Portland-based artist Maggie Rudy creates cute little rodents from wool and pipe cleaners, dresses them in fancy clothing and poses them in elaborate sets.
A collection of her creations, shot by photographer Bruce Wolf, became her first children’s picture book “The House that Mouse Built”, a story about a pair of mice who live in a fabulously turned-out loaf of bread.
Maggie Rudy inherited her artistic trait from her mother and grandmother, and had always enjoyed making and collecting things.
Smitten by an exhibit of E. J. Taylor’s dolls at the Brandywine Museum in Delaware in 1982, she started making dolls. For the next several years, Rudy made a number of commissioned portrait dolls, with polymer clay heads and jointed cloth bodies.
She made her first mice doll in 1992 as a gift for her son’s kindergarten friend who had a recurring dream about mice.
Soon she was helping kindergarten teachers and the kids make their own mice, a project that is now in its 17th year.
The idea for a picture book came during Christmas when she was making mouse photos for Christmas cards.