Laura Scattolini Biography
Since 1994 this Italian artist has poured her heart and soul into every magnificent doll she has created and now is a leader in the doll art world. Her work graces the halls of museums today and will be among tomorrow’s antique treasures. Laura says that dolls “are her life.” When you look at a Scattolini doll you see the heart and soul of its creator. Every Scattolini doll has a story behind it. She sometimes draws inspiration from something as simple as a picture in a magazine and writes her ideas in a little book. Her dolls all have soft expressions and she usually designs the entire look in a soft color palette. Laura is known for her simplistic and realistic clothing designs. Laura only creates about 10 one-of-a-kind dolls a year and works with a handful of dealers internationally. The Russian market continues to be captivated by her work. She works with Cernit and Fimo, Masterpiece eyes, human hair or mohair wigs. Her dolls have a cloth body, the toddlers a little chubbier than the graceful adolescents. Each doll comes with a beautifully designed certificate complete with photos of the doll and a quote from Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet.
Born in Mantova, in northern Italy, Laura never received formal art training. Her father, Ivano, was a musician and figurative painter. As a child her family traveled all over Europe while her father pursued his musical career. She was an only child and her dolls traveled with her. She dreamed of someday making a doll that looked like her and not the elegant, richly dressed dolls she carried around.
After graduating from high school the family finances took a turn for the worst. She often tried selling her paintings to earn money for food. She eventually landed a government position and had a business career for over 20 years. She married her husband, Sergio Zanini, in 1971 and had 2 children.
Her doll career began in the early 1990s with cloth and porcelain reproductions. Her first real doll was “Melancholy.” It was sculpted in 1994 of Cernit. Today she works in a mixture of Cernit and Fimo. She uses simple but expensive wigs, often hand dying and styling them herself. She usually uses Masterpiece eyes or hand-blown German glass eyes to help express her doll’s emotions.
Laura selects fabrics in a soft, neutral palette so that the clothing is not the focal point of the doll. She even washes the fabric before sewing as this too softens the overall appearance. She has custom leather shoes hand made by cobblers in Italy which she then scuffs and paints to complete softly worn look.
She creates children between 3 and 12 years of age often grumpy or on the verge of crying. Her dolls stand between 17 and 25 inches tall. They are usually accompanied by hand made accessories. She shops for old chairs and re-paints and re-upholsters them herself.