Saturday, August 10, 2013

All Dolls Are Art Conference Report

ADAA 2013 (All Dolls Are Art) was a success thanks to Amy Nelson and her staff.
The classes were filled with talk, laughter, and happy moments. Everyone had loads of fun finishing their project and enjoyed the three day event.  Congratulations to Karin Otto-Burfict for the sale of her wonderful piece, "Honey."

This year’s banquet speaker was Mayra René. She introduced her new book, "El Arte De La Muneca En Tela", "The Art of the Cloth Doll." She had a full presentation on screen as well as stories and history of some of the dolls she brought with her to share. This book takes us into the world of cloth doll making, with the history of the first dolls from the pre-hispanic era to the present; from evolution to transformation. Mayra documents the historical origin of the doll as a true art form. She shares the love, joy, and life experiences with our dolls. She writes about the contributions the Spaniards made in cloth doll making in Mexico's culture. The two and a half years of research paid off, for it was hard to put the book down. Congratulations to Neva Waldt for her beautiful piece featured in Mayra's book. Some of my pieces are featured along with life stories of how the important women in my life influenced me in creating the cloth doll.
 She has a version in English that will come out on October 7th in e-book form and hopefully next year the English hard cover book will be available.
TAODA Artist Adriana Esqueda with author Mayra Rene

More pictures taken at ADAA can be found on

Adriana Esqueda

Monday, August 5, 2013

NIADA Conference, 2013

TAODA members Janet Bodin, Theresa May, and newly inducted NIADA artist Neva Waldt spent the last week in June at the NIADA DollMaking School and 50th Anniversary Conference in Corte Madera, California. The weather in beautiful Marin County started off cool and rainy but, apparently to make us Texans feel more at home, abruptly switched to an uncharacteristic and unexpected heat wave. The company of doll artists from all over the world and the excitement over Neva's impending membership more than made up for the discomfort, though.

Janet took Shelley Thornton's 3-day cloth doll class, Theresa took Connie Smith's 2-day stone clay animals class, and both Theresa and Neva were in Tanya Marriott's stop motion animation armature class. We all learned, despite issues with class size, lack of air conditioning, and chatty class members.  Gallery night was impressive, and over the following days the programs were really inspirational and fun (especially the session on animation by in-coming NIADA President Tanya Marriott and her husband Garry Buckley).

The vote on new members merely confirmed what those of us in TAODA already know--Neva Waldt is a world-class artist--and we were thrilled, if not one bit surprised, that she joined an international group of five other artists in the NIADA Class of 2013. To top it off, all three of the pieces she took to show were sold to collectors before noon on sale day.

Next year's meeting is in Orlando, Florida. The DollMaking School is from August 11-13, and the conference is August 14-17. 

Theresa May 

Friday, August 2, 2013

Artist Doll & Teddy Bear Convention, May 2013

Attending this year’s “Artist Doll & Teddy Bear Convention,” in Philadelphia, was an awesome experience for the senses. The experience, as a whole, was great. Our promoters Susan and Terri Quinlan put on an art show that surpasses any out there. We begin on Thursday with a day of classes we sign up for in advance. On Friday we can attend the Artists Marketplace and book signing where artists set up tables with wares they sell at bargain prices and sign their books. The seminars, given by artists were great. These were not only informative but so much fun. The artists’ display of one of a kind art pieces for judging were out of this world. The pieces exhibited this year surpassed the creativity of last year and made judging very difficult. This year we also participated in a special exhibit and sale of doll artists making a teddy bear and teddy bear artists making a doll. It was lots of fun and lots of pieces went to new homes. The early Friday show and sale and the Saturday show and sale were fun days of laughter and meeting new people. In my opinion, this year we had more conventioneers and new people attending than ever before.  Lots of smiles, laughter, and picture taking surrounded us all day.

I recommend this show to everyone interested in showing and selling their art pieces and to those who just want to experience three days enjoying the atmosphere of art and fun.

If anyone has any questions, please don’t hesitate to email me directly at

Adriana Esqueda