Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Knecht Ruprecht featured on A Journey to A Simple Happy Life

I am happy to announce that Imene over at A Journey to a Simple Happy Life asked me to do an interview. It's up today!

Thank You Imene for the opportunity!

Here is the Interview:


I am very happy to welcome Marie today all the way from Austria! I've long been an admirer of her dolls and toys. Her dolls are real gems made in the Waldorf tradition. Today she is sharing with us her love of doll-making, being a mom and a creative soul.

Who is behind Knecht Ruprecht?

My name is Marie. Since I had my daughter, I started to make her things just like my mother did for me when I was a child. More and more people asked if I could make such toys for their children too and so I created the my label "Knecht Ruprecht" and started to sell my dolls.

I believe very strongly in the importance of dolls and doll play in a child's life, I absolutely love my work as a doll-maker and it is a great pleasure and honor for me to create these important little friends for children who accompany them through the most significant childhood years.

How did you learn to make Waldorf dolls and toys?

I was lucky to be Waldorf schooled myself. I have been taught how to create my own patterns and to be creative with all kinds of materials very early in my life.

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You have a little one at home, how do you carve time for your creative endeavor?

I always try to work with her beside me. I arranged my atelier in a way that she can create on her own things right next to me.
This works is very beneficial for both of us, I can be with her and can guide her and she is a great inspiration for me every day.
Of course I try to find some time in the evenings to work alone on my dolls too, especially to hand embroider the faces of my dolls. I really need to concentrate for that task.

How do you think being surrounded by mama-made goodies has affected your daughter?
I grew up in a family of artists, with lots of self made and handcrafted things around me. My parents made most of my toys by themselves. I just love all things handmade and unique and I choose to provide and surround my family with beautiful and lovingly handmade goods.

I think that things that are made by hand, using only natural materials, are instilled with a soul that is not present in other kinds of things. The play is the true work of our children and I think it affects our children in a positive way to be provided with the best and highest quality play things possible. Surrounding our children with handmade and natural toys means that their memories will be full of these natural, important, and handmade things, rather than toys that are unimportant, inexpensive and disposable.

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What would you recommend to someone just starting their journey with Waldorf Education?

I can recommend lots of books regarding Waldorf education. There is a book list on my blog, but they are written in German.
Here are some good links regarding Waldorf education in English:

Waldorf Family Network.

Why Waldorf works.

Waldorf Answers

International Association for Waldorf/Steiner Early Childhood Education.

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The internet is such a powerful tool to create connections. How did blogging help you create connections with other mamas, crafters and waldorf families?

I am really glad for all the opportunities the internet is offering. Places like Etsy for example are great and allow very little businesses like mine to realize their dream and get connected with buyers and sellers sharing the same interests all over the world.

The act of creating is a lot more than a physical act. What is it for you?

A very relaxing and soothing activity.


When you create a doll, do you leave your own signature mark on it? Some of your personality?

No, I don't. I think my dolls have their distinctive Knecht Ruprecht appearance that is enough and I always have the feeling that it would be irritating the child if a doll has some kind of label on its body. I was thinking about using labels on the doll clothing.

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We all have very simple pleasures that make us happy. What makes your heart sing?

Sunshine and Springtime

Given a day free of obligations what would you do?
Be creative