Marie Wilson 's love for miniatures began when she saw her first unfinished dollhouse at a friend's home at the age of ten. They were finishing and decorating the house themselves and Marie helped them to create a brick sidewalk. Marie's parents gave her a dollhouse that Christmas and Marie fell in love with the world of miniatures.
The miniature dolls back then were, for the most part, not to scale and their clothes were heavy and without much ornament. She dreamed of making her own Cinderella someday. In her twenties she found a shop that taught classes in making porcelain dolls and spent the next ten years learning about sculpting, mold making and china painting. Still, She struggled to create her vision of how the clothes should fit to look realistic.
In 2003, She met IGMA artisan, Maria Jose Santos, who creates beautiful dolls and clothes and took classes from her in Maine at the International Guild of Miniature Artists School. From her, Marie learned the skills and techniques that she uses to create and design costumes for her original dolls as well as tips from other doll Artisans and Fellows on sculpting and mold making for miniatures.
That same year, Marie met her partner, Erin Carter , who now collaborates with her on making "dollscapes", which compliment the dolls. "Dollscapes" are bases that are landscaped with flowers, bunnies, butterflies and other notions, or some may have marble or wood floors to suggest an interior scene. The idea for the "dollscapes" came to Marie from your youthful days with her grandmother who collected Meissen and Dresden figurines. Marie always loved how the figures would be in a garden, playing an instrument or carrying a love letter. The figures would tell a story that made them come alive in her imagination. Many of the "dollscapes" can be interchanged with any doll, and together Marie and Erin's creations tell a story or create a mood which draws the viewer into the magical world of miniatures .
Erin Carter found her passion for miniatures at a young age of 5 when her grandfather made her first dollhouse. Erin began to refine her miniature skills when she won a scholarship from the International Guild of Miniature Artisans (IGMA) to attend school in Castine, Maine at the age of 19. She is still the youngest recipient of that scholarship. Erin found her favorite classes were taught by Sandra Wall Rubin in the art of flower making, but excelled in all her classes including scrimshaw, costume making with Maria Jose Santos, culinary creation, and stainglass.
Erin is now creating "dollscapes" which compliment Marie's and other artist's dolls. They are layered with details; flowers, bunnies , turtles, squirrels and butterflies are hidden among the foliage. She has even created a tiny ladybug...so look hard. The dollscapes are enchanting and draw the viewer into the tiny world of make believe.