Monthly Archives: September 2009

11 years ago 23
Posted in: Uncategorized


I’ve decided to try and take porcelain tattooing to a new level by tattooing a vintage, prosthetic limb on Enchanted Doll’s leg.

This is all you can see of this doll for the moment.

I was going to talk a little bit about this project, my motivations and my plans, but I think I will just leave it at that for now and let you guys speculate. When’t it’s time, I’ll show the rest of the doll.

11 years ago 19


Just a quick post this time because this is the last thing I’m doing before going to sleep.

The Siren is my mother’s favorite doll after Safia. She was also my first attempt at tattooing porcelain. I tried painting the designs onto her body with china that once, and realizing how difficult it was , didn’t try it again for over two years. Though the designs turned out quite well for my first try, i was still deterred from attempting it any time soon. Then, it had occurred to me to engrave the design into porcelain prior to firing in order to give me reference points while painting, and that’s how my present technique was developed.

Sadly, I can’t even remember what had given me the idea to do that, because I wish I had memory of that moment. I think that for two years after the Siren I was subconsciously trying to solve the problem of tattooing dolls, until the critical mass of mental exercise was reached and one day I woke up and thought:”My god, it is so simple. How could I have not thought of this before?!” And then, I tried it and it worked, but by this point in already knew it was going to work. Although the idea was simple, the execution was still very difficult, but the results were much more successful than before. I loved tattooing so much that I just can’t stop experimenting with it. I have such grand plans for it. You’ll see.

Meanwhile, I think that tomorrow I will show you the work in progress of my latest tattoo. The reason I haven’t done it yet is because I’ve had my hands full with ebay and pictures of Lolita have flooded my blog. Time for fresh stuff.

11 years ago 18
Posted in: New Doll

The auction is now live and will run for the next 7 days (until Sep 28, 200918:26:02 EDT).

listing # 330361964245 on ebay

More pictures of lolita can be found in her gallery

11 years ago 12
Posted in: Uncategorized


I’m just in the process of creating the listing for Lolita on Ebay. The auction will last for 7 days and will close on Sunday, Sept 27th. The highest bidder will have until Thursday, October 1st to pay in full. I am leaving for Europe that weekend and the doll must be shipped before 4pm on Friday, October 2nd. If for some reason the payment is not received and the shipping  doesn’t take place on Friday, then I will be forced to void the whole transaction, go on my trip and consider the second highest bidder as a buyer after I return from Europe in a month. Or, list the doll again. So, ladies and gentlemen, please make sure you’ve got all your funds in order when bidding.

I’ve thought long and hard about making a longer layaway plan, but after considering it very carefully, I decided against it- four days is all I can do this time around. Lolita’s outfit will be auctioned off upon my return.

I’ll see you on Ebay in 2 hours.

Good luck.

11 years ago 36
Posted in: New Doll


These are Lolotia’s one of a kind undergarments. I wanted to photgraph them on her even though she will be sold nude. I’m very thrilled with how they had turned out. She is wearing a 24k gold plated corset and bra with 24k plated bronze stilletoes. Her stockings and a French fan are hand made and embroidered with applique designs, pearls, Ruby and 24gold plated beads. Corset stocking laces can be easily unclipped so that the corset can function as an outer garment and be worn with any skirt or pants. A hair ornament of Zirconium, Austian crystals and swan feather completes the period look and can be work with different wigs.


I’ve just shot these earlier today and Chad just finished editing them. All day I’ve been playing with different looks, combinations and compositions and definitely want to have another couple of photo sessions to capture them, but I don’t want to make you guys wait any longer so I will list the doll on ebay on Monday and shoot later. I think these are pretty descirptive already.


I’m very pleased with how gold plating looks on this corset. It doesn’t always work for everything, and I had my doubts about this one. It was quite expensive to have a piece of this size plated with a heavy plate and I had spent a lot of time considering whether the result will be worth the effort and the money. But like with everything else, considering only gets you so far and then you just have to do it, to really know. Sometimes you regret it and sometimes you don’t, and this was definitely a very successful experiment. I find that once I get some project or experiment into my head, there is really no choice for me after that point than to try it. I may spend days or weeks or months thinking and agonizing and weighing my options but at the end of the day I know that I’m just delaying the inevitable. I’m going to do it- no matter what it costs or how much time it takes. If it persistently captivates my imagination then it’s worth doing it. What else am I supposed to do: Not do it and wonder about how it would have worked out for the rest of my life? Anyway. More photos.


The corset laces up at the back.


Love these shoes.


And finally in this photo I’m just being silly. I think. Maybe I’m serious. The ship ornament is so out of proportion to the body that it’s almost like a parody of the flashy, over-the-top fashion of Rococo period. This wig is not meant to go with this doll, but I just wanted to try this composition and see what it looks like. And to be quite honest I love the result.


Funny story with the ship ornament. It’s a found object. Remember when I mentioned that sometimes I have magic thoughts that can materialize into actual objects and occurrences? Well, I think that I dreamt it into existence. After I had made this wig months ago, I thought I need to put something crazy-beautiful in there in the high style of Rococo. It sat in a box all summer until last week I took it out and decided to do something with it. A ship ornament was such an obvious  cliche that I amost dismissed it as tacky.

Yet, it stuck with me and I found myself mentally returning to it. So, a few days ago I was walking home from a dentist I decided to stop by and look for my ship ornament in this antique shop on the way. Why not? Incorporating found objects can be very effective. I didn’t actually expect to find one though. I mean, come on: what are the chances of me finding something so obscure right away? I stepped in and walked straight to a shelf filled with old, useless rubbish and the first thing my eyes happen to rest on was a tiny, filigree tall ship figurine, sitting amongst a pile of disappointing clutter like a diamond.

I couldn’t believe it. It took me 3 days of thinking about it and less than a minute of semi-actively looking for it to have it in my hands. It’s like the universe just dropped it into my lap. Pretty cool. I took it home, removed unwanted parts and the base stand and embellished it with Rubies, Emeralds and Pearls. Not sure how this experiment will end yet. But that’s the fun part.

And that’s all for now. Thank you and good night.

11 years ago 23
Posted in: Uncategorized


Another clear example of my obession with Middle Eastern costume during that particular period. Safia has a lot of sketches but I didn’t want to post them all because one, it would be too overwhelming and two, I have to save some surprises for my book.

Speaking of which: I’m still planning to have it done in time for my solo show in Berlin. There has been some more discussion with the parties involved and it seems that a publisher is interested in the project. I don’t want to disclose too many details yet because ther aren’t any concrete ones at this point, but I’m anticipating to have a more definite outline after I return from Eurorope as we hope to meet with the publisher and discuss it further while in Germany.

What i think I will do is start a wait list or a sign up sheet for those people who wish to purchase a copy when it comes out. Chad and I are going to discuss it and see what the best format for that would be. Maybe it would look like a doll request for or something of along those lines. But I strongly encourage every one interested in signing up as it would help me a lot.

11 years ago 9
Posted in: New Doll



More photos coming tomorrow. A sketch of the week post is coming later today.

11 years ago 13
Posted in: New Doll


Click the image for a larger view (the auto-resize is distorting it) More coming soon.

To answer Noxy’s question:

Chad doesn’t seem particularly concerned about his slightly disfigured right thumb, so much so that I’m beginning to think he likes it this way. I don’t really mind it either. It’s quite beautiful in a way.
I don’t mind it if it shows up in photographs with dolls either-it adds character and highlights contrast between eternally perfect porcelain and the vulnerable imperfection of human skin. Although we spent almost an hour setting up and shooting the hand pose, we settled on this particular composition not because of the thumb, but because this angle looked best.

I love photographing dolls in Chad’s hands, but to be quite honest he is not the most co-operative model at times. Because I’m so meticulous at arranging the shot to perfection, changing angles, adjusting light and taking a million test exposures, it usually takes a while and he starts complaining within 20 minutes about cramping up and discomfort from being unable to move a muscle. (Sorry honey, it’s true)

We also start fighting and arguing over creative differences during the shoot. Things can get intense. So, some of the best photographs of my dolls were actually taken under duress. I still enjoy working with Chadasaurus. ( my nickname for him, I call him that almost exclusively. He calls me Marinamal. Chadasaurus and Marinamal. I love it.) I enjoy working with him because despite the character differences and occasional work-related tension, most of the time when we work together we create something beautiful.

11 years ago 48
Posted in: New Doll


Well, today i did something I swore I would never ever do-I photographed one of my dolls holding another doll……and liked the result. And that, ladies and gentlemen, makes me a big, fat hypocrite. But in my defense- it was very fitting in this context because you know, she is Lolita. She is my take on Nabokov’s Lolita. She is the one to be auctioned off on ebay.


I know I’ve sort of gone missing since I announced that a doll will be auctioned off on ebay; sorry about that-i had some urgent matters to attend to. I’m wrapping up Lolita’s shoot tomorrow and will post some more pictures of her. I’m really tired right now, so l’ll be brief: she will be sold as a nude with two removable , un-accessorized wigs and a stand. She has bit of a costume, which I will photograph tomorrow, but i don’t know if I will include it in the auction yet. Perhaps a separate one.

The two wigs are the ones shown in these pictures: long ringlets (without bows) and a short crop. The two drastically different wigs are meant to give her very different expressions and foreshadow the fact that this innocent-looking child is not what she seems.


Well, that’s all for today. It’s four in the morning and I desperately need to crash. More info about the auction and more pictures coming tomorrow. Enjoy.

11 years ago 62


This is the only sketch I have for Banshee. It’s very old; a lot older than the doll itself. I didn’t know it was going to become Banshee when I drew it, I just really wanted to make a peasant-like, summer dress. I noticed I’m really drawn to the look of folk embroidery on white, however, i don’t really like doing needle and thread embroidery myself. I learned some basic stitches as a part of home making course in grade six, but I never really took to it. I think it’s because the actual application of those skills was really boring, such as embroidering puppies and flowers on place mats and handkerchiefs. You know, the kind of stuff you would buy at a yard sale after it’s been sitting in  someone’s  basement for 20 years. Although I was pretty good with the technique, I don’t think I ever completed a single pattern out of sheer boredom and after a third or a fourth failed attempt at embroidering a flower I was like: “Alright, I am so done with that.” And then the next thing I ever embroidered was Alice in Wonderland doll’s stockings 14 years later. And that’s when I was wishing I had had a little bit more practice.

I just remembered that I have never done a full shoot for Banshee. I should really do that soon. Probably when I get home from Europe.