An Interview with Cindy Lorimer


By Samantha Danson



Today we sit down with long time doll repainter, Cindy Lorimer, for a

candid view into the mind of an artist and the challenges we all face

to a degree.


How many shows have you been involved with?


If memory serves, this will be my third one.


How long does a TRS project generally take for you?


Getting myself moving takes the longest. I sit and ponder for a really

long time and then I almost talk myself out of participating at all, thinking, "I'm never going to be able to do the level of work that everyone else is doing". Then, finally, I start by painting the doll,

which I know I am "good enough" at and then I screech to a halt again

with the costume. I used to sew for dolls all the time and actually

started out with that, making a pretty good living at it. Eventually,

my eyes got bad enough that it became harder to see the needles that

needed threading, the stitching, etc. and the arthritis in my hands

made it painful to hold the tiny bits and pieces in place that needed

hand sewing so that I stopped sewing altogether. So, when it came time

to make a costume again I balked and wondered if I would even remember

how to do it.


What's the hardest/best thing about participating?


As mentioned above, one of the hardest is overcoming my own mental and

physical inertia to get myself moving on someone else's schedule. Then

I have to push against all my own negative commentary about my own



What's your personal favorite TRS achievement?


I was actually proud of both pieces I finished, especially the first

one since that was the first costume I had made in many years. With

that one, I started out with an already made dress that I tweaked and

added to. I was happy with the second costume because I made that

totally from scratch with materials I already had on hand; fabrics I

had saved from back when I was sewing. I found scraps that seemed to

match the textures of the costume in the photo references. That was

really fun! Got my sewing chops back. Not perfect but I could still do

a reasonable job so I was pleased.


What's the most expensive element you've incorporated?


Well, I had to buy a really truly hideous fairy doll for my first

project since I had no idea how to make wings and I didn't think I

could sew the dress from scratch. That was probably the most expensive

part of my first doll. After that, I needed to find a doll to match

the specs of the character, which considering the fact that I have

over 500 dolls in my own collection, I was able to find one on the

shelf in my house.


What excites you most about this show?


Before I joined in with this group, I had felt myself sort of slipping

to the wayside in the doll collecting arena because so many of the

collectors are now buying resin dolls which I can't afford (and, truth

be told, don't really like). I was feeling isolated. These projects

are bringing me back to the community of doll people that I came to

love and rely on so much. I'm happy to be part of the gang.


Why did you pick your character?


I love Native American themes and also, more truth telling, I thought

her costume wouldn't be too much of a challenge for me.


How did you decide your concept/mash up?


I don't really think of this as a mash up.I had originally imagined it

to just reflect a sort of updated version of fairytale princesses. I

didn't really think beyond that. I do love the elements of steampunk

we are adding and once I just sat and meditated on it for a while, I

was able to see how it could be used to really tell a story about time

travel and shamanism, all in one doll.


What will be your greatest challenge in creating her?


I think the costume. I have been hunting for steampunk elements

online: clock gears, metal feathers, etc. There is still so much to

flush out in terms of her persona. I have found the doll I will be

using: a Tonner Jon with very long crimped hair in variegated shades

of brown and black. I will enjoy adding braids, beads, and feathers. I

am using several paintings by a favorite artist, Susan Seddon Boulet,

as references. I would like to try to add elements of water somehow

since she is the Guardian of the River but I don't exactly have a

picture in my mind of how that will work...yet.


Thank you so much, Cindy, for your honest take on your process! We

know Pocahontas is going to be spectacular.






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