ADO Featured Artist: Bari Read
of Bari's Fairies
Please tell us about yourself. What is your name? Where do you live? What makes you tick?
My name is Bari Read and I live with my husband, my dog and a pack of formerly stray cats in Mesa, AZ.
When did you start making dolls? Why did you start making dolls?
Probably 10 years ago I started exploring polymer materials - I currently use Cernit. I would say that the dolls I make now are an extension of the figurative sculpture I had been doing in clay. I'm not sure that I consider myself a true doll maker -- I think I'm probably just a sculptor that likes to work in polymer...
Who or what influences you? Inspires you?
I normally work with an aluminum wire armature, reinforced with skewers so it only bends at the joints. Most of my dolls have polymer head, hands/arms, feet and legs with soft, stuffed fabric bodies. I like the flexibility of having a soft body so that they can be re-posed (one of the big advantages of dolls over clay sculpture).
I never do sketches, and have no idea what will inspire me from one moment to the next. I usually have an idea about something that made me feel a certain way, and eventually I'll come up with something that will allow me to recreate that feeling.
I did do a ball jointed doll in Ladoll paperclay, but I can't say that I love the material as much as I do polymer. I may try another ball jointed doll in polymer if I can figure out how to do it a way that makes sense.
Do you have a favorite doll? It can be handmade by you, handmade by someone else, or even (gasp) mass production.
I'm not really a doll collector or even a doll lover although I have seen some dolls that I love. I just like to create them.
Besides making dolls, what do you do? Job, other creative pursuits, hobbies, etc.
In addition to doll making, I try to work with clay from time to time - I've got some hand building for functional ware scheduled for next month, which should be a nice change of pace from tiny detailed faces and hands.
What are some of your favorite: movies, books, websites, magazines, foods, TV shows, music? (Any or all!)
I'm an avid reader -- Larry McMurtry, Ann Beattie, Laurie Colwin, E.L. Doctorow, John Irving, Kaye Gibbons, Barbara Kingsolver are a few of my favorites and I try to re-read all the Jane Austin novels as often as possible because you just don't get dialogue better than hers, although Larry McMurtry is also awesome.... I'd be hard pressed to name movies, because I can rarely remember titles. We love to watch foreign films though -- I think it's because they tend to be more 'slice of life' focused and not 'slice of exceptionally rich and amazingly gorgeous people's life' focused, as so many American films are. I also love pretty much anything with Will Ferrell. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, anyone?
Where do you see yourself in one year? Five years? Ten years?
I don't know what the next few years will bring -- I imagine I'll still be sculpting, still making dolls and still playing in clay every chance I get. In 10 years I will hopefully be retired and living somewhere with a bigger studio so I can work spend all the time that I spend now making a living, making art.
Where can we find you on the internet? (blog, website, Etsy shop, eBay, et al).