About Sarah: In her charming Minnesota country studio, Sarah creates one-of-a-kind dolls. She gently shapes polymer clay to capture the essence of children's many personalities. Her dolls are exceptionally realistic. She bases the doll's features on her own children and their friends, who are often called into her studio to model. Through skills in sculpture and drawing learned at a local art center and the ability to see and capture form and dimension, she is able to make her dolls come alive. Sarah works with the finest fabrics for the doll's clothing. She chooses silks, finely woven cottons and vintage handkerchiefs to complete design of each doll. Some of the doll's accessories are made by her while others are purchased from an antique or gift shop. From the tops of the dolls' heads to the tips of their toes, every detail is important. Like children, her dolls loved being fussed over. Creating doll is full-time work, and in addition Sarah tends to the needs of her family. But as she says, "through perseverance and a supportive family, I have been able to work at something I love." (Bio Courtesy of Sarah Niemela)

Sarah Niemela Biography

Sarah, a Minnesota based artist, has been sculpting one-of-a-kind dolls since 1996.  Her skills are mostly self-taught but she has drawn from many talented artists along the way.  She prefers to work from photos or real life and loves the challenge of sculpting the likeness of a real child.  She is the mother of many children and has used them over the years for her study.

 She has always had a love of art and especially portraiture.  As each doll evolves it becomes a little portrait of someone unique and it truly is a one-of-a-kind.  Sarah studies real children constantly and tries to capture different looks in her dolls.  She is continuously working to perfect her sculpts and uses proportions she has drawn from children of different ages.  Her range of work has expanded since we began carrying her dolls 8 years ago.  We first carried her sweet Caucasian girls, and then one year she surprised us with her absolutely wonderful African American work.  She then began sculpting toddlers.  Her faces have great expressions and the hands and feet are exceptionally well done.