Klein is featured artist at Harmony Collective

BRATTLEBORO — A new exhibit by Sandy Klein,"Expressions of Repose: the soft retirement of a character maker," opens on Friday, Nov. 3, from 5 to 8 p.m., at the Harmony Collective, 49 Elliot St.

Klein says she has been making dolls for as long as she can remember. As a child, she made yarn and corn dolls, wrapping and folding natural fibers into figures. In her teens she began to sew, making flat but "very groovy stuffed animals," she says. In her 20s and 30s, as an early childhood educator and young mother, she followed Waldorf patterns, (1)but gave each a gentle expression with embroidery thread.

During that time, she also went to art school, where her focus wasn't sewing or doll-making, it was collage. That training influenced her work as New England Youth Theatre's costumer for more than 200 shows. She shifted both her collage and sewing skills to help young actors create complex characters, using repurposed thrifted and vintage clothing.

In her retirement from costuming, she has begun making dolls inspired by the characters she helped create on stage, using only recycled materials, vintage fabrics, and antique notions.

"These materials bring history and depth to the doll, giving them the same collage-like feel that I tried to give my costumes," says Klein. "I think people feel that sense of depth and history; it makes them want to get to know the doll better, and as they do, a whole backstory and character springs to life."

The Harmony Collective is a group of local artists, working in a variety of media, who are dedicated to creating an artist's first space. Learn more at

This The Arts item was submitted to The Commons.

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