Where are you based?
I live in the countryside in a small rural settlement called Ljungarum, south of Hässleholm in Sweden. I am originally from Berlin, Germany.
What is your professional background?
I am a professionally trained puppeteer (I studied at the Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Art, Berlin, Germany). Before I began making dolls for children, I worked as both a puppeteer as well as a dollmaker for theatre and TV. You can read more about my professional background here.
Where can I find you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest?
If you want to follow my work as a dollmaker on Instagram, you can find me as @notesfrombjorkasa. If my #onebouquetperday flower project made you curious, you can find my other Instagram account here. On Pinterest I am @bjorkasa, on Facebook I can be found here.
How can I sign up for your newsletter?
You can join our mailing list here to receive my monthly newsletter.
Where are your vintage dresses from?
Most of the vintage dresses I wear were given to me by people who know that I love vintage garments. Only a few of my dresses were bought at flea markets.
Can I contact you in German or Swedish?
Either works fine.
Do you still work with theatre?
From time to time I make puppets for theatre or TV, but I am currently not performing as a puppeteer myself. One of the main reasons is that Sweden – unlike Germany – has almost no tradition of puppetry. There are a few smaller professional puppet theatre groups spread out over the country, but the use of puppets on stage in productions for adults at state theatres (something I was working with mostly) is almost nonexistent.
What does Björkåsa mean?
Björkåsa (pronounced [björ:k-å:sa]) means birch hill in English. It is the name of our house, built in 1910 on a hill surrounded by birches and old oak trees and with a beautiful view across the meadows and Store Mosse, a large bog.
Can I come and visit your studio?
Currently we are rebuilding a shed as a larger atelier for me, which is why my work tables are set up in a temporary space in our house and the reason why I don’t run studio tours at the moment. Once I have moved to my new workspace, I will open it for visits by prior appointment only or when participating in arts and crafts circuits.
How much do you sell your dolls for?
My dolls cost between 3.200 SEK to 15.000 SEK (Swedish Crowns), depending on size, amount of work and style. From time to time I auction a special doll with a lot of extras for collectors and usually the bidding price is higher than the retail price.
How much time does it take you to make a doll?
Depending on the size, it takes me 2-7 days of work.
How and where can I buy your dolls?
I am currently mostly working on a custom order basis. If you wish to order a doll, please email me at hello(@)notesfrombjorkasa(dot)com. A few times a year, I sell dolls that are ready to find a new home through a small mailing list. Please contact me for details.
What kind of materials do you use to make your dolls?
I use natural materials such as cotton and wool. Most of the materials I use are either GOTS certified and/ or organic. From time to time, I use vintage fabrics and haberdashery. My dolls are stuffed with clean carded organic wool from a farm in the south of Germany. For the hair of my dolls, I use special doll mohair produced in the UK. The materials I use for dolls that are intended for children comply with the European toy safety standards (EN 71).
Are your dolls Waldorf dolls?
Not specifically as Waldorf dolls are made according to the Rudolf Steiner philosophy and they are characterised by simple expressions and designs. What they have in common with my dolls is that they too are made from natural materials such as wool and cotton. My dolls come with a lot of small details and distinct facial expressions. Also, the production method is different: I sculpt the head and body with needle felting before adding several layers of fabric and stitching facial features. However, I think that dolls for children should be kept simple to leave as much to their imagination as possible. To me, that doesn’t exclude a friendly facial expression or characteristic body details.
Do you collect dolls yourself?
I make dolls, I like to look at dolls made by other crafters, but I don’t collect dolls.
Where can I get information on upcoming classes in dollmaking?
New dates will be announced on the blog. As soon as there are any dates available, you
will find the information here on the blog. If you want to, you can also join our newsletter mailing list.
What is your approach to dollmaking?
I create eco-friendly dolls made from natural materials that endure many, many hours of play and that can be passed on to the next generation. My ambition is to offer dolls that stimulate creativity and encourage storytelling for children and adults. As a crafter, I strive for high quality and sustainability in all aspects of production, starting from choice of material and manufacture to shipping. I cherish craftsmanship, simple aesthetics, creativity, playfulness and cheerful moments.
What kind of camera do you use?
I use a Nikon D200 and a tripod plus a few gadgets that make it easier to take and edit
Who takes all your photos?
All photos are taken by me unless stated otherwise. For many of my photos including selfportraits, I use a tripod and a remote control. For some images I may ask for assistance, but I find it easiest to work on my own, as I often have a very clear image in my mind before
setting up the camera.
Can I use one of your photos on my site?
All my photographs are protected by copyright laws. Please ask for permission first and
add full attribution with a link to my blog. Do not post the entire content of any blog post,
DIY tutorial photos or any other instruction without prior written permission. If you are a print publication, please email admin(@)notesfrombjorkasa(dot)com. Thank you!