Kimberly Lasher is constantly in creative mode. As long as she can remember, she was always drawing, painting, knitting, sewing, sculpting, and designing. Kim’s formal art training was as a graphic designer and illustrator. Her interests changed, however, when she saw her first original artist doll made of polymer clay. Soon she began to make her own one-of-a-kind creations. An artist representative discovered Kim’s work and introduced her dolls at a New York toy fair in 1990. At the show her dolls quickly sold out.
Over the years, Kim Lasher’s reputation grew and her work was published in numerous doll magazines. Her dolls have been shown in galleries and stores, and purchased by celebrities. In the late ’90’s Kim took a break from doll making to work in advertising and web design. Then, after having her first child, she wanted to sculpt again. Working on dolls turned out to be compatible with raising her family, and Kim has been creating new dolls ever since.
In 2008 Kim was introduced to BJDs. “I was fascinated to see all the detail in the jointing and the pose-ability was amazing. It was something I always missed doing with my one-of-a-kind dolls. When I was done sculpting them I always wanted to play with their pose, to hold a doll, or seat them on a chair. So I purchased my first BJD for that very same reason… to “play” with her. I was thrilled to have a doll that I could dress, buy different outfits, shoes, hats for.” Inevitably, Kim wanted to make her own BJDs.
Kim has primarily designed girl dolls in the 30 cm and 40 cm. size. The smaller dolls were originally designed to fit on Custom House bodies, but recently Kim produced her own 30 cm doll body. Her latest doll, Olive, is the first release with the new body. Kim still makes OOAK dolls as well. Some are sold through the Hellman Gallery which shows unique dolls by artists internationally. While Kim’s BJDs are not OOAK, they are all limited editions. She states ” I sculpt and design my BJDs exactly the same as I would do an OOAK. I think of my BJDs more as art dolls that you can play with!” Her dolls are cast in different facilities. “Some of my dolls are cast in Hong Kong and some heads are done here in the states. It depends on the edition size; the smaller editions I usually do here in the U.S.”
In addition, Kim produces some special versions of her BJDs. “I do some exclusive versions of dolls for The Toy Shoppe. We have a great working relationship and come up with ideas and then pick to see which ones excite me the most. We currently have plans for a few new ones just for them.” All of Kim’s dolls are finished dolls with costumes and face-up. “(My dolls) are sold dressed with eyes and wigs, etc… I want people to be able to buy a complete doll without the problems of then trying to find outfits and wigs, which is especially hard for people who are new to the BJD world. The costumes are made by different people, Vicki Berens of froggyduds.com does quite a bit for me, and Darla of Darla’s Delights Doll Clothes Designs did my YoSD Alice outfits. I do some sewing too. I did Olive’s costume, but I would rather spend my time sculpting or coming up with new ideas.” Kim has also worked with Connie Lowe of Marbled Halls. “I met Connie on Zone of Zen. I first saw her beautiful creations there and immediately fell in love. Her funky vintage style is exactly what I pictured for my dolls, so I asked her if we could do a trade for IDEX; I could give her one of my BJDs (Lindsey) to dress and show at her booth, and she would design a costume for Ainsley so I could have her at my booth! It was so much fun, I love working with Connie and hope to do more things with her in the future.”
Currently, Kim plans to release new dolls at IDEX next winter. “I will have three new MSD girls to present at IDEX in 2010, and two smaller 30 cm Yo-Sd size girls, as well as a few surprises! When asked about any other plans she added “I’d love to do a very large BJD someday and I did do a tiny last year for my Christmas doll (20 cm Chelsea~Noel) that I donated part of the proceeds to a local charity. I hope to do another Christmas doll this year. I’d consider doing different (resin) colors, probably white, we’ll see how the rest of the year goes!” Beyond that ? “Future plans…. that’s so hard! I have a million ideas floating around in my head!”
Above (from top) Chelsea-Noel 20 cm Christmas doll and Special Edition Lindsey.