I am proud and happy that you visit my website. I am Ankie Daanen with a passion for dolls with a soul.
For more than 35 years I am a dollmaker, first as a pupil, now as a professional and teacher. Almost every day I work on my dolls and try to make the ultimate doll that tells everything I want to say.
I like my dolls to be sad, happy and even mystic. That they give you the feeling of having a life and soul and I hope that you recognize some of that in them. I try to let my dolls bring an intimate connection with the human spirit. And perhaps that is what transformes the doll into a piece of art. I hope so.
The basic of doll making is craftmanship, but it goes beyond this. Doll Making involves expression and recognizing emotions together with using high-quality materials. For me this means:
“Dollmaking, a never ending story”
I hope that you enjoy your visit.
A bit more Bio …
Already as a child I was searching for way to express my artistic abilities, and much of my childhood I spend seated beside my mother’s sewing machine waiting for leftover scraps of fabric. My mother made clothes for children and I copied her whilst sitting on the floor creating ballroom dresses for my Barbie-dolls.
My dream was to have a professional career in art i.e. as a ballet-dancer, opera singer or designer. But when the time came to choose a profession, my parents did not share my idea of going to an art-school. In those times they thought it did not guarantee a living.
So instead I went to an educational academy and became a teacher.
After 5 years of teaching, yet again I started searching for an oppertunity to give way to my creative energy. Because of my love for music I was attracted to the conservatory and began studing music and became a music teacher.
About that time I visited an exhibition of dollmakers and I was overwelmed! I went back three times and it was self-evident: my mission was to become a dollmaker, and I went for it! That was about 20 years ago.
I started taking a few classes from well known dollmakers, but soon I began to teach myself. I did not want to copy dolls from others. I wanted to have my own style. In every new collection of my dolls I try to grow. About five years ago, after 15 years of sculpting dolls from stone clay, I started to work with porcelain.
I love the charm of the smooth skin you get from porcelain and, of course, the longer life cycle of the doll. After a while I developed my own techniques and processes. After finishing the basic model I create the molds, and after the doll comes out the mold, I sculpt the doll again. This process means that every doll I create has something unique.
A passion for dolls with a soul
Than I discovered the Japanese Creative Paperclay which gave me the possibitily to play with movements and sizes of the dolls. Working with porselain makes you stick to your mold, but the free expression I can develop in working with this paperclay gives me the opportunity to design an even more personal style of dolls.
My great love for fabric, laces and trims and all my inspiration, imagination and fantasy, which is always available, goes into costuming the doll.
I am passionate about dollmaking and I am happy to see that dollmaking turns more and more into a form of art. Although good craftmanship is always the basis of a good doll, the expression of the doll, the recognition of emotions and the high quality of materials used make them special and unique.
At the moment I consider myself as a very lucky dollmaker. My dolls are at display all over the world and I like to thank my audience for sharing their emotions with me, for they are the ones who inspire me every time: A good doll that stays in the memory.