Johanna Flanagan is a Scottish doll maker, costumiere and teacher. She studied Constructed Textiles at Duncan of Jordanstone college, then an MA in Fashion at the Royal College of Art. Throughout a career that meandered from catwalk, to film, to theatre, to historical costuming, Johanna always made dolls in secret, never really taking them seriously until her mid thirties when she decided to bring them out of the shadows.
Johanna’s work is heavily influenced by the natural world, themes of decay and restoration, and is a deeply personal reflection of her own emotional world. Her design approach is often led by intuition and an instinctive response to materials and subject matter.
Johanna continues to work internationally in collaboration with fashion designers, artists, dancers and performers. She has been teaching and lecturing in colleges, art schools and museums for fourteen years, as well as teaching independently.
45 thoughts on “About”
Your dolls are amazing, you are very talent and so creative, fascinated me your style and dolls. Thank you, love, nia
Thank you Nia! Love right back at you 🙂
Hi Johanna !
Surprised to see you are in Oslo! Hope all is going well – your work looks great… Noticed you have pinned from my Pinterest boards today, and so took a look at yours and found The Pale Rook.
Enjoy Norway, it sounds lovely 🙂
Alison Ross PGS
Hi Alison! It’s lovely to hear from you and thanks for the kind words. I’m still in Scotland regularly so give me a shout, it would be great to see you xx
I love your work and am so pleased you have gone back to basics to settle yourself down -the simplicity and characters of your dolls are a delight. They are simply exquisite-cant wait for Etsy to open up.
Thank you, yep, it always does you good to get back to your centre and do what makes you happy just for it’s own sake. Thank you for your lovely comment, I hope you like the shop once it’s opened 🙂
Love your dolls!
Do you have any online courses where you teach ?
Thanks! I don’t have any online courses, but I will be teaching doll making courses later this year and there may be some online stuff in the works. 🙂
Just found your dolls on Pinterest and they are truly amazing! I can’t get enough of them! How do you go about turning the arms and legs when they are sown? It must be really tricky – I can’t imagine how it is even possible to turn them because they are so thin.
I usually leave an opening in the upper back part of the arms and legs as well as at the bottom and I use tweezers to ease the tricky bits through. Thanks for your comment, I’m glad you found me 🙂
Still seems awfully hard job to turn them around. Found your piece on female denial interesting. Keep up the good work!
question for you. What’s your name? I don’t see it on your blog or even your “About’ page… thanks!
(PS: Love your writing and your honestly!)
Thanks, the title I work under is The Pale Rook, but my name is in the title of the website “The Pale Rook – Textile Art by Johanna Flanagan”, on my Facebook page and Twitter account. 🙂
Your work is just exquisite and delicious! I can’t stop looking at your dolls… so alive. xo
Your artwork is mentioned on FB in the group https://www.facebook.com/groups/textil.art.design/10153482342969216/?notif_t=like / just thought I’d let you know!
Hi Laura, thanks 🙂
Such beautiful craftmanship and dolls that for sure, would be cherished for many lifetimes…warm regards Karen
Incredible work!! So talented 🙂
Such a talented woman! Love looking at all of your artistic adventures!
Thank you 🙂
Absolutely gorgeous fiber art. Love your photos and beautiful.
I very much love all your dolls. If I’m ever not poor, I’m going to ask you to make me one, and I’m going to pay you what it’s worth! (Which is a lot.)
Thanks 🙂 I really like your blog.
Thanks very much 🙂 Cheers!
Your work and your photography are stunning!
Thank you 🙂
Your dolls are amazingly unique and charismatic! Beautiful work of Art and creativity very inspiring. I am an artist I love your blog and follow you <3
Thank you 🙂
You are very welcome! 😉
Your art is beautifully crafted. I am pleased to meet you. 🙂
I love your works. You have a clear point of view with your art.
Thank you 🙂
Super work! I like that you don’t overly finish your dolls which seems to keep their lives as objects…open.
Thank you, that’s what I think too 🙂
Where is your favorite place to see art in Glasgow? I’ll be there for a week starting 18th of March.
There are so many good galleries and museums in Glasgow, I would recommend looking at two websites – What’s on Glasgow and The List, which have up to date listings of events and shows in the city.
Have a great trip 🙂
Bonjour ♥ ohhhhh – I am in LOVE with your beautiful art dolls! My name is Sophie and I am glad that I´ve found you and your lovely art on pinterest! Reading your about-page was like reading my own story 😉 I like the way you write and I am very thankful for sharing your wonderful cratures with all of us! Happy crafting and have a lovely day, Sophie
Bonjour Sophie! Thank you for your message, have a lovely day too. 🙂
Just wanted to say your most recent blog has been an utter inspiration to me . Thank you.
Thanks Debbie! You’ve just reminded me that I still need to update my “About” page 😉
I simply adore your dolls and your blog is such a lovely read!! It’s nice to see a fellow crow lover 🙂