I started making dolls after an oil refinery accident. I had lost control of some hand functions and used sewing, beading and painting for rehab. The first couple of years were developing a style and shape but finally I began to enjoy the creating. As an artist, a day comes when someone says, “you could sell these things.” There is a sharp curve between sellable art and art. But things began to sell and pay off some bills. The next step was to begin to do Native Craft shows with my parents, who sold original bead work. I knew I needed to create original works. That meant I could not go to a museum and replicate anything I saw. So, I had to come up with my own designs. It was fun because I was not limited with fabric, beads or colors. With my parents, I did shows coast to coast, vendors were friendly and if one artist did well they tended to buy from those doing slow sales.
Art has to express the artist to really flow. Circles become smudges that express the spirit of the piece. So is the art of doll making. Doll making is not just sewing fabric and filling it with something and yet that is exactly what it is. I make the dolls for the exercise for my hands but these days I just enjoy making them.