Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Interview with an artist- Carolyn Robbins of Warm Heart Bears and Rose Cottage Dolls

Hello!  When you were a child did you have a favorite doll or furry friend that shared adventures with you?  My favorite was a stuffed yellow monkey dressed in a blue dress named Maria. I just loved my dolls and stuffed animals, they were a big part of my childhood and I really can't imagine growing up without them.  Did you ever think about the person that created them though? To continue my series of posts of interviews with artists, today I'd like to share with you an interview I did with Carolyn Robbins of Warm Heart Bears and Rose Cottage Dolls.  Please enjoy!
Carolyn Robbins- the heart and hands behind Warm Heart Bears and Rose Cottage Dolls
Hi Carolyn!  Thanks so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to do this interview with me! Please tell my readers a bit about you and your life.

Coming from a very artistically talented family, I have been involved in handwork from an early age, and have designed and created hundreds of bears, dolls and home décor items.  I began creating miniature mohair teddy bears in 1995 when The Patchwork Ark was established.  The original designs included miniature bears and home décor items.  It was not long before I added art dolls to my product line.

Charlie by Warm Heart Bears
Recently The Patchwork Ark has been divided.  The Bears now have their own home at Warm Heart Bears where you will find one of a kind handmade bears and friends that will “Warm your Heart!”  The Dolls have their own home at Rose Cottage Dolls where you will find “Romantic Style Rag Dolls for your Cottage Home.”

 How did you first become interested in creating stuffed creatures and dolls?

Dolls and Bears remind me a lot of childhood and I think I began making them because I wanted to bring the same feelings to others.  It is sometimes easier to get through tough times when we remember happier times of our childhood.

How did you learn this craft?

I am a self-taught artist.  Most everything I do was learned through trial and error and a good bit of God given talent!
Krissy Annie by Rose Cottage Dolls

 What inspires you when you aren't feeling creative?

Looking at nature and home décor styles always inspires me to create!
Tell us about your favorite creation and why it is your favorite...

It would be hard to choose a favorite creation! Bears or Dolls… Here is an example of both.
Rufus by Warm Heart Bears
Audrie Annie by Rose Cottage Dolls

I do enjoy creating bears more than the dolls, but each one is so unique.  Because of their individuality, it is hard for me to choose one over the other, kind of like children!  As I think about it, the new designs I am now making …I do like them better than my first bears.  I think it is this way with all artists.

What is the most difficult part of the creation process for you?

The most difficult part of the creation process is creating exactly what I see in my minds’ eye.  As I imagine what I want the bear or doll to look like, sometimes it is the actual creating that gets in the way of the process.  I think we always strive to make a better product.
How did you learn about Etsy and decide to open an Etsy shop?

I learned about Etsy from a fellow artisan who creates jewelry.  We both did the same show together for years and I thought it was time to give it a try.
Mystie by Warm Heart Bears on Etsy
I know you belong to the Artisan Group and get to participate in gift bags for various events...tell us a bit about this group and how it works if you could...how does it feel knowing your creations end up in the hands of celebrities?

The Artisan Group is a wonderful supportive group that allows its members to be a part of gift giving at several awards shows and special events.  We must sign up to take part in these events on a first come first serve basis.  There are various levels of participation to choose from.

Knowing that my little bears are going to people I do not know is exciting!  I hope they bring a little joy into the lives of those who receive them.
Is creating for Rose Cottage Dolls and Warm Heart Bears your day job?

Yes creating for Rose Cottage Dolls and Warm Heart Bears is my day, and night job for most of the week.  I do work part time outside of the house at a local gift shop but the bears and dolls are my full time “job”.
Tabitha Annie by Rose Cottage Dolls

Please share where people can find you and your work: 

Warm Heart Bears can be found at:

Website:         http://www.warmheartbears.com

Blog:               http://www.warmheartbears.com/wordpress

Twitter:           http://twitter.com/#!/WarmHeartBears

Etsy:               http://www.etsy.com/shop/WarmHeartBears


Rose Cottage Dolls can be found at:

Website:         http://www.rosecottagedolls.com

Blog:               http://www.rosecottagedolls.com/wordpress

Twitter:           http://twitter.com/#!/RoseCottageDol

Etsy:               http://www.etsy.com/shop/RoseCottageDollsbyCR      

What is your idea of the perfect day? 

I think my idea of the perfect day would be enjoying the day with my husband and daughter, including our three cats!!  Fall and winter are my favorite time of the year, so I am enjoying these fall days!
Autumn by Warm Heart Bears
Thanks again for taking a moment to share your wonderful bears and dolls with us!  I think they are all so unique and beautifully made!

I hope you enjoyed my interview with Carolyn.  If you are looking for a handmade art doll or artisan bear to add to your collection I hope you'll check out Carolyn's creations!