented - don't stop making your ooak dolls!"
"Just wanted to let you know that she arrived safely, and OMG is she gorgeous!! She is safely ensconced in the display cabinet with Indira (who is a bit miffed that she has competition for "most beautiful") Thank you for your incredible artistry! :-)"
"She arrived! She is GORGEOUS! I LOVE HER! Hopefully I can add another of your beautiful girls to my collection again soon. For now, though, she is front and center of my display case. Even my husband mentioned (on his own, without me waving her in his face) how cool she was."
"The dolls are so wonderful!!! I just got them on the stands and they are on display near my computer so i can look at them...they arrived last friday, and i meant to write straight away..however i just took them out now and so can see them in all their glory...all 4 are really wonderful....love this style so much...it's vintage...and yet somehow innovative and now..
"Hi Dan,I just wanted to let you know that your great girls arrived here safely today. I thought they were pretty perfect when I saw the photos you sent but nothing compared to how absolutely fab they look in person. You're a genius :-) and I'm absolutely thrilled with each of these wonderful dolls."
"I got to Florida yesterday, and my gorgeous pink reroot and the beautiful new CH were awaiting me! They are both prettier in person! I was surprised by how soft the hair was on both dolls! L6's curls are so nice and soft, but they are set perfectly! I don't know how you do it! L6 is my new favorite silkstone! I haven't been collecting silkies as much lately because I've gotten into Fashion Royalty Vanessa dolls. First Steffies, then silkstones, now FR. I just can't keep collecting all these dolls! Anyways, your reroot is just what I needed to revive my love of silkstones!"
"Your STUNNINGLY BEAUTIFUL doll arrived this morning! I just ADORE her!!! Her ensemble is just divine....the gown, headpiece, bag & jewels!! WHERE did you learn to sew like that?? I am just in awe of your talents!! Her eyes are sooo detailed and I just loooove her whole ensemble!! My hands are flapping with excitement! I am sooo proud to have her in my collection, Dan!!"
"I just wanted to let you know that I got my doll. She is even more gorgeous in person. Thanks so much!!"
"The 2 silkies that you rerooted for me have arrived in Australia :) Thank you with all my heart, Dan. They are just SOOOOOOOO UTTERLY STUNNINGLY BEAUTIFUL!!! My hands are flapping with excitement & I can't wait to dress them :) You are sooo talented, Dan!!! Thank you for your beautiful work and I will treasure these girls :)"
"Dan, I am in awe of your talent! Just opened the box with my rerooted AA Silkie ... and I am still gushing. She is sooo sophisticated now! THANK YOU SO MUCH! You did an outstanding job on the rooting and hairdo. Perfection!"