Name: Kathleen Strawder
Business: Ardently Crafted
Wand: Birch with a Phoenix Feather Core
Kathleen Strawder of Ardently Crafted makes beautifully detailed articulated paper dolls. We fell head over heels in love with the dolls on Etsy, and we knew very early on that we wanted to use them in an early Accio! Box. We featured them in our very first box, which was launched in December of 2016.
Kathleen perfectly encompasses the type of vendor we prefer to work with: Her craft is high quality and artisanal–something you won’t find in other fandom boxes. On top of that, she is a dream to work with and is just as excited by (obsessed with?) Harry Potter as we are. We thought it would be fun to get to know our favorite paper-cutting Slytherin a little better.
Accio!: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Where are you from? A little about your family?
Kathleen: I was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio and love living here with my husband, daughter, and three furkids.
Accio!: How did you find your craft? What got you into it?
Kathleen: My day job is running a party planning website, and I have a good friend who I collaborate with on many events. One day, I tossed out the idea of doing a set of dolls as a gift for my sister (they were Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet), and he was game. They turned out amazing, and we ran with it from there.
Accio!: How long have you been an artist (professional or otherwise)?
Kathleen: I got into papercutting when we started making the dolls, about 5 years ago. I have just developed callouses and my technique as we created the dolls!
Accio!: How much time do you spend on an articulated paper doll?
Kathleen: It varies! The art for the new design can take a few days or even a week or two, depending on how many proofs we go through. Cutting and assembling a doll usually takes half an hour to an hour.
Accio!: Can you give us a brief walk through of your process in making your dolls? What goes into it?
Kathleen: I keep a long “doll inspirations” list in a Google doc that I am always adding to. After I decide on a subject, I gather some source inspirations like book passages, photographs, or color palettes. Depending on the style of the doll, I’ll make some quick sketches to show how I envision the movement. Then the black and white proofing process starts. The sketch is done, I cut it to see how it works. Back and forth like that until it’s perfect, then it gets color. The original design is scanned and then laser printed on heavy cardstock. Then I cut and assemble them.
Accio!: Do you consider yourself a Harry Potter fan?
Kathleen: Yes. The biggest Harry Potter fan I know personally (and that’s saying something).
Accio!: What is your favorite HP book? Do you have a favorite character?
Kathleen: My favorite book to read is Philosopher’s Stone, and my favorite to listen to is Order of the Phoenix. My favorite character is Hermione.
Accio!: Do you have a favorite quote?
Kathleen: “If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.” -Sirius Black
Accio!: Is there anything else you’d like our subscribers to know about you or your art?
Kathleen: Harry Potter is my fandom above all other fandoms, and I hope my love for the characters and their stories show in the details of my paper dolls.
Everyone here at Accio! personally loves these paper dolls, and we hope that you admire them as much as we do. Our opinion of the art is only bolstered by the knowledge that they were made by someone who truly loves these stories like we do. We want to thank Kathleen for her efforts and for taking the time to answer our questions today!