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LARRY BARDELL

Your Company Name: LBDolls
Email Address/Web Page: lbdolls@proaxis.com
City & State: Albany, Oregon
Type of Craft: Original art dolls

Tell us in your own words, how you discovered polymer clay and how long have you been using it?

I discovered Sculpey about six years ago in an Original Art Doll Class conducted by Barbara Lady. I didn't do further work in polymer clay until April of this year When I enrolled in a A Jack Johnston Seminar. At this seminar I was introduced to Creall-Therm which I have used extensively since then.

Are there any special artists that you can attribute your interest to or that have inspired you?

Barbara Lady, Earline Brohmer and Jack Johnston.

What is your specialty?

Character dolls with facial expressions and hand gestures that emphasize personality traits. My Characters portray various professions such as musicians, philosophers, farmers, doctors, quilters, etc. I have also sculpted Native American characters.

Can you tell us why you find polymer clay the expressive medium for you?

My time available for sculpting is limited by family and professional obligations. I appreciate how polymer allows me to set a work aside for several hours or days and then be ready for continued work when time permits. I also like the ease of manipulation and detailing it allows.

Have you published any polymer clay books or do you have any in the works?

None at this time. I have hopes for publishing a book or articles to encourage creativity in those who believe they do not possess ability to create the original art dolls they so much enjoy.

I know it is very difficult to express, but have you won any awards for your polymer clay work?

I have won awards at both local and State Fair competitions. I entered three dolls for judging at the 1997 San Fransisco Bay Area Doll Art and Ceramic Show. Each of these dolls earned first place blue ribbon awards in their respective divisions. One of the three also earned "Best of Class" award. Another earned the Global Doll Corporation Award for most original use of a wig. I have been recognized as a nominee for the 1998 Dolls of Excellence Award at the 1998 New York World Toy Fair.

What are your expectations for the future? Where do you hope to be 5 years from now?

In the past five months I have been increasingly inspired by the personal instruction and encouragement of Jack Johnston, videos by Earline Brohmer, and by internet exposure to the work of artists like June Goodnow. I hope to one day contribute to the profession of doll making by encouraging others to develop their creative talents.

Do you have any advice for the beginning polymer clay enthusiasts?

Do not be detoured by discouragement or overly harsh self criticism of your early works. Keep on sculpting, experimenting, and studying the works of the masters in the fields. Enter shows where you learn expectations of the collectors and gain from the experience of those who have been in the field for a number of years.

Are you a member of any Polymer Clay group,or any other craft organization?

I am an Artist Member of The Professional Doll Makers Art Guild. I have also submitted applications to various other guild organizations.

What brands of polymer clay do you prefer and why?

Creall-Therm has the good qualities of both Sculpry and Cernit. Its tones are very realistic representations of skin tones. It has excellent memory and molding characteristics.

Last and most important can you tell us all about you? Your family, your training?

My wife and I recently celebrated our 28th year of marriage. Together we raised three children. We both work in the medical profession: She as a nurse massage therapist in her own private practice, and I as a psychiatric nurse practitioner in private practice. Linda and I work together at creating the dolls and operating our new business venture into the sale of dolls and the teaching of doll making seminars. We have a studio adjacent to our Victorian style bed and breakfast home where we invite students to come and relax while enjoying the art of doll sculpting.

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