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© 2019 Original Doll Artist Council of America

Sonja Bryer

When I initially became interested in doll making, I was already an accomplished ceramic artist. To support my ceramic- creating hobby, I offered ceramic classes in my basement. I soon realized the admiration my students and I had for porcelain and quickly began specializing in this media. I taught classes for approximately 12 years and had students attending from three states.

I always had the need to challenge myself as an artist and in 1977, while attending my first doll convention I met a lady that would start me on my road to making dolls. The class was 7 days long and gave me a real good start.

I started selling my own limited editions dolls in 1980, and soon was selling so many dolls that I had to get help. I had three dressmakers, two mold makers, and four others that helped in various ways of finishing the dolls. I attended as many as 8 shows a year to sell and take orders. Then I would come home and work to make them. After 11 years of attending shows throughout the year I attended my first Toy Fair in New York. I had been told that this is where shops went to buy dolls. Selling my dolls at Toy Fair would allow me to stay home and make my dolls and I would no longer have to travel.

I not only sold to shops, but sold to companies including Danbury Mint, Ashton Drake, Franklin Mint and Charisma. In working for Charisma they received contracts from Marie Osmond, Disney, Warner Brothers, Lenox and I was commissioned to do work for all of them. By working for these companies my dolls have been sold all over the world; which has been very exciting for me! I feel so blessed to be able to do what I love.

Currently I am making very limited editions of 5 – 10 dolls and one-of-a-kinds. Portrait dolls are my specialty.