As a child, I loved to play in the mud so it didn’t surprise my mother when all I ever wanted to be was a painter or sculptor. In my twenties, I taught painting in high school and two colleges. At the same time, I sculpted busts and painted portraits of people in my hometown of Bakersfield, California, but something was missing...
Something was missing, but I didn’t have a clue what it was until I went with a friend to a doll show and came away with my head in the clouds.
A painting could be admired, but you couldn’t hold it in your hands. A sculpture could be held, but it didn’t have the magic of color, dolls had both! Finally, at last, I had found the missing piece of the puzzle and I knew what I wanted to do! I would sculpt and paint dolls.
June was my very first doll! She was sculpted in 1991 as a mold by the Doll Art Works for other artists who created porcelain dolls from the molds. She was sculpted for a fledgling doll company (The Doll Art Works) that sold molds in Dallas, Texas. June was a hit! Happily ... I sculpted Crystal, Baily, Skeeter, and then Shay.
Shay, the first modern doll with an open mouth, was a huge success! In 1993, The Doll Art Works was awarded the honor of being the fastest growing company in Dallas for that year and that year, I also became a co-owner. Over the next seven years, many more dolls followed. See my gallery page for dolls I also sculpted for Seymour Mann, Danbury Mint, Paradise Galleries along with dolls for The Doll Art Works and Bountiful Baby.
My dolls graced the covers of Doll Crafter Magazine along with articles in many other publications.
I became a regular on The Home Shopping Network Doll Show and appeared frequently on television in Germany and Canada. I traveled to South Africa and Australia where I spoke on the subject of dolls before large groups of doll lovers.
After sculpting toddlers and lady dolls for years, my attention turned to the emerging trend in the doll market called “reborning”. Nevin Pratt, owner of Bountiful Baby called about that time and said he’d like to produce my dolls for his company. I was thrilled! I sculpted Honey and Sugar for Bountiful Baby. Then many more over the years, my old love for portraiture was renewed when I sculpted a portrait of Eliza, Denise and Nevin Pratt’s adorable baby girl.
Now after years of sculpting for the mass market, I am tired and yearning for the freedom to sculpt what I want and not what is dictated by the doll companies. As an empty nester, I no longer have the burden of supporting my family, I made the decision to sculpt what I choose. My husband pointed out that if I was ever going to do what my heart wanted… it had to be now or never! My husband and I formed Donna RuBert Dolls, L.L.C.
At this time, I knew silicone was the medium I would use to create my new dolls for several reasons, and it sure isn’t because the stuff is easy to work with. Platinum cure silicone is a contrary medium with all kinds of nasty little quirks and is very expensive. Not only that, but painting the doll is like painting with molasses.
I ruined two bodies and several heads as part of the learning curve before I got it right. So why, would you ask, that I would choose to work in such a costly and difficult medium? Despite all its flaws, a finished silicone doll has an unrivaled life-like quality not equal by any other medium, such as vinyl, resin or porcelain. The results, when you finally tame silicone… is worth all the trouble and expense.
I sincerely hope you love my silicone babies as much as I do… with all my heart and soul. Still playing happily in the mud!
Copyright 2019. Donna Rubert Dolls, L.L.C. All rights reserved.