Judith Sotriffer and her enchanted world
Judith has always been fascinated by the resinous scent of wood, this raw and archaic natural material she uses for creating her works of art. At an early age Judith followed her father’s footsteps. He was a well-known artist and sculptor. The wood carving in Val Gardena has ancient roots.
This valley, overlooked by the imposing peaks of the Dolomites in the 17th century, was already known for its wood objects, ranging from religious statues to toys, which were exported by competent tradesmen and inventive merchants all over the world. Even Judith’s grandparents traded in the wood carving business, and her mother used to own a toy shop. Judith said; “I was shaped by art and toys while growing up”.
Thanks to the British these dolls reached the far corners of the world. Even today, you can find this wooden childhood companion in museums in Tasmania and even Queen Victoria had a good twelve of them! Trade boomed over the course of the centuries, until the 1930 international financial crisis had a negative impact even on their production. Only recently the Val Gardena doll has made a comeback. Judith Sotriffer has given the doll a new lease on life, shaping it anew with love and creativity.
Today the Val Gardena dolls aren’t toys any longer, as they’re mostly bought as collector’s items as well as her colorful Pinocchios and all sorts of roly-poly toys.
Tiny details such as the arch of their eyebrows, the cascade of curls make every doll unique and with her own character.
It’s almost impossible not to be charmed by this elegant and delicate Val Gardena doll, with its alabaster head, its white socks, raven black hair and malicious smile.