The skill is in the detail.


Fern Vasi talks to us about her fabulous dolls

Fern discovered her love of dolls houses through her 2 sons. One had a castle filled with knights & horses, the other loved his train set, so she began making tiny houses, people & landscaping it for him… she was totally hooked. she then started taking classes & working on her own dolls house.

The first figure she made was a little boy she carved out of clay for her halloween scene, next, she made a Christmas scene animated like the store windows in New York city. When she couldn’t find any elves to go with it, she made one herself.  People started asking if they could buy one & she realised she could make a career out of her passion.

All the skills she learnt were from professional doll makers. she moved to working in Porcelain as it was better quality, but her teachers, who knew nothing about miniature dolls, laughed when she asked about carving detail while the porcelain is still wet – they did not think it possible.

I find myself staring at people where ever I go – I know it’s very rude, but, faces intrigue me.  No two are alike – the shape of an ear – the size of a nose – a strong jaw line.

Christmas Elf

Fern believes the tiniest detail in a miniature can be the thing that makes it believable to the eye.  This is why she carves her porcelain – so she can get the detail in the ears, nose, eyes, laugh lines and wrinkles.  she always soften the colours of paint and cloth she uses.  Detail in miniatures and scale are so important – one item in a room box can be off a little and it draws your eyes right to it.

Her number one tool is a very tiny paint brush used to apply liquid porcelain to add depth to the molded faces – it has to be done with an exact amount of dampness.  This took years of practice for her to get it right.

My work takes complete concentration – eye-hand coordination is essential. I find it very relaxing.  People always say “you must have so much patience”, quite the contrary – I have very little.

Mickey & Minnie Mouse

Fern’s biggest challenge was working with Disney.  “You have no idea how hard it is to sculpt a cartoon character!  Mickey mouse, Belle, Walt Disney himself – what an experience it was”.  She has also created a Nativity Scene for the Vatican. 

We were excited to be welcoming Fern to KDF Summer 2020 for the 1st time, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be, but she took part in our Online Showcase & hopes to make her debut at KDF Summer 2021.

With no shows in the near future – Fern is trying to navigate the world of the internet.  She did a Zoom video for NAME and demonstrated how she make a doll from start to finish – that was fun!  Her Etsy shop has re-opened & her next job will be a new Christmas elf – she has many collectors for them. 

These days, with the virus turning everyone’s life upside down, I feel blessed to be able to continue to do what I love.

Etsy: FernVasiDolls