My interest in the art of paper mache came from a love for old toys at an early age. The older items seemed to have a soul and a story to tell. Looking back on it, it seems rather odd that a 5 year old would have such an interest.
There were quite a few older folks that lived in our neighborhood and when I was young I remember that I loved to listen to their stories and experience the warm surroundings of the antiques in their homes, especially at Halloween and Christmas. The paper cat lanterns and old German glass were a feast for my eyes.
Fast forward and I'm out of school... I was a newlywed and didn't have much money. I really wanted to do up Christmas at my first home and was greatly influenced by the Country magazines in the 1980s. I wanted to try my hand at creating in the paper mache.
My very first piece was a Santa using 15 types of paper. He had a stern face and stood approx 12 inches tall. He also looked very much like one that I had seen in one of the antique collector books. Taking a few weeks to create, I did not have him long before I traded him off to a well known quilt dealer for one of her wonderful quilts.
At that point I had built a confidence and created many more items for local stores and shops. In 1993 a major magazine published a story on me and my art. The article launched me into a much broader market and I could not keep up with all of the orders. I had to figure a new plan and in 1996 I created Debbee Thibault's American Collection as you know it today.
I have stood strong in keeping the work here in the USA and I have a very talented staff. We all work hard at making true works of American Art. The pieces go out to fine stores and galleries all over the nation. We create all of our handmade items in Southern California and have been in business for 16 years. We hope that you will visit us often because there is always something new!