Every part of my characters are handmade- eyeballs to hemline.  This is what distinguishes art dolls from other types of dolls and figurines.  There is only ONE and no molds are ever used.  I use polymer, epoxy or sometimes paper clays and sculpt the entire doll and often many of the accessories.  There are no limitations with clay.  Whatever the mind can imagine, clay can transform to it's shape.  That makes it a magical property itself I believe!
The Idea
  Each character starts it's life as in idea.  Each day there is a new inspiration.  Whatever pops into my head soon starts taking life.  That is the exciting part- never knowing exactly who is going to appear during the sculpting process.  The face is always first.  Without knowing the personality how could I proceed?  Sometimes the idea I begin with is not the one I finish with depending on the character that appears in the face.  A particularly interesting face may spark a whole new sculpture entirely.
The Character
  Once the face is complete the scene comes to life.  Each character goes through makeup and wardrobe.  I believe in LOTS of accessories and detail-preferably with an aged finish.  I love frayed trims and adding found objects to add  personality and a more timeless feel.
Alana is our model here.  Her sweet face (left) truly came to life with color.  I spend equally as much time blending the perfect palette for each character as I do sculpting them. 
All in the Details
I plan all of the details each type of character requires. Details- you can never have too many in my book!  Elves, for instance,  have certain physical and social characteristics that are interesting to note.  All have slightly elongated fingers.  This makes it easier to hold things- be it potions, toys or tools.  Their heads are also slightly bigger than human proportions.  As magical creatures they have vast knowledge and it shows!  They have large eyes suited for detail work and keen hearing as well.  An elf's ears move according to his focus and mood.  They are very social amongst each other and love having a good time when work is finished.  Although they do not generally show themselves to humans they do love making gifts for others' enjoyment.  It is not in an elf's nature to be lazy.  They take pride in their work and love learning new skills and perfecting old ones.  They are noble creatures and great friends.  In order to give a character life-like qualities, you must imagine it could have a life!  You are kind of a mad scientist in a way.
Figurine or Jointed Doll?

I make two different kinds of sculptures- hard-sculpted figures and jointed dolls.  Some characters come to mind in a pose that relays their character or captures a moment in time.  Others require fabrics, trims and movement to really show off properly.  They usually "tell" me early in their process how they are meant to be.
The March Hare

This little guy needed that certain cock of the head and complete head-to-toe sculpt to be sure every inch of him evoked that sense of disheveled madness.
The Griffinwyse World
You will find all manner of fairytale and magical creatures here in Griffinwyse; gnomes, trolls, pixies, fairies, dragons, bats, owls and all sorts of  creatures that inhabit the elven lands.  Circus performers to trolls, whatever might come to mind, a little Wonderland to escape to.  Art is meant to enjoy, to make you happy every time you see it.  That is my goal with Griffinwyse.  I found a quote once that said "Dreams are not luxuries, they are the universe's instructions."  Sculpting is mine and I hope they inspire some of yours!
Daven and Dahlia

This pair needed the ability to interact so loop joints give them that freedom to pose.  Their elaborate clothing and details required movement and the setting of a scene. 
 What is Griffinwyse?

I would love to share some elaborate tale here but the truth is that it  was simply an idea I had when dreaming up a name for my business. The combination of the name "Griffin" (the mythical creature) combined with a play on the "wise" ("wyse" for a little old-worldy effect) old owl.  Creatures I love all in one.  I sculpted one mascot who sits here with me in my studio.  Meet Balthazar.

Now a little of the Griffinwyse's legend courtesy of my imagination. A griffinwyse is a magical creature who is half griffin and half owl. Most magical beings are not commonly seen by humans and the Griffinwyse are the gatekeepers of this world. They stay mostly high in the trees and hoot their warning if humans come near. Since magical beings generally prefer to keep to themselves, many communities rely on the warnings of their Griffinwyse to keep their whereabouts hidden.