We are often pretty busy here at Maria Lynn Dolls, as you might imagine! Pouring new kits, shipping all around the world, and painting new work keeps us working sun up to sun down! With us so busy, I can empathize with all those who come to our website looking to buy a silicone doll like they've seen shared on Facebook ,Youtube, and Instagram but find our currently available page empty! Where are the completed dolls? One of the tasks that keep us busy is answering emails and facebook messages of people who are always asking, "How can I get a doll like that?" The answer is a bit more complicated than it should be! But we'll talk through it here and I will show you how anyone can purchase a silicone reborn doll.
A bit of background on the nature of silicone dolls
Silicone dolls cannot be reproduced indefinitely. The process of making these life-like dolls uses a molding process that just doesn't last forever. The doll molds that we use wear out after a time, and eventually, a certain doll will become unavailable. For this reason, many of the dolls I have created in the past, are no longer available. Many of the specific dolls can no longer be found anywhere! Every silicone doll is, by its nature, a limited edition.
Further, each doll takes a lot of work! The making of the blank, unpainted kit requires specialized equipment and materials, as well as a lot of time to get a smooth, seamless doll with silicone's characteristic squish! From there, the blank doll must be painted, this is done in multiple layers, to get the realistic skin tones that really bring the baby to life. Finally, hairs are rooted in by hand, strand by strand in order to get a lifelike look, rather than the cheap machine rooted hair on factory made dolls. All this work makes our babies less like a play doll you might buy from Amazon or Walmart, and more like an art piece from a gallery. This is why they can be so hard to come by.
How can I get one?
Maria's completed work gets snatched up almost immediately. When she has a new baby to share, she provides the community with the date and time it will become available, through her newsletter or through facebook so all will know in advance. Then, on the day and at the time, the baby becomes available and BOOM, its gone, first come, first served. And then for Maria, its back to work on the next one, and everyone interested in the doll just gets to twiddle their thumbs! There are just not enough dolls for everyone that would like one. However, there is another way . . .
Many artists in the doll community accept custom orders
The silicone doll industry is comprised of dozens of artists all around the world working in small studios and in their own homes. Many of these artists are happy to accept custom work where you can have a certain doll painted and shipped to you! Here are steps you can follow to engage a artist for your custom doll.
Step 1: Choose a doll
As stated above, silicone dolls are all limited editions by their nature. You might have stumbled into this community from a video of some past work that you really loved, but which is unfortunately no longer available. So, you will need to select from the blank, unpainted kits, that are currently available either from us at Maria Lynn Dolls or from elsewhere online.
Step 2: Choose an artist
As you might imagine, artists vary widely in skill and price and so you might need to spend some time shopping before you find a good fit. A good way to start on finding an artist is to post and speak with community members in one of the many active community forums on Facebook (like this one, this one, this one, this one, or this one). Also, if you're planning to buy one of my kits, I have a list of trusted artists that I can share as well if you'd like to send me an email! Also, KrisC of The Dainty Loft, keeps a list of verified artists on her blog here:
Different artists will have different processes. Sometimes, you might purchase the kit and have it sent to the artist, sometimes the artist will prefer to purchase the kit themselves. They might have a waiting list or they might be ready to go immediately. Some offer long payment plans for those who don't have the cash up front and others might not. However it plays out, your chosen artist will have your doll painted and it will soon be on its way home to you!
Step 4: Enjoy!
Whenever I hear from a past customer of Maria Lynn Dolls I hear how pleased they are to own one of our special babies. For so many, they fill a unique place in the heart. If you would like to own one of our babies, please send us a message!