Beth Robinson, Eclectix Interview 50



Beth Robinson, Eclectix Interview

Beth Robinson creates fine art doll sculptures, one-of-a-kind characters with a penchant for the melancholy. Versatile in their witty attitudes – they can be monstrous, quirky, dandy, ghostly, lovely and distorted – but always weirdly wonderful. Dressed in vintage and found materials, made from polymer clay and sometimes real human hair.  Full of gesture and energy, each creation has a genuine history of its own – whether it be from a dark secret lair, a Victorian ballroom or inside your own head.



Can you share a little art background?

I started Strange Dolls 10 years ago and from the time I started the website, the dolls have been a success with collectors around the globe, a resume peppered with television appearances, magazine features, and gallery shows. It has been very exciting to connect with people who really enjoy and love what I do.

( Beth also recently added a jewelry shop to her website, full of gorgeous pendants and brooches featuring her art.)






I grew up bouncing back and forth between the Bible Belt and Vermont because my parents were Southern Baptist missionaries. Vermont is where I chose to live as an adult because I always loved how accepting Vermonters can be. You can let your freak flag fly and, even if someone might not agree or like what you are doing, they generally respect your ability to do it. I have been here for 18 years.






Do you work full-time on your art or do you also have another job?

I do have other misc part-time jobs that allow me the flexibility to work on Strange Dolls and not have to worry about workplace stress. I work for a local art school handling their website management, registration, and marketing. I also have a few other part times jobs that are mainly managing website content and helping in an administrative capacity.

An interesting bit of history, surrounding one of my distant relatives is …

My grandfather was a moonshiner from the Smoky Mountains.






My favorite art memory from my childhood is …

My grandmother paid for me to have art lessons after I won first place in an art show in first grade. I was excited about it, until I found, after a few weeks, that the instructor kept making us draw things like tree bark for the entire hour, no cartoons or animals. Just tree bark. So I promptly decided I was better off figuring things out for myself.

My interest in art started …

After the experience in first grade I really didn’t pick it back up again until I was 17 and living on my own. I was sharing an apartment with a girl who was an art student and she would sit for hours on the living room floor working on school projects. So I started joining her and was immediately inflamed with this unquenchable passion for creating art.






I am often inspired and motivated by …

Other artists’ stories about how their career has developed. It seems like we all have some sort of bumpy road that we live but because of their passion and commitment to what they do – it inspires me as well.

If I could spend the day with any artist it would be …

Jamie Wyeth, because I have heard he is a total prankster.

The art technique (a specific tidbit of craft or mechanical expertise) that has helped me the most is ….

Learning mold making and casting last year with Leslie Fry. I took her workshop and did some one-on-one work with her and that was instrumental in allowing me to expand what I am doing to different price points and sizes, as well as things like jewelry.

If I could own one piece of art, out of the world’s collections, it would be …

“Saturn Devouring His Son” by Peter Paul Rubens, 1636



Eat Your Heart Out 2b



My current favorite piece of my own art is …

My series of Eat Your Heart Out dolls (detail above and full image, below…) are the pieces that are closest to my heart at the moment. The Eat Your Heart Out dolls are the first original sculpts I have created in the 5 months after a major personal crisis. They represent my healing and contain everything that has happened to me over this process of dying and rebuilding my life.



Eat Your Heart Out 2a



My ultimate dream project or fantasy is …

To create dolls for Neil Gaiman.

The most memorable thing anyone has ever said to me about my art is …

“These dolls remind me of something my brother used to make. He’s in prison now.” Said by someone coming through my studio during an open studio weekend.

I am currently working on …. 

The next series of figures I want to make are in the same vein as the Eat Your Heart Out Dolls in the sense that they will be black and tattered and ferocious. They will be holding a man’s severed head and drinking from the fluids.






If I could time travel – the era I would like to drop in on is … 

So much of our history involves the subjugation of women so I wouldn’t mind avoiding a lot of that. Mainly because I would instantly get in trouble by having a big mouth. However, I would love to go back to the South in the 30′s so I could hang out with such great Southern writers like Carson McCullers and Flannery O’Connor.



mother copy



The last song I choose to listen to was …

Type O Negative – Anesthesia

The last book I couldn’t put down was …

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

One of my favorite words is …


One of my favorite smells is …


I can’t live without …







My favorite quick fix dish, I regularly make to eat at home is …


It’s not hip, but I really love …

Dolly Parton



fauna copy



The favorite part of my home is …

I am actually quite ecstatic about my nest. I have always lived in crappy domiciles and this is the first apartment I have had that I adore. It has a nice open floor plan and lots of room to roll around in, as well as historic details like brick walls and wood beam accents. It is also on the top floor of my building so the view from my windows is a beautiful mountainscape called Mt. Mansfield. I also love my nest because it is in an old historic building. The series of buildings I live in is called Fort Ethan Allen and was originally a US Army installation in the 1800′s.

If I could live anywhere in the world, it would be … 

Tokyo. The culture is so different from American culture, they have such an amazing history, and their modern culture is funny and weird. What is not to love?

My favorite motto (or quote) is ...

Spit in one hand and wish in the other and see which gets full first.







Link to Beth’s Website

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