43-year-old Judy Pollard is a self-taught dollmaker who lives Massachusetts, New England. Even though she always desired to do creative work, Judy was not always convinced of her artistic talent. This conviction kept her from getting started for quite some time. Her exciting journey making dolls began in 2007, after her mother passed away from a chronic illness. To cope with her sorrow, Judy started to look for a possibility to find a catalyzer to fill her emptiness. Judy had always loved dolls; she even collected them as an adult. She thought making clothes for dolls would be just right for her situation, so she taught herself how to sew and started to sell her doll clothes online. One day, in 2010, Judy discovered the world of polymer clay while she was browsing the internet.
The wonderful creations that could be made from this material stunned her. Fantasy had always fascinated her, and the precious fairies and other magical creatures from artists like Deb Wood and Liz Amend fueled a burning desire to try it out. She purchased the material, but when it arrived she realized she did not have the necessary tools for sculpting. She looked around the house and decided to use toothpicks. According to her, her first attempts were horrific, but something told her to continue to practice and to not give up.
She kept on playing with the polymer clay (for hours at a time) any chance she had. Eventually, her skills improved. Judy doesn’t have a typical art studio. She began sculpting on her porch, watching her boys playing in the yard. Her patio table is still her favorite place to work whenever the weather allows it. Otherwise, she works in her dining room, where she has a small corner to keep all her material.
Over the years, Judy has developed her own style. She loves creating and sculpting little fairies. As tools, she only uses toothpicks, baby wipes, and her hands. Judy considers Deb Woods, whose encouragement and constructive feedback have been most helpful to her, to be her mentor. Most of the times, she does not even know what color palette she will use when a project starts. The raw piece speaks to her as she creates it, letting her know which hair color or outfit the final creation will get. She uses ribbons to adorn her creations, because she loves color, and because they add an innocent feel to her fairies. The sounds of nature and the songs of the birds that she can hear while sculpting on her porch take her to a special place. Nature has always inspired her and, as her work shows, sculpting has become her happy place.
In 2014, Judy was diagnosed with breast cancer; sculpting was always her escape. She took her clay to chemotherapy and, while sitting on the treatment chair, she kept on sculpting and stayed positive. Treatments lasted up to six hours. For Judy it meant six hours of uninterrupted sculpting in full concentration. In a way, these blocks were a luxury she did not have at home, where four boys kept her busy always demanding her attention.
Sculpting and making her friendly fairies got Judy through some tough years, staying busy, positive, and focused. She is cancer free and her art was a great assistant during this process. Her wish is for people to smile and that they enjoy themselves while viewing her work. Judy wants her fairy dolls to exude happiness and innocence. She has made over 400 dolls to date and she still gets that wonderful feeling of happiness once a piece is complete. Her aim is to bring across the love and dedication she puts into the creation process of each of her works.