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© 2019 Original Doll Artist Council of America

Ute Vasina

If you had asked me, "What do you want to be when you grow up?"  I'm sure the answer would NOT have been a dollmaker. Actually when I was a little girl, I always dreamed of being a flight attendant. To make a long story short, I was born in Hanau West Germany. At the age of twelve, I moved to the US with my mom. I had to learn a new language and a new style of living. So let's just say my life has been a challenge from an early age.

Sewing was never a strong interest of mine, not until my daughter was born. I wanted to make her a dress and that opened the door to a new beginning! I tried many things, but true inspiration didn't hit, until I attended a local doll show. Being able to see some of the most incredible creations in person was the best ever. It was that day that changed my life forever. I was so inspired, that I joined our local doll club, The Mad Dollmakers. This is where knowing how to sew would have been a real plus. Determination and the help from other doll artists helped me get my feet off the ground. A newbie to dollmaking! Inspired, buying patterns, taking classes, I started to create dolls. I had finally found something that I totally loved.

Soon after having made a few dolls, I decided to create my own. Of course, I wanted and had to make something different. This is how I came to creating Trolls. Not because they were mean ugly creatures, but because they had great big features, lots of texture and each one was so uniquely different.

In the spring of 1999, I released my first pattern. I try to make each pattern different from the last, giving each doll its own personality. Occasionally, I find myself starting with the embellishment part of the doll, rather then the head or the body.

Sometimes it is as simple as a pair of antique child's shoes that inspire me. I am always on the look out for things that I may use on one of my dolls. It may be a long time before that item is united with a doll, but at least I have it in my stash and don't have to go hunting for it!

Some of my dolls have been to exhibits as far away as Japan, Australia and Alaska. Others have been recognized by publications.  Most of my trolls reside at my home in Castaic, CA as part of my family. These dolls are part of my every day life, as much as they are a part of ME. They capture and hold the feeling of a moment in time!  But mostly, they put a smile on the face that looks at them.