Mrs Luda In Wonderland

Kindergarten teacher at ASW shows us her imaginative take on Lewis Carroll’s characters for Mad Hatter’s Day.

Mrs. Luda has been teaching at American School of Wroclaw for four years. She has been the school’s Art Teacher, before that she was teaching in the Primary Grades, and she has led some Summer Camp groups. Now she is co-teaching Kindergarten in New York and she is leading the extra activities of Art and Sculpture Clubs. Here are five questions for this talented artist and teacher.

When Did you know you wanted to be an artist?
Dolls have been my passion for many years. I’ve been involved in art with one media or another since I was a child.  Although I spent many hours sketching, drawing, and painting, my first love has always been sculpting and mixed media.

When my daughter was 5 years old, she asked me for a Pippi Longstocking doll. We started to make this doll together using any material we could find at home- old socks, tissues, and scraps. It was a marvellous time we spend together. I felt that I wanted to repeat that experience so I started studying how to make the art dolls properly. As a result, I created my own technique and started participating in different international art exhibitions in Prague, Munster, and Zonnenberg. The feeling when you’re holding a creation you’ve made is most fulfilling.

How would you describe your work? (Your art outside of teaching!)

In creating each one of them I always try to give them a personality, to express the character and emotions – things which fascinate me so much in people. I think that creative works should be close and personal. I would like my dolls to have a heart and soul. To give them a warm and familiar feel. 

What kinds of materials do you make art with and why?

I always use natural materials, like natural linen, wood, leather, feathers, cotton, and wool. In my artworks, I use antique clockworks, keys and other metal units to make my dolls imbued with the spirit of antiquity and peculiarity. My works have been purchased by collectors from Japan, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Russia, Lithuania, Serbia, Germany, Switzerland, and Poland.

Can you remember a great teacher?

While I am teaching children, they are teaching me. I love looking at my students’ artworks. They are so genuine, so whole-hearted, they open an entire world for me. I think children are best teachers as well as books and masterpieces.

What inspires you?

I like walking, observing people’s faces, trees, skies, a thread in a cobweb, a drop of water- whatever, I am just looking around. The ideas come to me suddenly, like the bubbles in my head. Sometimes I just start working with no idea, I don’t know what I am going to do- and a character which is coming alive from my hands is a wonderful surprise for myself. All the characters I make are the living things for me.