Monthly Archives: March 2010

7 years, 6 months ago 35

masksketch11

As a little girl, I was enchanted by the idea of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. I still am. They seem almost magical because they are so utterly shrouded in mystery and myth. They are considered a wonder of the world, and yet their existence has not even been proven. The legendary ancient city of Babylon has the same, entrancing effect on me and for several years I’ve been thinking of a way to translate that into an Enchanted Doll project.

This is how, around a year ago, the Mask Project was born. These are the concept sketches. The mask is just a work in progress tittle for a doll named Amytis of Media, the wife of a Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar the 2nd. The legend has it that Nebuchadnezzar built the Hanging Gardens around 600 BC for his wife, who was home sick for her luscious, mountainous  homeland of Persia.

The mask head ornament worn by Amytis is a representation of God Marduk, the head deity of Babylon. Like I mentioned before, this mask was inspired partially by ancient Aztec art, as well as early Mesopotamian artifacts. Marduk was a god of judgment and magic and had a water element associated with him. His origins are somewhat unclear, and the information about his physical appearance is pretty much limited to a couple of images of him. My interpretation of Marduk was mainly driven by the sound of his name and the images it stirred in my mind. It sounded aggressive and strong, and when I found that he was a god of judgment, I had decided to give him a somewhat malevolent look, because gods generally possess  both benevolence and cruelty in their personalities and acts.

I imagined Amytis wearing this elaborate headpiece in the image of Marduk, as well as other splendid, richly ornamented clothing and jewelry as she strolls through the green, shadowed alleys of the Hanging Gardens, enjoying the relative coolness and listening to the sounds of birds in this artificially created paradise- her husband’s gift to her.

7 years, 7 months ago 43
Posted in: Doll Accessories

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The idea of making a pair of Lotus slippers for my doll in precious metal has been on my mind for years,  ever since I made the doll Lotus with bound feet and beaded Lotus shoes in 2006. Even though I am appalled by the barbaric practice of mutilating women’s feet for aesthetic purposes in ancient China, I am simultaneously enchanted by the decorative aspect of the exquisitely beautiful lotus shoes that were made to be worn by those mutilated feet- or as they were called in China, Golden Lilies.

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Such a pretty name to describe a pair of horrendous-looking, broken feet. Yet, even as I condemn the practice, inexplicably I seem to be drawn to the beauty of  the shoes and the surreal aesthetic of tiny feet. Cinderella wore glass slippers on her allegedly natural, little feet, and that was considered sexy in Europe. I mean, the entire fairly tale seems to be about those magnificent shoes and the virtue of having small feet. So, it appears that the Chinese were not the only ones to fetishize the size of women’s feet, they were just the ones to do something about it.

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Anyway. I’ve dreamt about making these for months, if not years, and I’m so happy to see them finally finished! I had to make a pair of bound feet of course, so that my dolls could wear these pretty slippers. In this picture you can see Echo’s normal feet next to her bound feet. The beauty here is that my dolls’ feet can be interchanged back and forth from small to normal just like a pair of shoes, while the real women didn’t have that opportunity.

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This particular pair was inspired by a real shoe, which in fact is very unique. It’s a lotus-style shoe for a bound foot, that sits on a Manchu-style platform. And the Manchu women did not bind their feet. I’ll post a picture of it soon and tell you more about my source once I experiment some more with these. I’ll post the pictures of the feet once I make another pair and work out the painting style for them.

I am considering making a pair of interchangeable lotus feet and shoes available for resin dolls. In fact, Echo will be the first costumed edition to be released. I don’t have a price point for this costumed doll yet, as the project is still in the early stages. She will have to undergo some changes to address the incredible complexity of her present hair style, but the costume will remain the same. This is one of the things I’m working out now. And I’m very excited about it.

7 years, 7 months ago 47
Posted in: fan art

Here are seven more runners up in no particular order. Including the winner and the second and third entries, there are 10 favorite gifts all together. I really didn’t know when to stop choosing favorite entries, I wanted to include them all on this list, but I realize that editing was really necessary. There are so many more that I love for different reasons, but here are some of the reasons I love these entries.

Enchanted Doll Rag Doll, inspired by Lily.

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I made dozens of little rag dolls when I was a kid, but never one as big as this one. It’s so playable. Perhaps I’ll make a costume for Raglily one day. Thanks, Andrew!

Concubine inspired, human scale costume.

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What can I say aside for pretty awesome? This was clearly a lot of work. And I can really appreciate time consuming, attention to detail oriented projects. The jewelry is mine, by everything was made by the contestant. Thank you, Eva!

Little Bear

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This petite, articulated bear stole my heart. I have never particularly liked stuffed toys, but I’ve grown really fond of this one, so much so, that I sleep with it on my pillow. I named him David Bowie, for some reason. I think it has a soul.  Thank you, Sandra!

Shadow box for Enchanted Doll

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The craftsmanship is very pro. I love containers of all kinds, and this one is museum quality. Interchangeable inserts were provided, which allows me to keep my own, precious collection of Enchanted Dolls in there, under the glass. Four dolls can easily fit in side by side. Right now, I keep my first 4 resin prototypes in there. It looks, oh so nice. Thank you, Jayne!

Almost edible, miniature cake

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This little cake is so delicious and realistic-looking, that I almost ate it. Explaining this to the paramedics would have been awkward. It is embellished with Enchanted Doll imagery and decorative elements: logo, tattoo, bows, bead embroidery and a Lotita fan that says happy birthday Marina! Very, very intricate work. Thank you, Kelly!

Little Rubber Stamps

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I like this project because carving is not easy, and this contestant has managed to carve very small, soft rubber blocks with a surprising amount of detail. The application of the idea is interesting and creative. These inspired me to create a secondary Enchanted Doll logo. And now Chad is going a little crazy and stamping them on everything in sight. sigh..So, thank you for that, Trish. No, seriously, thank you.

A poem about being an Enchanted Doll collector

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This poem provides an interesting insight into the emotions of an Enchanted Doll admirer/fan/owner. I get so wrapped up in the demands of the creative aspect of Enchanted Doll, that sometimes I loose touch with the feelings of those who end up owning my work. At times of prolonged detachment, this poem will remind me to work even harder to make even more beautiful dolls for you, Enchanted Doll lovers. Thank you, Els!

Thank you all: those who made it in the top 10 and those who didn’t. I love it that you took the time to make things. Thank you!

All the contest entries can be seen here

7 years, 7 months ago 83
Posted in: site news

Well, I am happy to announce that the 2010 Enchanted Doll birthday contest has finally come to a close!

Thank you so much to all the participants for your hard work. I’ve received many thoughtful and artful gifts-entries and many touching birthday wishes. Thank you all.

Choosing a winner has proven to be much more challenging that I ever thought it would be, especially since my decision was complicated by the fact the the entries were not limited by any specific theme or medium, but rather an assortment of all kinds of creativity. They could not be judged by a clear cut, unified criteria or a grading scale, because they were all beautiful and unique each in its own way.

The reason I specifically did not impose a general theme to follow for the participants, was because I wanted to keep this competition open to all kinds of talent. I wanted to give everybody an opportunity to win by doing what they are good at. This, however, severely complicated my task of choosing a winner, to the point where I began to panic that I could not make a decision.

I judged the entries based not only on technical ability, originality, composition, complexity and beauty, but also on the wholeness of artistic presentation and the concept behind the work and most of all- the intensity of my emotional response to each piece. After all, provoking an emotional response is the essence of art. In the end, I thought my head would explode. I first chose 10 of the best entries based on the quality and execution, then narrowed those down to 3 favorites and then let my senses decide which one  spoke to my heart the most. Still, it was one of the hardest decisions I ever had to make.

And this is what it chose:

Ladies and gentlemen, presenting 3rd place entry by Paula F. from Poland

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I chose this entry for the 3rd place because the work and the concepts of this very young artist deeply resonated with my own, and even though they are inspired by Enchanted Dolls, they are not directly borrowing from them. Despite of appealing to my language of expression through her use of textile and embroidery art, her own voice is very present in this work. Congratulations Paula, you’ve won a pair of sterling silver shoes. Thank you for participating.

The 2nd place goes to Monika V, from Australia.

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For her entry she painted me a series of 9 stunning paintings of Enchanted Dolls. The sheer volume and intricacy of work blew me away and one can see what a commitment of time and energy this was. The technique and skill are very advanced, while  the decorative aspect is very well articulated. These paintings must have have been a joy to paint and they are certainly a joy to look at. Congratulations Monika, you’ve won a bronze crown. Thank you for taking  part in this contest.

And now, finally, the 1st place entry and the winner of porcelain nude doll Pearl……

goes to Amarilli A, from Italy!

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I love the stylistic reference to the religious art of the late middle ages in this oil painting. The combination of slight inconsistencies in linear perspective in the composition, the color palette, gold leafing and even the greenish undertones of the skin are very characteristic of the painting methods of that time period, and yet there is a contemporary air to it. The presentation of the painting on the piece of ornate brocade fabric to resemble a tapestry is the final touch that ties it all together. This artist has painted her daughter as an Enchanted Doll and included many elements that I am fond of, such as historical references, bejeweled metal head dress, Gothic architecture, rich textiles and lampwork beads, all without directly borrowing from any Enchanted Dolls. Congratulations Amarilli, you’ve won an Enchanted Doll.

Thank you all for taking  part in this year’s birthday contest. I encourage everyone to try again next year. Once you see the rest of the gifts displayed on my website tomorrow, it will give you a good idea of your competition and hopefully inspire you to practice and create all year round in your ‘training’ runs for the next year’s contest.

Finally, I would like to thank my dad for managing the incoming gift packages and putting up with being constantly woken up by early morning delivery couriers, and of course my dear Chadasaurus for taking care of the logistical aspect of the contest like handling, organizing, documenting and displaying the entries and recycling loads and loads of cardboard. This wouldn’t be possibly without you.

The winning participants should receive their prizes in the mail in the second half of April. The rest of the entries will be announced tomorrow. Seven more runners up will be announced and will also receive a small gift from me for entering.

This concludes the 2010 Enchanted Doll birthday contest. I look forward to next year.

7 years, 7 months ago 21
Posted in: Uncategorized

Chad and I are working really hard at putting up the gallery of all contest entries, but we are running a little behind schedule. I’ve narrowed down 5 runner ups and now deciding on the winner. Despite the delay, we should still have everything finalized, organized, displayed and announced tonight. We’re not going to sleep until then.

Thanks for your patience. The 2010 contest is almost over! Results coming shortly.

7 years, 7 months ago 43
Posted in: Resin line

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…Is not as quick as I’d like it to be since I’m concentrating most of my efforts now on creating new dolls for the solo show in Berlin, and managing the inflow of entries for the Enchanted Doll birthday contest. For reasons already covered we were forced to move the entry deadline from the 13th to the 16th, which is tomorrow, and on Friday the 19th I will announce the winner of the contest.

I haven’t had time to test out my new airbrush yet as I’m still learning about it, but I can’t wait to put it to use and will show results when I have them. And did I ever mention that I’m having brand new boxes made for this line? I seem to remember mentioning something about their awesomeness… The first design went to the factory for proofing on correction last week and we hope the the full production will begin as soon as next week. I’m contemplating showing you the lid designs now, but my sixth sense is telling me to wait on that. You might have read in Doll Reader article that Nati is involved in this project.

Anyway. The wheels are turning on the Resin doll line, and there ain’t no stopping now. Things are looking very exciting at the Enchatned Doll studio! More information to be revealed soon.

The wait list for resin doll is still open, so if you haven’t signed up yet for the first release or Resin ED, please email me.

7 years, 7 months ago 30
Posted in: site news

The deadline for the Enchanted Doll Contest has been pushed back to March 16th, to allow for the entries that got delayed by the Olympics (Canada Post put all packages coming to Vancouver under extra scrutiny the past few weeks) and other shipping problems.  With the cut-off deadline being pushed back to the 16th, the announcing of the winner won’t be until the 19th.

I have started going through some of the entries and you guys aren’t making it easy on me to pick a winner.  So much incredible work already, I’m having Chad document everything so that it can all be seen on the site (if anyone had anything that they didn’t want posted on the site, entry/description/name, let me know in an email at contests@enchanteddoll.com)

7 years, 7 months ago 28
Posted in: Press

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Yey, here is the cover of the April issue of Doll Reader Magazine. Isn’t she pretty? There is also a spread on developing my resin line in the magazine.

That’s so awesome that the very first resin doll i make also ends up on a magazine cover! I usually spend so much time painstakingly setting up every single shot and framing and composing, but this photo was taken so spontaneously and quickly that I probably spent a total of 2.5 minutes on it. And it turned out beautifully and even made a cover. I realize that there must be some sort of choosing criteria or politics that determine what makes the cover and what doesn’t, but it still reminds me that sometimes the best thing to do is just relax and let creative flow take its course instead of forcefully and agonizingly pulling ‘brilliant’ ideas out of your brain like wisdom teeth, in search for that perfect solution. Sometimes the perfect solution is the first thing that comes to your mind.

Which, in turn reminds me that I should probably go with my first instinct on the Cosmos Exploratum project. I feel like I’ve been going in circles with that one.

I’m slowly working on more resin prototypes and will be posting new updates soon. Right now I’m splitting my time between creating a new body of work for my upcoming solo show in Berlin and organizing the resin line production. I’ll keep you posted on the progress.

Anyway. Pick up a copy of the April issue  of Doll Reader so that you have something I can sign next time we meet. I’ll wear my big sunglasses, and Chad will wear a dark suit and an ear piece. Also sunglasses.

7 years, 7 months ago 32
Posted in: New Doll

mask

So guys, I think that I finally finished that mask I had in my drawer for almost a year. It was modeled by a doll in my solo show at Villa Terrace museum last year, but it was acutally an unfinished project and that’s why I hadn’t put it up in the galleries yet. In this shot Sapphire is modeling the mask because I am still making the doll. She will be officially unveiled sometime next month.

The mask ornament is heavily inspired by the Bronze Age death masks in which people of status and wealth were buried. It was also inspired by the art of ancient Aztecs. It’s carved in wax, cast in bronze and gold plated with 24 k gold. The mask is decorated with Rubies, Pink Tourmaline, Opals, dyed shell and glass beads.

More pictures of this doll is coming soon.

7 years, 7 months ago 51
Posted in: Doll Accessories

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Speaking of accessories: With the Olympics over, I had finally been able to get some castings of my shoe orders done. I was trying different color ribbon combinations for fun. I’m very pleased with how they look. I’ll continue the experiments when I get the next batch of shoes cast.