Common questions about my creative process:

 

blackwoodoctober15 108Do you use patterns? – Yes, I sketch out my ideas and turn them into reusable, original patterns. I do not sell my patterns. Every piece has a “Blackwood Cottage” tag on the back, and all dolls are signed, so be assured you can only get my work from me.

How do you construct your pieces? – Most of my work is sewn on the machine and finished by hand. I like to set up my work assembly line style, and I usually create my items in small batches or groups.

How do you paint your dolls? – I use heavy body, high pigment artist grade acrylics, the same kind used for a canvas. I do not use craft paints. Each face is drawn free hand and then meticulously painted with small brushes. All shades are mixed by hand. I use a varnish to help preserve the painting and allow it to be wiped clean with a dry cloth. All painting is done on the doll after it has been sewn and stuffed, so there is little room for mistake.

Jessica Stadtmueller paintingHow long does it take to make one doll? – It depends on the piece, and since I work in batches, it can take a few weeks for me to complete a series. On average it probably takes about 4 hours to complete one mid priced cloth doll. Higher end dolls with armatures, bases, etc. can take significantly longer, and the pricing will reflect that.

What’s the difference between a doll and a creature? – I call an item a doll if it is considered human or mostly human, and creatures as animal or monster.

Where do you get your ideas? –  I find inspiration everywhere: nature, vintage items, strange dreams. I am very inspired by Grimm’s Fairy Tales, and children’s fantasy literature such as Alice in Wonderland. I love artists such as Edward Gorey, Tim Burton, Arthur Rackham. Please follow my News>Journal if you would like to read more about what inspires me!

About purchasing my work:

 

Do you accept custom orders? – Yes, please contact me to discuss your idea. If I accept the project, please be aware that I require a non-refundable 50% deposit before I begin any work on a commission. The remaining 50% is due upon listing the completed piece, which will be reserved in your name on a private listing for two weeks. Custom orders that are not paid in full after two weeks will be taken off reserve, and listed publicly in my store for sale.

Do you offer wholesale or consignment? – I do not currently offer a wholesale catalog, but I do consign at times. I am open to discussing both opportunities, please feel free to contact me.

Are your dolls and softies safe for children? – Simply put, no. They are not designed as toys, and some may be a choking hazard to young children. If you would like to purchase my art for a child to enjoy, as a general guideline I suggest children older than 5, under your discretion and supervision.

Blackwood Cottage StudioAllergen and sensitivity concerns – My home and studio are kept smoke free. I do own two cats. I use primarily cotton/polyester blend fabrics. Any items containing wool will be noted in the Materials list.

Where will you be vending or exhibiting next? – Check out my website News>Events for postings. You can also subscribe to my monthly email newsletter, or follow me on social media if you prefer.

Do I have to set up an account? – Not to simply enjoy this site. However if you would like to purchase from this online store, an account is requested. Please refer to Legal for details on my policies and purchasing online.

How do I know if my work has shipped or if my order went through? – Please check the inbox of the email you provide during checkout, as this is where all the transaction notifications will be sent. If you have any concerns about your transaction process, please contact me.

All questions about payment, returns, shipping, etc. are addressed on the Terms and Conditions page.

 

Please feel free to contact me with any questions. Thank you for reading! – Jessica