The types of doll makers who create life-like dolls are artists and hobbyists. Many begin by creating dolls at home, and some become doll maker apprentices. Professional doll makers are figurative artists.
Creating lifelike dolls is a long and detailed process. Rooting a full head of hair, for example, can take as long as 10 hours to finish. To create realistic skin, doll makers use porcelain, silicone or vinyl and paint features such as veins, dimples and skin color. Other features include eyelashes and hand-painted nails.
The price for lifelike dolls ranges from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Factors in pricing are craftsmanship, reputation and demand. Since doll making involves tools, machines and one's hands, it falls under the broad career categories of assemblers and fabricators.
Doll makers increase their expertise with books, websites and workshops. They can create their own businesses and sell dolls online, to friends and at craft shows, or they can join toy and doll companies. Some popular toy companies are Mattel, American Girl and Hasbro.
For hobbyists, a variety of doll-making molds and supplies are available. One example is the Reborn kit. While some kits use play dolls with the factory paint removed, most are blank vinyl parts.