Dale Zentner

Dale Zentner's Biography courtesy of the artist - "I grew up on a prairie farm in Saskatchewan, Canada. When not playing in the fields, my sisters and I entertained ourselves by making cut-out dolls from pictures in catalogues. During the long winters, our mother taught us needle arts such as sewing, knitting and embroidery. Drawing was also a favorite pastime of mine, and my early artistic abilities were noticed by my family. Although I had only one real doll during my childhood, there were several younger brothers and sisters to play with and help care for. When I was ten, my family and I moved to Ottawa, our nation's capital. In another ten years, I would move to the even bigger city of Toronto to study at the Ontario College of Art. My other studies included dressmaking, which I put to use some years later when I designed and sold my own line of children's clothing under the label Just Pretend. By this time, in the 1980s, I had two young sons who I could dress up in my latest fashions. Jesse and Kerry also became the subjects of several Prismacolour portraits I was enjoying drawing. The beauty and wonder of childhood, it seems, has always been an inspiration to my work in any medium. Eventually, my various creative interests and skills would come together in doll making. My first dolls were made with cloth. When I discovered polymer clays, I began sculpting the type of dolls I still make today. It was a real delight to find such a satisfying creative form, and a pleasant surprise to realize that there were so many others -- artists, collectors and admirers -- who shared my excitement about the world of dolls."