Meet the Peg Doll Maker – Part I

Welcome to Part I of my Meet the Peg Doll Maker series, helping you to get to know us a little more. It’s based on the prompts provided by Joanne Hawker for the month long Instagram challenge March Meet The Maker. It is designed to help small business owners and creatives to tell the story behind their brand.

 Each day of the month has a different prompt, which participants can interpret freely. Over the series of posts I am sharing the images I chose for each daily prompt, along with the caption I wrote for each one on Instagram. Hopefully you will learn a little more about myself, the peg doll families and cake toppers that I lovingly create, and about what goes on behind the scenes in our studio!

Day 1: you

peg doll artist Natalie Thomas

This is me, Natalie. I’m not usually fortunate enough to be sipping on cocktails! However this was my 35th birthday in the Lake District over the weekend. I’m not at all ready to be a grown up yet though! I live on the side of a mountain in the Welsh Valleys with my lovely hubby. His presence keeps me (an introverted, tea-drinking creative gal who wants a quiet, uncomplicated life; likes staying in and her own company) just about on the right side of the “Crazy Cat Lady” line.  We have 3 cats; Dexter, Cookie and our kitten Pearl, who really are the apples of my eye. Pearl is completely deaf and I am teaching her sign language, thus validating the almost crazy cat lady status 😹. Really looking forward to finding out more about my favourite makers and meeting lots of new inspirational and talented lovelies too.

DAY 2: Favourite to make

Peg doll family of five

I’ve really had to think long and hard about this. I really love EVERY set I’m commissioned to make. So much love, time, and effort goes into each doll I make that I become attached to each one. I almost posted some Wedding Cake toppers as it’s always such a huge honour to be asked to make something which is such a focal point of someone’s special day. It’s also an extremely nervous process – particularly between sending them from my little studio to their new recipient! Will the dolls be what the customer envisaged and hoped for? Have I got the details just right? So it’s very stressful but so rewarding when I get lovely email feedback!

However, after a bit of reflection, I realised that my favourite sets to make are in fact the ones that involve lots of colour and pattern. It’s such a satisfying and therapeutic process to translate them to my little wooden dolls. So I picked this picture as an example of my favourite sort of work to undertake- bright, colourful and patterned! 😍💕 Does colour or pattern play a big part in your work?

Day 3: Workspace

peg doll artists studio, wales, uk

Here’s my little studio. We haven’t lived here long so we haven’t decorated in here (brown carpet anyone?) but I love my room anyway. My desk is under the window so gets lots of natural light. The deep windowsill is perfect for our 3 moggies to curl up on while I’m working. It looks over our little terraced garden and up to the pine trees on the mountain we live on. I love watching them sway hypnotically in the wind. Of course this is rather fortunate because we get a lot of wet and windy weather in the Welsh valleys!

The room is home to all my special little trinkets and treasures from my dearest family and friends, and favourite makers, so it’s an ecclectic but inspirational environment for me. It’s also got a bank of built-in storage which is crammed with my years of arts and crafts materials. It’s the main reason I bagged this room as my studio when we bought the house! If I’m feeling brave enough to reveal my scratchy little Welsh accent, I might show you around on Stories later! 🙈 Do you have anything special to you in your studio? Looking forward to seeing everyone elses creative spaces today

Day 4: Tools

peg doll artists tools

Here are my essential tools for making my peg doll families and wedding cake toppers. I usually work in my studio. Of course this is a necessity when I’m burning the dolls. Sometimes though, in the evenings, I like to pop my pencils and drawling tools in to a basket and work curled on the sofa up next to Mr T. There’s usually a cat or two on my lap too!

Day 6: Raw Materials

peg doll families and couples

Here are my little wooden peg dolls before I work my pyrography and pencil magic on them. I keep an easy to grab “working stock” handy in pretty glass jars on my pretty turquoise Raskog trolly next to my desk. The rest of my raw stock is in a big box. I keep track of how many I’ve got with little chalk labels on each jar – high tec baby! 😂 💕 Do you have any clever ways to keep track of your raw materials?

 Stay tuned for Part II of my Meet the Peg Doll Maker Series for the next 6 snippets into our little business.

Cwtch ♥ Mawr

peg doll family