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Babies with Expression
Pamela Poulakos
Hannypanny Dolls

CDHM artisan Pam Poulakos

Pudgy Little Heart-stealers Aren't
   Limited To Valentine's Day

By Alice Bell, Editor
Photos courtesy of Pam Poulakos

CDHM artisan Pam Poulakos of Hannypanny Dolls in Miniatures When someone says adorably cherubic, they aren't talking about the arrow-shooting Cupid or a winged putti if they're looking at a Hannypanny baby.

And Pam Poulakos, creator of Hannypanny Dolls, is all about the cherubs, er, babies.

"I first started sculpting babies about four or five years ago. The first babies were very basic non-jointed figures in different poses with different props and some were seasonal creations for Christmas or Halloween. After that I progressed to simple wire-jointed doll families, which included babies. These dolls were all clay, including their clothing. I still have one of those babies, he kind of moved into my dollhouse," said Pam with a laugh.

It isn't surprising the little tyke moved in and made himself at home. Her adorable and mischievous little guys - and girls - have a way of moving into your heart. Her babies are special little cherubs who have an almost definable air of mischief about them. Their expressions are carefully crafted, wide eyes looking out on the big wide world while pudgy little hands snitch cookies or gleefully wave toys. CDHM artisan Pam Poulakos of Hannypanny Dolls in Miniatures

"Collector's comment on their expressive faces and frequently ask me how I capture their 'look.' For the expressions, I picture children's and baby's faces in my mind and go from there. Plus I have a lot of nieces, nephews and babysitting under my belt to rely on for reference!

"I have no formal training with dolls. I went to art school but it had nothing to do with doll creation. I have been using modeling clay to make little people since I was a little girl. I also made soft sculpture dolls, but found it much more satisfying and exacting to work with clay. I learned by doing and by practicing. The hardest part to get right is probably the eyes and hair. The most tedious is the limbs and the easiest is the face - probably because those are the most fun," said Pam.

CDHM artisan Pam Poulakos of Hannypanny Dolls in Miniatures Pam also makes character dolls in different professions such as a doctor, baseball player or others in 1:12 scale and some in 1:8 or 1:10 Hitty scale, but babies are the joy of her creating.

"Every time I see a baby I'm inspired! Norman Rockwell inspires me to make artwork out of everyday scenes," said Pam.

"All my dolls come with something extra, always! I do holiday babies by request or if I have the time, otherwise I include a holiday 'something' along with the extras I send with the doll. I sculpt about five dolls per week on average, although I usually work in batches of eight or 10. Most of the dolls are jointed, so the only pose I have to choose is how much to bend or flex their arms and legs or turn their heads. When I'm working on a group of dolls, I try to make them varied so when they are finished they will look like an active group of little toddlers or babies. I also pose their hands so they'll be able to hold items such as toys and pacifiers, which I also make.

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