Artist Statement & Biography
As a child, my German mother read me and my sisters the original Grimms fairy tales, un-Disnified, in all their wildness and glory. My dolls draw on that childhood experience of magic as well as fairy tales and myths from India, Scandinavia and Russia.
Their faces are important to me. In discovering the technique of needle felting in the past three years, I have found the perfect medium to express their unique expressions. Sometimes I look at the faces of my family or research faces online and sometimes I draw on my imagination.
Their bodies and clothes often have hidden pockets or spaces where other dolls or secrets are hidden. I believe in magic and dreams and in the capacity of dolls to heal, both myself and hopefully the viewer as well. Viewers of my work have told me that they can relate to and are moved by the universal themes in my dolls.
Erika came to doll making recently and taught herself to felt and sculpt her dolls. Her previous training in the fine arts and also as an art therapist inform her current work. Recently she has received grants for bringing her work to the community at large. In 2015 she received a CRAVE grant for her project "Materialized Magic: Mythical Creatures in a Yarn Artistry Habitat." This project culminated in an exhibit at the Arlington Arts Center in Virginia and at the Torpedo Factory also in Virginia. In 2016 she received a Margaret M. Conant Grant for her study of Flip or Topsy Turvy dolls. This project culminates in an exhibit at the Artists and Makers Studios in Maryland. She exhibits at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, VA and has shown in museums and galleries across the U.S.