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© 2019 Original Doll Artist Council of America

Carol Johansen

Carol’s interest in dolls and making figures began as a child and continued into college with an art minor
and a love of sculpting. It was natural that the two - dolls and art – would eventually come together in
professional doll making.


Discovering polymer clay in 1996, she begin making lifelike dolls, at first for family and friends and then
selling them through a nearby doll shop. This continued for four years until a career promotion and
family commitments put a halt to this artistic passion. In 2015, she was able to begin again with time to
pursue her love of making art dolls.


The creative process of conceptualizing and making sculptures in this form is deeply a part of who she is
as an artist. She finds the challenge of designing, sketching, sculpting, wigging and shoe making,
painting, and costuming creatively rewarding and deeply satisfying. Largely self-taught, she has taken
online courses from other established doll makers and continues figurative sculpting with a local artist.
The pursuit of perfection is never ending for her and she is constantly seeking to hone her skills.
Each art doll is an original one-of-a-kind. The doll’s construction is made to last, with steel armatures
and a strong mixture of properly baked polymer clay. The clothes are sewn by machine and by hand
using fine fabrics and antique laces, hand embroidery, beading, and special touches that add to the story
she is telling with the doll. Inspiration comes from photos, life observation, nature, and from the fairy
tales and stories she read as a child. To make an art object - a little being - from a lump of clay, some
beads, wire, paint, cloth, and a little perfectionism is magical. To be creative and pursue art is central to
her life.


Carol’s work has been featured in publications such as Dolls Magazine, A for Artistic e-magazine, and
International Doll Artists Magazine. Her dolls have won several awards, including a First Place in the
2019 Professional Doll Makers Art Guild Gold Award, Advanced Fantasy category. She is a member of
Professional Doll Artists Art Guild, the International Doll Art Registry, and became a proud member of
ODACA in 2019.

She lives with her husband in a small California beach town. Two grown children, their spouses, and her
two young grandchildren live nearby. The little ones provide ongoing inspiration with their weekly visits
and are her best critics.