Saturday, August 25, 2007

Group Discussion: Fairies

Recently, I came across a reader kindly criticizing Doll Crafter & Costuming writing too many articles about Fairy dollmaking. It struck me as being true. Fairies are popular with artists and collectors.

There are a lot of dollmakers creating fairies, myself included. My own evolution has swung the gamut from primitive dolls to fairies. My reason is simply this: people pay more for fairies than they do for prim dolls. I feel I put just as much work into either kind too. But I have bills just like everyone else. So I need to follow the buying market. Also, it is more economical for me to use the same amount of supplies towards a doll that will sell at a higher price.

Let's compare fairy dolls and primitive dolls on Ebay. Today, I counted how many auctions started today, Saturday, in the Fairies, Elves, Dwarves category on Ebay. Are you ready? 105 auctions were listed today. That's a lot of fairies, elves and dwarves. But let's be honest, most of the auctions were for fairies. I think I saw one ogre and few dragons. I also noticed sellers taking advantage of the category by selling items to go with those fairy dolls, like wings, chairs and other prop pieces. Now let's take a look at the Primitive dolls on Ebay. 168 auctions started today. That's a lot of prim dolls (I noticed that there were multiple dolls listed by an artist and a lot of patterns). The difference between the two categories, as far as prices go, is that on average fairy doll auctions prices start off around $49.99 to $149.99 while the prim dolls tend to start out at $9.99 to $19.99. What does this mean to you as a fairy or prim dollmaker? To me, it says quite a few things. Among them would be that fairy dolls are more appreciated than prim dolls by collectors and fairy artists use clay while prim artists use cloth (cloth versus clay will be for another discussion at a later time). Why is this so? What do you think?

Why are collectors so enamored with those ephemeral little creatures? As a dollmaker, what is your opinion? Do you have a favorite type of doll to create? Is it fairies? Are you making fairies to pay the bills? If you do love fairies, share with us what it is that fascinates you. If you despise the little winged brats, tell us why.


Tami said...

Fairies are magical creatures. Perhaps that's why people prefer to buy them as art pieces over primitive dolls? Maybe they're seen as being a bit more sophisticated art than a primitive "dolly". I would bet that you have more non doll collectors looking at fairies than the prims. Maybe that theme expands past the limitation that other dolls have? Just a thought.

Who knows? Although I can appreciate a good prim doll, I prefer fairies. So much so that I even have a separate blog devoted to them. Maybe they're symbols of magical hope for people? Or it's just that they're so darn cute. (Although a lot of yours would be more rightly classified as beautiful than cute.)

But I also can understand the reader who wanted less fairy theme in dolls for Doll Crafter & Costuming. Too much of a good thing, is well a little too much sometimes. It'll be interesting to see what other people think. :-)

thecoppermouse said...

Wonderful comments, Tami. Fairies are definately symbolic of magical hope. I dare say, they represent our fascination with youth and innocence. Also, my favorite bit, they are children of nature. I am a huge nature nut. I love the outdoors and especially trees.

For me, I haven't been reading DC&C enough to notice any trends. But regardless what kind of doll it ultimately is, I love learning new techniques.

One last thing about fairies, I like the more whimsical and somewhat naughty (not smutty) personalities they possess.

Anymore comments? I love to hear from you! :)

Vee said...

I think for me it is the "clean", beautiful, magical, ethereal..(and many other adjectives)....... or even mischievous and cute look of elves, pixies and gnomes... .....cute gets me every time...

Personally, I don't care for the worn, sometimes dirty looking prims. Several I have seen are downright scary... but again...just my choice.

I guess is a good thing that we don't all prefer the "same" of something in many categories. Otherwise we might all want cats instead of dogs for I guess there wouldn't even be that "somebody for everybody" saying either, would there? Some would just be left out.

Having said that...I don't mind if I see several (or even many) issues of any book or magazine that is dedicated to talk or information on any topic. Each write-up offers different information..there is always something new or interesting to learn from each article...and pictures! never can we have too many pictures! I love to see them all.