Dragons, griffins, monsters, fairies, and other assorted fantasy creatures grace the exhibit and bazaar table of artist Laura Reynolds. Laura’s three-dimensional, multi-media dolls dress like high fantasy lords. And well they should. Winning over a dozen awards at Dragon*Con alone, Laura’s creations have also earned prizes at MarCon, Archon, Conglomeration, Rivercon (retired con), Millennicon, PhilCon, Windycon, LonestarCon 2, Boskone 35, and Nexus, as well as a Judge’s Choice Award at the 2010 World Fantasy Convention. Laura’s work has been nominated for a Chesley award for Best 3D in 1998, 1999, and 2004, finally winning that much coveted award in 2007 (presented by The Association of Science Fiction & Fantasy Artists).
Laura won the Best Doll award at Dragon*Con 2010 and is vying for the award again this year. Her two-foot high fantasy dragon is dressed as a medieval knight in blue and gray garb trimmed in gold with jeweled ornamentation. The costume was suggested by collaborator Bryan Jones and realized stunningly in a mix of fabrics and trims by Laura. Bryan added a chain mail hauberk-skirt, bracers, and a bishop’s mantle collar to complete the dragon knight’s light armor. The dragon doll will be on display at the unique doll table in the 2011 Dragon*Con Art Show and is available for purchase through the Art Show.
Laura makes a variety of sculptures up to seven-feet tall, but she also creates in a mere two dimensions. “Less well known is the fact that I do illustration and paintings,” she said, often creating the matching frame. A selection of these paintings are available online as t-shirts at fopaws.com (featured under “Laura Reynolds” in the menu, top left). “I have a design that was one of the official t-shirts for this year’s Renovation (Worldcon),” she added.
Although Laura’s amazing entries in the Dragon*Con Art Show sell for hundreds of dollars, many of her original hand-crafted pieces have been duplicated for purchase at much lower prices. Laura’s mother, Carol Reynolds, helps with sales at their Artists’ Bazaar table and is always ready with an origin tale for each creation offered. Laura remarked, “I attended my first Dragon*Con about 15 years ago, knowing almost nothing about a convention of this size. I brought 48 Shoulder Dragons and sold all of them during setup! They have been my best sellers ever since.”
This year, Laura expanded her line to include several types of dragons, including Steampunk, undead, and mini-sized. “I have also been making Gryphons, which sell just as well as the Dragons,” she said. Laura suggests her customers email, call, and come by early “to choose a favorite.”
Born in Lexington, Kentucky, Laura still lives in the house where she grew up with her mother and a menagerie of live critters. Some may have modeled for her artwork as not all of Laura’s sculptures have been based on fantastic animals. As she says at her website, “The whole professional thing started in 1986 . . . with a goat. The sculpture was done for a contest held by a local art gallery/gift shop. Not only did the piece tie for first place, it was bought by a collector.” After this initial success, Laura discovered science fiction/fantasy conventions and has never stopped attending together with her fantasy creatures.
Celebrating another year of Dragon*Con Art Show appearances, Laura invites, “Stop by my space in the Artists’ Bazaar inside the Dragon*Con Art Show and let’s have a chat.” If you’re early, you might just be lucky enough to leave with one of Laura’s new Steampunk Dragons resting on your shoulder.