I love handmade stuff. But more than just the finished product, what interests me most is the creative process, not to mention the time, energy and love that goes into every piece.
Today I’m featuring the work of doll-maker and mom, Jacklyn Colmenares. She was my gradeschool classmate and is now juggling work, being a wife, taking care of her toddler and staying up late to pursue her passion for doll-making. She is the doll maker behind i.am.handmade. This is my first interview-style feature. And yes, this is my first lengthy post.
What inspired you to start making handmade dolls?
“Ever since, I liked sewing, mostly quilts with memorable t-shirts and such for keepsakes. And it’s always just a gift for a family member. WhenI had my son, it felt natural to make blankets for him. Then last year my friend Mary of TAKATAK PROJECT
suggested I join the 10A Alabama art fair
“For my 1st fair, I made what I knew, baby quilts, the moonster sleepers and 80’s inspired prints for kids. I had so much scrap fabric that I couldn’t throw away. Out of the urge to recycle, I stuffed the fabrics into oddly shaped dolls and started naming it, Moonster dolls. To my surprise it was a hit. The handful pieces I made for the fair ran out. When the next fair came along, I focused on making just dolls. I took my inspiration from the Mexican Sugar Skulls my fellow alabamers where making. Hence, the Luchadors were born.”
“The dolls change, depends on my mood and where I am joining. Like for the Salcedo Art at the Park
I made hand painted dolls. Why I make them is because they are fun to make. And I love how kids would react to it. The toddlers would normally start hugging the oddly shaped dolls and not let go. And I can’t resist that. Plus my son loves doing his moonster growl whenever he sees me sewing a new batch.He even still does it with these new set of girly dollies I am making. Not to mention it’s environmental, carbon foot print of one week of production of my dolls would be like a less than a faction to a factory that makes those plastic dolls.”
How long does it take to make one doll?
“It depends. Factor the fact i do it after work, time with my son and after he sleeps. So I work normally from 10pm to 3am. 2-3days. It depends, like the new dolls I am making now after a whole weekend worth of making the initial dolls and body. Constructing them and stuffing them (the stuffing I ask some one to help me). The dressing them part takes 2-3 dolls per night.”
Which of your designs is your favorite?
“I can’t pick one. I like them all. So you’ll have to really stay tuned to my site. Like right now after these dolls, I might go back doing the moonsters or luchadors. I miss doing those.”
How much do you sell each doll?
“PHP 300 ($7.34) – PHP 550 ($ 12.90). Right now the rag type dollies are PHP 550. My husband feels they are too cheap considering they’re hand made. but my rule is always – would I buy that for my child?”
For more details on i.am.handmade by mom, visit their Facebook page.