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Eerie babies are 'born' during the pandemic

"It's not really about creepy stuff. I'm not into horror. I don't watch creepy movies"

ST. LOUIS — People have used their downtime during the pandemic to get creative.  

St. Louis artist Alicia Schnell came up with something straight out of a nightmare. She started using clay to make spooky-looking figurines.

"Kinda spooky cute," she said.

Even though her creations could creep some people out, she’s not really into the macabre. 

"To me it’s not really about creepy stuff. I’m not into horror.  I don’t watch creepy movies," she explained.

Schnell started making her eerie babies to escape boredom during the early days of COVID.  Here’s why she decided to use the heads of dolls.  

"I like the heads because they’re very expressive.  You can do a lot of things with them," she said. "They seem to speak to people."

Schnell’s basement would be quite noisy if those heads were capable of speaking.  In the basement is where she keeps her hundreds of molds on shelves. She has shelves of heads, arms, and legs.  And she puts all of them to use with her imagination.

“There’s no limit,” she said

Using a process called slip casting she has made a variety of pieces from incense burners, to salt and pepper shakers to bowls and magnets. 

"Really anything you can dream up," she said.

But she never dreamed the dolls would become a hit with people.  

"I was surprised that there was as much interest as there has been," she said.

Schnell’s eerie babies have become popular.  

"People who like these things are very enthusiastic and really like them," she said.

The eerie babies have now become a side business for Schnell.  

“I never intended to start selling them to go into business.  It just kinda happened on its own,” she said.

She’s having a tough time keeping up with her orders too. 

"There’s way more demand than there is supply right now," she said.

But even though business is booming right now she’s not sure how long she will keep creating them.  

"We’ll just kind of right it and see what happens," she said.

There could be a chance of someone else in her house getting involved one day.

"My younger son is coming around. He says he’ll take on the family business if I want to pass it along," she said.

If you would like to learn more about Schnell’s creations here is a link. 

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