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Sarah Maldonado

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Joined 2012

I was born and grew up in Arlington, Virginia.  The women in my family are ardent needle workers and I learned to sew, embroider, knit and crochet early.  Fabric, costuming and fashion dolls were intensely interesting to me, but science and discovery were equally fascinating. The science won out in choice of a career.  I majored in biology and chemistry at the University of Richmond then attended Virginia Commonwealth University to complete a PhD in microbiology.  I did postdoctoral research at Michigan State University and remained in the frozen north for a career in the clinical laboratory.  I still live in Michigan with my husband and a very large cat who supervises the studio.

When I left the laboratory, I had time to reconnect with dormant interests and rediscover the joy of creating with your own hands.  I got reacquainted with my sewing machine, unearthed my fabric stash and started making stuffed animals and cloth dolls.  I took classes in porcelain doll making and made reproduction dolls, both modern and antique, for a few years.  This gave me some insight into working with porcelain.  Learning to model the human figure and master mold-making took persistence, "seeing" differently and learning from mistakes.  I made my first original doll in l998.  Although I am mostly self-taught, I am forever grateful for seminars from talented artist/teachers willing to share skills, insights and inspiration.

Most of my dolls are adult women.  They depict many different periods in history and various cultures through accurate representation of costume and ethnic dress.  I hope the ladies evoke a sense of elegance, intelligence, dignity and serenity.  Each doll teaches me something new and wonderful.  Every doll challenges you to be better at each step of the process and gives you the opportunity to do something new.

My work has been featured in DOLLS Magazine, Doll Collector Magazine, Dollreader and Doll Castle News.  I have published articles in both Doll Costuming and Dollcrafter magazines.  Three of my ladies have been nominated for the Dolls Award of Excellence in recent years.  I am a member of the UFDC and am pleased a proud to be an artist member of ODACA.

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