Once in a while, one becomes an internet friend to a person whose work one has admired for a long time. Sharon Cariola became a member of the Mini Doll List (a Yahoo! group) a while back. Each week we would be able to see her newest creation was. Each week I was astounded by the likeness she was able to achieve in miniature of well-known figures. Albert Einstein, Mark Twain, and the crew from the Minnow (Gilligan’s Island) were among these. Every day characters we have all seen and might even know; a laundry woman, a craggy smoker, and everything in between, are some of her favorite subjects.
In my quest to become a sculptor, I have asked her questions about how she achieves one thing or another. She has been so forthcoming; I believe there is a book just in my notes! I think you would like to meet her, too.
Sharon tells me she has been interested in miniatures ever since seeing her first display as a child, 50 years ago. “Our neighborhood library had only one book on the subject, and I checked that book out several times. Over the years, I built three dollhouses, complete with stained glass windows and needlepoint carpets. I made everything I could think of, except dolls. I wanted the scenes I made to look as convincing as possible and most dolls at that time did not look like real people to me.”
Sharon continues to explain she noticed the dolls by James Carrington, IGMA Fellow, about six years ago. “They were so intriguing to me that I ceased my other miniature pursuits and devoted myself entirely to miniature doll making.” She gets her inspiration from many places including, the illustrations by Norman Rockwell. “(They) provide inspiration because of their detail and the personality in the characters. “
I believe if you see some of the small creations and figures of Sharon you will be enamored too at the realism she imbues in each of them. It is as if each would answer if you only asked a question.
“My doll hobby has become a small business enterprise now, and I feel fortunate to be able to work at what I love full-time. I used to number each doll, but quit when I hit 350!” To see more of Sharon’s work, please visit her eBay store at http://stores.ebay.com/doll-mine-miniatures . She participates in one or two miniature shows each year. She has many photos of her dolls posted on Facebook. The photos are viewable by the public if you search under her name, Sharon Cariola.
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The Creative Doll exists to inform and delight. The team of Michelle Mahler of Doll Artist's Workshop (minidolls.com) and Kathi R. Mendenhall, La Petite Belle Patterns (minipatterns.com) are doll makers and doll lovers. We hope to bring you interesting finds, things to muse and to help you to create.