Thursday, February 3, 2011

Today's Featured Artist --- Baggaraggs

Today's featured artist is Robin Ridener from Baggaraggs.

Tell us a little about you? 
Thanks so much for this opportunity to let me tell you about the Baggaraggs. My name is Robin Ridener. I am 56 years old, married and have three semi-charming children, and two lovely grandchildren. I am by profession a Pyschiatric Nurse since 1978. I have worked inpatient with adolescents for 32 years, including 8 years at an adolescent sexual offender program in Bradenton, Florida.. I am currently working inpatient with adults
. My love of creating folkart and my need to "make a living" has led to a kind of split life, and interesting dichotomy, one foot in one world, one foot in another. Both seem at times somewhat fantasical.One dark at times and one light.  I also like to write, and have created what I call "story dolls." There is also an on going work of fiction on my blog about the creatures and people of the Baggaraggs, that all live inside my head. (

How long have you been in business?
Some years back...I had a business with my sister called Poppets and Posies. I made folkart dolls and she did dried flower designs. My early work was really something (FOR THE TRASH) LOL  Lets see, that would have been in the early 90's I think. I started on Etsy at the encouragement of my daughter Friedel who lives in Los Angeles. I opened my Etsy shop in Aug of 2008.
How did you get started?
I began making dolls because I loved the look of Folk art dolls but simply could not afford to buy what I liked. I sewed my own clothing in High School, even went to school with straight pins in the hem, so I was a friend to my sewing machine. I kind of went from there. Practice makes improvement. (NOT perfection, my dolls are a celebration of IMperfection)

What is involved in making your craft?
I am not sure how to answer this question. Sewing, painting and unlikely uses for different objects of nature...I use moss for hair at times, and palm tree inflorences as wings. I suppose an ability to get out of my own way and hook up with the absurd. I also use paperclay to sculpt the dragonflies and insects, and heads for some of the dolls.

What is your favorite thing to make? 
I like making Bugs best. I love insects. Butterflies and dragonflies. Kadydids and leafhoppers. They don't sell too well though. LOL

Do you have set hours to work?
I try to be in the studio by 10:30 in the morning. or before. I work until my husband yells at me that its lunchtime and are we ever going to eat anything. Or is there GLUE on the chair?
What are your future plans for your business?
I confess to having ambition, but I don't think I am going to take over the whole doll world. As I am able, I would like to build my business by having happy, satisified customers who will come back, and buy a few things from time to time. I want to refine my "Brand," develop my style, wacko or zaney as it may be.
Although it is a dream, I would like to have a seperate studio away from the interruptions of my home, and create full time. (Dreaming is good.) This might not happen for the next 8 years or so but God Willing, I will get there with the assistance of my friends from the Baggaraggs. Right now I am grateful for having my studio in my home, where I paint and sew in my pajamas.

What does handcrafting mean to you?
  Handcrafting for me is like Praying. It is being present in the Now. I am part of a stream of creativity that carries away my thoughts of negativity, sadness or pain. Handcrafting is spiritual for me. It is a way of healing myself.

Where do you sell your crafts?
  I  will have a shop on Artfire very soon.