Carabosse Dolls

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MARÍA JOSÉ SANTOS

Maria Jose Santos was born in Barcelona (Spain) in 1972. She spent her early childhood in A Coruña. At the age of ten she moved to Asturias, a region where she has lived ever since. She studied in the University of Oviedo, where she took a degree in law and specialized in urban planning.

Maria Jose began the creation of dolls in 1997 after attending a class in reproduction of antique dolls, where she learned the proper techniques of polishing, baking and enameling porcelain.

After several months of self-taught training in sculpture, modelling of moulds and confection of costumes, her first doll was a classical dancer, 1/10 scale. After that, she created new characters of famous ballets. Her first customers were dancers and people fond of dance.

The next step in her career as an artisan took place in the exhibition Casas de Muñecas y Miniaturas in Oviedo where she presented a scene, 1/12 scale, of the ballet The Sleeping Beauty. In this exhibition she had the opportunity of meeting Caroline Hamilton, the organizer of London Dollshouse Festival, who selected Maria Jose to enter for it in 1999. Encouraged by the reception of her work, Maria Jose began participating in international fairs and exhibitions of miniatures and dolls: Paris Creation (France), Eins zu Zwölf (Germany), Feria Internacional de Miniaturas de Madrid (Spain), London Dollshouse Festival (UK), Mitsukoshi Miniatures Show (Japan), Chicago International, Philadelphia Miniaturia, New York Guild Show (USA).

Her work has been published in books such as Casas de Muñecas en España (Miniaturas Ediciones) and Casa de Muñecas (ediciones del Prado), Dolls of Diversity 2005 Calendar (Songbird Multimedia) and miniature magazines such as Puppen & Spielzeug (Germany), Maison de Pouppèe (France), Dolls’house Magazine (England), Dollhouse Magazine, Miniature Collector (USA) and in the Spanish ones Miniaturas and Muñecas. She has contributed to this latter since 1999 to 2001 writing articles on fashion in the 19th century.

Carabosse Dolls can be seen in the permanent collections of miniature museums such as Puppenhausmuseum of Basel (Switzerland), El Mundo de las Muñecas in Tenerife (Spain), the Toy & Miniature Museum of Kansas City (USA) or the Kathleen Browning Miniatures Collection in the Kentucky Gateway Museum Center (USA), as well as in temporary exhibitions: Naples Museum of Art (Florida, USA), Tee Ridder's Miniature Museum (New York, USA)…

Since 2003, Maria Jose is an instructor in the International Guild of Miniature Artisans School (Maine, USA), where she teaches summer classes on miniature costume design and history of fashion. She also organizes workshops in her own country twice a year. Nowadays Maria Jose goes on creating dolls on order, working on new projects and attending miniature shows.