Monthly Archives: September 2009

11 years, 1 month ago 28
Posted in: site news

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I finally have some concrete news about my order schedule for the rest of 2009 and most of 2010. Some of it is good and some of it is bad, and some of it can be either one, depending on how you look at it. Let’s start with the bad.

1)My Enchanted Doll resin line has suffered a huge setback and has now been postponed indefinitely. I need to find a new and capable developer and manufacturer who will not only want to produce a beautiful line of resin Enchanted Dolls, but will also know what they are doing. Those of you who want to expedite this process can feel free to look around for doll producers and manufacturers and recommend me the ones you might think appropriate. I don’t know how long it will take me to find the right one and right now I am back at square one.

2)I’m leaving for Europe again on October 3rd until November 3rd. I’ll be attending Art Fair 21 in Cologne, Germany where a few of my pieces will be shown. I’ll be there on 29th, 30th and possibly 31st. I am really looking forward to meeting some of you there. Paris is another place where Chad and I will definitely be for a week or so before the show, but aside from that I don’t really know yet where we will end up. We’re going to travel around European Union, see places, visit friends. I would be more than happy to meet and hang out with Enchanted Doll fans while were are in Europe. Our plans are rather loose and if anybody wants to get together with Chad and I, email me and perhaps we can work out a meeting time and country. We will see.

3) Strychnin Gallery will be representing me in Art Fair 21. They are publishing an exhibition catalog and an art book that will feature some of my pieces. I believe both will be available for sale during the show and if you catch me there on the 29th, 30th or 31st, I can sign it for you.

4) Nude porcelain doll slots will be harder to come by after I get back from Europe in November. As you know I have a second solo exhibition in Berlin in the summer 2010. I am making a brand new collection of one of a kind and ultra limited edition work for the show and that means that I have to drastically reduce my custom nude work load in order to commit most of my time to producing the most amazing costumed dolls I possibly can. I can not do this and carry on making nude orders as before- it’s becoming too much for me. For the next year I will be taking 1-2 nude orders a month. All the slots up until February are already taken. If I’m ever ahead of schedule i may be able to make some more time for orders here and there, but don’t take me up on that. After my show in 2010 lots of things will have changed and who knows what will happen. Maybe more order slots, maybe a resin line, maybe both. I apologize to those who waited for a long time already and I hope that you understand. Eventually I hope to work my way through my wait list.

5) I saved the best news for last. I’ll be putting a nude doll on Ebay sometime next week. I made this doll for a show in St.Petersburg, Russia, but was unable to attend it at the last minute. Suddenly, this doll no longer had a show to go to. You probably read all about it in a post earlier this summer. I’ve been putting off making the decision on what to do with this little orphan all this time because I was tempted to keep her for myself, but I finally decided to sell her. By Friday I should have pictures of her here and then she will go on ebay a few days later.

I think that’s all the news for now. More work coming up. Let me know if you have any questions.

(The doll shown in this blog post is not the doll that will be made available on eBay, it is a custom nude that was made for a client. I just like that picture a lot.)

11 years, 1 month ago 10

sketch-scheherazade4

I had so many ideas about what look to give my Scheherazade doll, that I dedicated a whole note book to sketching out various middle eastern inspired costumes. Wait, actually it was the other way around: for several years I’ve been so infatuated by the Asian costume aesthetic, that I kept sketching them out and collecting magazine clippings or anything relevant to my interest, until a whole note book was filled with it.

In my third year at Emily Carr Institute, (now a university) I took Non-Western art studies. The very name of the course clearly indicates how Euro-Centric Western art education is. The one course which wasn’t about western culture and our art was pretty much called “The Other kind of Art”. I guess it’s like that in every country though- you can only teach what you know, right? Anyway. There were a few different Non-Western art courses available, and one semester I registered for a History of Middle-Eastern Dance course. It turned out to be the most memorable class I ever took because it was so interesting. Technically an academic course, it focused on the theory surrounding Belly Dancing, its enormous cultural impact on the Western civilization and had little to do with the actual dancing part.

To make the most use of my natural sensibilities, I wrote my final essay for this class on the influence of Middle-Eastern dance on Western fashion. Perhaps I was not the first one to make this observation, but during my research I arrived at the conclusion that the introduction of the Belly Dance to West has had a profound effect on the evolution of fashion as we know it today, because it is directly responsible for the abolition of the corset. That, and the industrial revolution and the disintegration of social classes. But anyway.

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I spent several days at the library, collecting supporting evidence for my paper, surrounded by piles of ethnic costume and fashion books from every culture I could find. To present my final essay I made a leather-bound book (I also took 2 book binding courses) and illustrated it heavily with clippings from those books to show the evolution of Western women’s costume over the last few hundred years and the covert influence of oriental dance. It turned out so beautifully. My professor loved my project so much that he never returned it to me. This I regret to this day because I would love to have it for both sentimental and practical reasons. At the end of the school semester he left to teach elsewhere and his office was cleared out of all the unclaimed projects and given to another teacher. I presume it was destroyed, but I hope that it still exists somewhere, in some one’s possession.

Taking that class and doing that project has had a profound impact on my life because I learned so much from it and went on to interpret that in my costumed, porcelain dolls. It influenced my creative direction and aesthetic preferences.

11 years, 1 month ago 34

portrait-collar21

I did this mock up shoot earlier today to finally show the collar on Enchanted Doll. This isn’t an actual costumed doll. The composition was assembled specifically for this photo shoot to show off the collar. I made this wig a while ago to use in a different photo composition, but haven’t gotten around to it yet, due to the constant time deficit.

I am so in love with this creation of mine. I’ve been playing with the collar all day and neglecting other work. I tried putting it on every doll I have at home and observing the impact it had on the costume. I even combined it with a new Chinese gown, a seemingly odd combination, but it looked like it belonged there. I’ll shoot some pictures of it in the upcoming week. I’m just so blown away by the results. Almost four months of work and it was all so worth it! It’s exactly how I envisioned it and more. It’s huge, yet very light. It still can’t stay on the shoulders by itself, but I’m working on a simple clasp that will either attach it to any low neck costume or more conveniently, a discreet harness to allow it to be worn independently of the costume and be removed with ease. Initial testing of a transparent, elastic harness were very promising. I’m leaning towards the invisible harness.

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I might have this collar available to order as a limited editon within a couple of months. I don’t have an exact price worked out yet since I’m still developing the formula for making each piece, but a rough estimate would be around a $1,000 CND, more or less. The cost of precious metal fluctuates all the time, which means the cost of casting does too. Once I get the average worked out, I’ll announce it. Drop me a line if you’re interested, as the number of people wishing to purchase it will affect the time line of release.

When I get back from Europe in November, I plan to begin the costume which was meant to go with this collar. I’m going to set gems into the lace work of the collar as well as the dress I have planned for it. It’s going to be wonderful. I might even try a 24 k gold or a rhodium plate for a truly brilliant surface appearance. I look forward to it. The piece is actually so versatile and can be successfully combined with various dress designs, but first things first- I’ll start with one and see how far I can take it.

I have several new things to show you. The new tattooed doll is assembled, as well as some new compositions and dolls which I have just gotten around to photographing. There are also some really pretty, random doll pictures from the past that I may post here. The next Sketch of the week segment is Scheherazade, coming up on Monday. Now that I have the  collar up on a doll I will put together those progress sequence pictures I mentioned earlier. I just need to go to my parents place and dig up one old picture in the family album which is relevant to this project. Stay tuned. Lots of new stuff is coming up! So much, that I’m struggling to space out the posts for the next couple of weeks, without overloading you with information.

Let me know wich of the two pictures you like better.

11 years, 1 month ago 38
Posted in: Work in Progress
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"I....I, I can't do this..."

So, I bought a collection of exotic, taxidermy beetles because I thought it would be a fantastic idea to cast them in sterling silver, set them with stones and turn them into fabulous head dresses and accessories for my dolls, but the problem is that now that I have it, I can’t bring myself to harvest the parts I need. No, not because they are beautiful, which they certainly are, but because they gross me out. I’m scared to touch them.

And dear god, do they smell bad. Especially after I opened the sealed box. I don’t know what repulses me more: the thought of having to dismember them or the nauseating stench they emit. And I can’t figure out if it’s formaldehyde I’m smelling or decomposition of their fat, juicy beetle intestines. I know they are supposed to be emptied out for preservation, but I do not want to cut into one and find out otherwise.

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"I can do this, I can do this...oh, for crying out loud, get it together!"

I didn’t think it would be this hard for me to do this. I just assumed that my excitement over making beautiful objects from muli-legged creatures’ body parts would automatically override my fear of dismembering them. Well, that hasn’t happened yet. Every day for the past two weeks I’ve been trying to get used to the idea. A couple of times a day i get a glass of water or occasionally, a beer, sit down in my arm chair across from the display case and look at it for fifteen minutes like it’s a staring contest. So far, the bugs are winning it. When I work at my desk, the case is directly behind me and countless times during the  day I suddenly inerrupt my work flow, swing around in my chair, put my feet up on my desk and look at it some more with a withering stare. As if i’m trying to catch it off gurard or something. Just sit there and look at my dead, gaint insects while imagining beautiful crowns with scorpion pincers and beetle legs.

I’m not even really sure of what exactly I’m going to make with them. I know it will come when I’m working. I have a sixth sense about that stuff. I just need to start working with them.

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"Wow, that's gross."

I’ve decided to take this to my friend/casting technician, Ryan, to help me dismember these beetles. There is strength in numbers. Worst case scenario is that Ryan will freak out even more than me and then I will feel like the brave one and my squeamishness will disappear.

It’s got to get done. I can’t let my fear get in the way of art. I will have to get over myself. And that’s it and that’s that.