A message from the artist
Hello, my name is Bonnie Brown and I have been sculpting babies for around 15 years now.
My current available sculpted blank vinyl canvases are Twin A, Twin B, Saskia, Levi, Liam, Tink, Chase and Maddie.
I started sculpting when I was younger, inspired instantly by many at the time in first discovering this art existed and with my massive obsession with babies, it was totally irresistible for me.
I started with $20, given to me for my birthday by my Grandma, and I bought a tiny bar of polymer clay, I didn’t have any tools, but anything can be a tool in sculpting, I tried tooth picks, a crochet hook, needles and my now favourite, a pin with a ball head, I think I cleared my mothers pin cushion fairly quickly.
My first sculpt was put on eBay at $1 with no reserve and it ended up selling for $20, which was then combined with the remainder of my birthday money to purchase a bigger bar of clay.
I have been producing my dolls into vinyl myself since 2010 and have used my developing sculpting skills to build a business. It was a normal thing to walk to the post office with a trolley full of kits for the longest time, and with every release and support of those who buy my work my life has changed and developed to where I am today, today in these Covid days, we are so thankful to be working from home and to be able to drive the parcels to the post office!
It takes so much love, time and effort to make one baby, I decided to live stream whilst working to give some insight into how much work goes into each sculpt, in hoping when you hold my work you can see that quiet heart that is very much a part of every baby I make.
It takes me a long time to sculpt a baby, I am very particular and work on several at a time, so it normally can take up to 5 years to complete each sculpt. The quickest sculpt I have made was Saskia, who over 3 months I worked on every moment I had, but not without sacrifice as I neglected a lot of other things.
The money from the purchasing of my work first and foremost pays taxes, various bills and production cost. I take a wage from it that supports my life, bills, food, pets etc, but one thing that most don’t know about me is that I am constantly saving for my life long dream of having my own children. We have been struggling with infertility for years and I want nothing more in life than to have my own babies and I will never ever give up trying to fulfill that dream. I don’t want to go into great detail, but we have to do ivf with genetic testing, and it is so expensive, emotionally and financially. We have done it with no success so far, and this year we hoped to try again, and then the world started falling apart and its just not safe to do so, which is terrifying quite honestly, I feel like my time is running out and my best chance at achieving my dream just isn’t an option right now. We have always wanted a big family and to have lots of babies.
The counterfeiting of my work and others over these past few years is out of control. I get messages from many of you constantly about them and it is truly just devastating.
I would like to be honest with you in saying that to stop every person who is making counterfeits of my work, I would have to spend the rest of my life in lawsuits trying to stop them. I do not have any desire to do that, but that does not mean that it doesn’t affect or bother me immensely, it truly breaks my heart. I want these people to stop but I also want to live my life focused on positive things, working towards my dream, and sculpting for those who love and respect my work. A lawsuit to stop each and every person/company that has stolen my work would take more money than they have already taken from me, but most importantly it would consume me and it would be years and years to have it taken care of, and none of us know how much time we have in life, its best to use our lives doing things that we love and things that make us happy.
It has been increasingly hard to sculpt knowing people are doing this and profiting off of my years of hard work, and more so knowing that people are purchasing them full knowing they are fakes.
There is a huge counterfeit market in Brazil fueled by reborn artists and collectors alike and recently I have noticed that they have been popping up more and more in China. Today I received a message from an artist saying that there is a group on Facebook run by some reborn artists in Spain who are sending kits they want to various companies in China and getting those companies to reproduce them, they are buying them in bulk and these companies are now selling these kits all over the internet.
It is very much illegal to take the work of anyone and have it reproduced without permissions from the original sculpting artist.
It is heartbreaking that people are doing this. It is confusing that they believe it is ok.
They just want what they want and don’t care how they get it.
I have been fighting off this awful thought for several weeks now, that completing a new sculpt is contributing to the problem because I am making new sculpts for people to take advantage of. As a result, I haven’t been able to sculpt and I haven’t wanted to sculpt, because my head keeps telling me, no new babies, no new heart break, this really is affecting me right now.
My mental state in art is probably the most important thing, if my head is not in the right space, nothing works.
The counterfeit issue is growing by the day and I feel it is not up to any sculptor to stop this from happening, it will always happen, as there are people out there who purchase them. People need to stop buying them.
People who do the wrong thing will always be there, but I know there are so many who do the right thing by me as a sculpting artist and I really do appreciate that.
So I plead that if you love my work, please respect my art and support me by not buying cheap counterfeits of my babies, your support means so much to me and I love sculpting babies, I worry that if I can no longer financially support making vinyl kits, I will have to stop making them.
All I can do is make people aware that there are fakes of my work out there and hope that they choose to support me over people who haven’t put years of their love and effort into this work they are illegally profiting on.
All my current kits have certificates of authenticity, we are striving to find ways to make them more and more identifiable so those who do want to morally support my sculpts can.
The best way right now is to only buy kits from my authorized retailers and be aware there are reborn babies out there by reputable artists that have been made with these counterfeit kits, ask to see the certificate of authenticity and even a receipt of kit purchase from an authorised retailer.
Thank you for reading and thank you for doing the right thing by me.