What does OOAK mean?

What does OOAK mean? Think snowflakes; similar but each so unique.
OOAK snowflakes; similar but each so unique.

What does OOAK mean? The acronym stands for “one-of-a-kind” and is often used when describing a handmade art doll that is so unique there is no other just like it.  When I sculpt a doll, I know there is no other like it because I started from a lump of clay, and I sculpt until I am holding what I envisioned in my head.

What does OOAK mean? Think snowflake.

Snowflakes are similar in size, color, and design, yet each is unique. OOAK works of art can be similar in size, color, and design, yet each creation is totally unique.  Ebay and Etsy buyers use OOAK when searching for unique art dolls and other handmade items such as jewelry, dollhouses, and even handbags.

Silicone mold

Caution: OOAK is Relative

However, artists have different ideas about what OOAK stands for. Nothing governs the use of the acronym, so use caution before purchasing.

Contact the artist and ask if any molds were used in production. If molds are used for the body and the head is hand-sculpted, the doll itself can still be considered one-of-a-kind. Or the doll might have been made from a mold and then hand painted.  In this case, the hand-painting is what makes the doll unique.

Best advice is to never assume OOAK means entirely hand sculpted. Always find out the artist’s process before purchasing so you can better estimate the value of the piece.  Also ask the artist directly if the piece will ever be reproduced in the future. OOAK is a great term to use when searching for your future art investment–just don’t stop there.

with love, Caroline

{P.S. Keep scrolling for some super pretty OOAK dolls sculpted by a variety of artists}

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