Aug. 30, 2021

Jennie Hepler-Takens: Sculptor of Stories

Jennie Hepler-Takens: Sculptor of Stories

Have you ever realized that an art collection can have the same function as a library? All of the creations by doll artist Jennie Hepler-Takens are stories and her body of work is her book. Every doll Jennie creates tells a story.  Sometimes she...


Have you ever realized that an art collection can have the same function as a library? All of the creations by doll artist Jennie Hepler-Takens are stories and her body of work is her book. Every doll Jennie creates tells a story.  Sometimes she even continues to work on a character’s story long after he or she is settled into their new home.   

In this episode, we learn the stories behind some of Jennie’s past and current works. There’s a bearded lady, who gives us a glimpse into the life of a side-show performer. A blue little boy expands upon the story of Jack Frost. A witch peddles tears in vials for all who desire them. A wolf doll inspires us to think of Little Red Riding Hood in new ways – was the wolf really the bad one?   

When Jennie appeared on this podcast 3 years ago, she was creating as Prim Pumpkin. She has since transformed into My Dearest Witch. Her new name is a nod to her husband’s term of endearment for her and doesn’t lock her into any particular style.  

Jennie pours her heart into her work and her hope is it fills up the hearts of her collectors. My Dearest Witch connects with everyone differently. Every piece is deeper than face value.  

She is inspired by David Bowie, Victorian mourning, antiques, textiles, oddities, baskets, fairytales, and hairy creatures. She is sentimental and loves to preserve old things – for example, she lovingly cares for a collection of fire-damaged antique dolls. 

Jennie is a community builder. In addition to producing Bewitching Peddlers of Halloween, she loves to lift other artists up and inspire people to get into Halloween art collecting. Her husband Joe taught her to never be embarrassed by where she began – you cannot have progression if you forget where you started.  

Jennie recommended Slater Basketry - https://www.instagram.com/adkbaskets and the book “The Graves Family” by Patricia Polacco. The castle they visited on Halloween was: https://www.hendersoncastle.com 

Her web site is: http://www.mydearestwitch.com 

Jennie Hepler-Takens

Folk artist creating magical things with a focus on Halloween art sculpture. Collector of antique textiles, dolls, and fairytales.