Restoring dolls is an art on it’s own. You don’t just repaint the eyes or redo the hair. You pour your own love and care into that doll and make it beautiful again and with an aura of happiness and joy.
I’ve heard about Arnaldo’s Restorations a few years ago while browsing Flickr and was immediately amazed by the care an passion he puts into every doll he brings back to life. A true artist with a big heart. That’s why I wanted very much to do an interview with him and show his wonderful art to all my readers.
1. When people say “I need my Barbie to be restored” your name comes up first! That’s how amazing your work is. Tell me please how you started working with dolls.
I started working in dolls in 1995. I went every weekend at the NYC Chelsea flea market and got lots of dolls in need of restoration. At that time I was studying Art and Landscape Architecture so because of my background this help me to restore lips, eyebrows and sculpting broken parts.
2. What dolls do you love most and why? Any special memories about them?
My favorite dolls are vintage #3 ponytails and long hair American girls. When missing hair plugs I figured out a way to use their same original hair. In this way it was a perfect match.
3. I know this is a question everybody askes but I must know: ever thought about creating your own doll? Or have you done this already?
Creating my own doll is certainly in my plans. I have been concentrating on putting together on all the doll parts I have collected for years but in my free time I am working on creating a prototype doll and 10 outfits.
4. If someone allowed you 5 word to describe your passion for dolls what words would you chose and why?
The words that describes my passion for dolls are:
1- respect: for the history of each doll
2- fascination: for how fixing dolls make me feel
3- creativity: it has make me learn how to sew, sculpt and paint.
4- joy: for all the friends I have because of what I do
5- fun: when bringing back a doll to life.
5. Tell me a bit about your involvement in doll conventions. When was your first convention, what was your latest and what was your fave?
My first convention was in 2001 since then I have attended all of the National Barbie Collectors Convention consecutively. Last year I attended the Grant-A-Wish and soon I will be attending my second Kenvention. It is hard to pick a favorite. All were unique and special.
6. You created an amazing doll for the Madrid Fashion Doll Show. Please tell me more about her and how you got involved with this wonderful convention.
One of the members of the Madrid Club found me in FB and bought a doll from me. Since then we kept in touch. They invited me to participate but I have attended so many conventions that was not able to go, instead I sent them one of my creations so they can do an auction and donate the money to a worthy cause.
7. One inspiration. Choose one thing that inspires you more than any other and tell me about it.
My inspiration is my partner Dale. He was the one that surprised me going to my first convention. He enjoys when my dolls make other people happy.
8. Tell me something fun: how is a normal day in the life of Arnaldo.
I used to be an Art teacher and college professor. Since 2010 I work full time in dolls. Wake up at 7:00 and work from 9:00 to 7:00 restoring dolls. Fun right!
9. Ever considered writing a book about doll restoration?
Yes! Yes! I am working hard to organize my business first and then writing a restoration book and creating my own dolls are in my future plans.
10. Last but not least, please send a shoutout to my readers and thank you again for taking the time to answer this quick interview.
Ada,I want to give a big shout-out to all your readers the share the passion of doll collecting. I appreciate you invited me to contribute to your amazing blog. Hope I get to meet one days some of your readers and really admire you for having this blog. Hi to all!!!
Thank you, my dear! I loved your answers and can’t wait to read your book and see your dolls. Everybody be sure to check him out on Facebook and go to him whenever your doll needs some care and love. You will not regret it.