Melbourne, Australia-based artist and designer Hanna Mancini creates incredible, one-of-a-kind art dolls. These lovable creations are completely handmade, and each comes with a unique personality.
Mancini”s art dolls are created using wool felt, and usually include vintage fabrics, trims, lace, and other details collected from secondhand stores or handed down from relatives. This gives the dolls not only some unique flair, but also a personal touch that makes them even sweeter.
To create the dolls, Mancini first starts with a sketch of the completed piece, or at least the general idea of how she wants it to look. Instead of making patterns, she usually cuts the pieces freehand, and allows the doll to come together naturally as she works. Each doll is completely sewn by hand, and some of the more complex designs can take up to 50 hours to complete.
Mancini grew up in a creative family, with an illustrator and designer dad and a textile artist mom. Due to this background, creating things, she says, comes naturally to her. Her brother, who currently works as a concept artist, is her long-term collaborator.
She started making these dolls in high school. They started out as little gifts for friends, but advanced into real pieces of art as her sewing and design skills continued to evolve. She”s experimented ever since, creating all kinds of delightful creatures.
There”s no question the dolls are adorable, but there”s much more to them. They hearken back to a day when people made playthings and art out of what they had available, letting their imaginations and ingenuity shape their creations. Mancini”s dolls, which are only vaguely recognizable as specific animals, take on a sort of totemic identity as well, blending fabrics and designs from different times to create something new.
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This is just a small sampling of Mancini”s clever, adorable creations. You can see more on her deviantArt page, as well as on Facebook and Instagram. She”s also an illustrator, so be sure to take a peek at her illustrative work. If you want a critter of your own, you can also check out what she has for sale on her Etsy shop.