A former senior artist for Disney, Tom’s skill as a sculptor included creating mechanically animated characters in Orlando.
A sculptor with Katherine’s Collection since 2003, Tom remarks on his love for being creative. “What I love about working on a Katherine’s Collection piece is doing something that’s new and never been done before.”
In addition to sculpting, Tom will also sketch the faces he sculpts and creates miniature character sketches. “Every piece starts with a study, a smaller sculpture of the face that will be sculpted for the doll. Since this is a cooperative effort with all of the artists here, visualizing the face in 3D helps each artist to see what it will look like, on a smaller scale.”
Noting the emotional value that a Katherine’s Collection piece holds, Tom says, “I think we are unique in that we get to create pieces that people want to collect. We work to give them something they can’t find anywhere else and that they will want to keep long enough to become a family heirloom.”
After more than ten years sculpting each and every doll, he still finds excitement from each collection. “Each season is something new, and that is exciting. It’s a give and take cooperative attempt to really do something different. It’s a challenge to stay fresh, but we are always looking for something new and never repeat the same look from past seasons.”
When asked where he finds his inspiration for each doll, he goes back to his roots in animation. “I tend to go to the characters that are designed for animation, the illustrators who are doing book covers and video game design. I also watch Disney and Pixar characters closely to see how they are changing.”
Focusing on the quality of a Katherine’s Collection piece, Tom states, “The quality that comes from each piece being hand-made is incredibly different and hard to find these days. There’s a uniqueness when materials aren’t made from machines.”