Masterpiece Gallery Artist Biographies
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Human anatomy was part of Monika Levenig's education, who worked on a freelance basis in the medical field for many years. She had her artistic initiation in 1994 when a skiing accident prevented her from going on her vacation and she took a doll sculpting class instead. With that, her enthusiasm for making dolls was born. With the support of teachers like Hella Hofmann, and obsessed with achieving perfection in craftsmanship and content, Monika worked constantly on perfecting her techniques and developing her own unique signature style. She quickly achieved international renown and recognition, as witnessed by a large number of awards. To this day, Monika does not regret having made the transition to the production of templates for manufactured dolls, which has unfortunately proved fatal for many of her peers: both nationally and internationally, she is one of the most consistently successful doll artists and has become a fixture of the collector doll world.
Susan was born in 1946 in Manchester, England. She is the mother of three children and grandmother of three grandchildren. She enjoys reading and loves animals. Susan studied biology, chemistry, and genetics. She has been working on dolls since 1986. Susan is completely self-taught, learned everything on her own and took a lot of time for this. Susan says she is fascinated by children and tries to recreate those moments of childhood in her doll children. Little children have not learned yet how to hide their feelings, and neither have Susan's dolls.
Monika did not find out about dolls until later in life, when a friend talked her into taking a soft-sculpture class. As a teacher and mother of three, she has always loved children and babies, whose expressive little faces still continue to fascinate her. Monika took her first doll class for reproductions in 1998, and since then she has experimented with the techniques and the craft of doll-making. After taking a sculpting course, she began making her own doll children. The knowledge Monika had gained in her university studies of biology and art pedagogy were quite useful to her. Her ongoing special challenge is to make her work as realistic and true to detail as possible. The inspiration for her pieces comes from day-to-day encounters with children. Today, Monika cannot imagine her life without dolls, because every single day, she enjoys expressing her dreams in her creations. These creations are more than just dolls; they are small personalities who mirror human moods and emotions. That is how they capture the hearts of their admirers. This is how Monika has been able to combine her love of children with her need for artistic creativity by designing dolls.
Doris Stannat was born in Vancouver, Canada, but since her childhood, and now with her own family with two daughters, she has lived in a small town in Bavaria, Germany. She was very creative and imaginative even as a child, so that she always looked for an artistic outlet in her life, to balance her profession as a spokesperson. After jewelry designing and painting, she discovered the material Modelene at a doll show. Ever since, all her passion has gone into sculpting dolls. This is her way of expressing her love for humanity and for life. While sculpting, it is as if she is transported into a wondrous, magical world, and she enters into her dreams and her doll creations in a positive and loving state. Even her very first little baby dolls found much appreciation with collectors, and the most beautiful feeling for her is to know that she can give so many people joy and balm for the soul. This recognition is what continues to drive Doris to keep on creating these little darlings. She is especially honored, in addition to all of the audience awards, when she is recognized by expert judges, who by now have awarded seven DOTY´s for her dolls.
Regina Swialkowski was born in 1962 in Jena, Germany. She is married and has an adult daughter. She lives with two little dogs and four cats. Regina became aware of the diversity and beauty of artists' and collectors' dolls by watching a television program. Even as a child, Regina had been creative. Conscious of her artistic talent, she came to sculpt dolls in 2002 after being a doll collector. Regina is especially enamored of innocent small creatures, such as animals and children. She therefore especially enjoys sculpting babies and toddlers. Regina finds the models for her natural-looking doll children in real life. From these inspirations emerges her little darling by adding a lot of heart and love. Regina has been honored with numerous awards. As she has been captivated by her passion for dolls, the artist hopes to bring joy to other doll lovers through her favorite hobby.