Young -the talented woman behind Scarlet Elfcup-, describes her work with the following words: Dreams, Imagination, Adventure & Playfulness for all ages. Oh it is so true! Her work is truly wonderful and inspiring. She makes magic while working with natural fibers, there is such a beautiful delicacy in each of her handcrafted creatures. It was a pleasure to feature her work in this corner of the digital world. Her monthly feature started on October 5th and here at last is the whole interview as well as a selection of her exquisite dolls. We bet you will fall in love with them. Enjoy!
Young, thank you so much for sharing with us!
1. What would you like to share about yourself?
YOUNG: I live in California with my husband and our two young children. In a life previous to motherhood, I dabbled with a number of work experiences…a mechanical engineer by training and a few years of work in the bio-medical engineering industry, a math and physics teacher for a number of years, a Peace Corps volunteer and Peace Corps employee for some time, and my latest undertaking…a crime data analyst for a university police department. After being pregnant with my first child, I closed the doors to all those ventures to delve into full-time work as a mother.
2. Can you describe your dolls in one sentence?
YOUNG: Scarlet Elfcup dolls are marked by their signature size of about 6 inches (15 cm) tall.
3. When did you start making dolls?
4. What motivated you to start your own brand?
YOUNG: Scarlet Elfcup began early on in 2014, inspired by the doll making journey of the one and only significant Fig&Me….shortly after I discovered the world of handmade dolls and toys, as a way to combine my love for knitting, sewing, reading, writing and photography hobbies. In this time, it has evolved to much more, providing not only an outlet for creativity, but a home for the gratitude I feel for all of my inspirations, and most importantly, the connections I am making with amazing people from all around the world. I invest in this endeavor not only because I love the art of weaving words and images together to tell a story, but because, in doing so, I find myself looking more deeply for the beauty in life and consequently finding it in more places.
5. Which part of the process you enjoy the most?
YOUNG: I have no formal training in anything to do with doll making, textiles or sewing. I’ve learned it all myself through books, the internet, and experimentation. I am a mechanical engineer by training. So, my background goes hand-in-hand with what I enjoy most about the creative world of fiber arts…measuring, puzzle piecing patterns, playing, experimenting, testing, failing, and doing it all over from scratch to work toward a final product is part of the process that I enjoy tremendously. This is how I’ve learned doll making and textile art and this is how I’ve built the skills that I have today. It will always be a continuous learning process for me and I hope that the learning never ends.
6. What makes it challenging for you? / What challenges you?
YOUNG: I think that my answer to question #5 and question #6 sort of blend in and go hand in hand…so my answer here is the same as in #5.
7. Favorite materials/ tools/ fabrics/ suppliers, etc.
YOUNG: My favorite tool…my hemostat and knitting needles
My favorite fabric….cotton poplin
My favorite supplier….I don’t have a favorite supplier because I use various ones consistently for different reasons. But, here are ones of many I love getting supplies from….Weir Crafts, Kamrin’s Poppentelier
8. What do you consider to set a fair price to your work?
YOUNG: Eventhough my dolls are small, they take nearly, if not more than the amount of time it takes to make a bigger doll…between 20-40 hours. I also like to use only the highest quality natural fibers, which costs more than cheaply made synthetic materials. So, both time and materials factor into the price for my doll making.
9. What´s the soundtrack to your doll making process?
YOUNG: It depends on my mood….I can listen to anything from solo piano tunes to pop songs by famous artists.
10. Any advice to other fellow doll makers?
YOUNG: My best advice for the doll maker starting on her journey….consider doll making as just that….as a journey by which the learning is what will propel the movement forward, make many mistakes for they give you the new skills you need to develop your style, be patient and take it one step at a time, keep making what inspires your heart, keep making from the heart and you’ll always enjoy the journey.
Scarlet Elfcup is on: