A League of their own: Embracing the Unrivaled Brilliance of my handmade fabric dolls

Witness the stunning craftsmanship that captivates collectors and enthusiasts worldwide.


There are a lot of reasons why my handmade dolls have recently been declared
"A global triumph in doll making"
"extraordinary masterpieces".
One of the first reasons that springs to mind is the unrivaled innovation that I show whilst designing my dolls.
I spent a lot of time developing my unique patten so that the dolls I create can be both fully poseable and beautiful to look at. In fact, I spent a good year studying human anatomy and proportion for this very reason. Then I customised it, to create the streamined body that ART DOLL is known for.
Donna ART DOLL concept sketch for embroidered face of handmade heirloom doll
Art doll proportion sketch
Art Doll concept sketch for handmade heirloom keepsake doll design
A truly stunning design, my dolls are guaranteed to be of the highest quality. I see "heirloom quality" thrown around in the doll world quite a lot. But, here at ART DOLL, heirloom quality is proven. I have physically tested my dolls to EN71 standards to ensure that quality.
Screenshot from EN71 handmade doll safety testing. This is the fire test to ensure the doll doesn't catch fire at speed.
I was taught to sew from an early age. I don't use knots in my sewing because they are prone to breakage. Instead, I use traditional seamstress techniques to lock in my thread. This makes the stitching superior to most other handmade items and long lasting.
Attaching handmade heirloom doll arm to the body perfectly
A critique once described me as "redefining perfection" and I'm very proud of this. I use an embroidery technique called "painting with thread" to layer the colours and incorporate highlights and shadows into my dolls features. Flat embroidery is not something you'll find here at ART DOLL. Instead, you'll find beautiful multi-faceted and artistic facial features, as if painted with a brush.
Beautiful embroidered doll lips with shading and highlights. Perfect.
I have been crafting dolls for three decades. One could even say that handcrafted dolls run through my veins. The dolls I create not only contain my talents, but also a piece of my family history, making them even more special.
Donna Gilliard as a child with her brother and dad
Each doll is uniquely designed. I do not create fan art or "Disney inspired" dolls. Not only is doing this copyright theft, but it is also very uncreative. When I begin designing a doll, I start from scratch with brainstorms and mood boards, before moving onto carefully sketching and painting the doll. I never create blind. I always draw the doll first because this insures superior design.
Donna Gilliard sketching and writing
I'm so proud to say that there is simply no competition when it comes to ART DOLL designs. I'm surrounded by the most beautiful community and I am grateful for this every day.
Donna Gilliard
Back to blog

Leave a comment