Monthly Archives: March 2012

4 years, 11 months ago 18
Posted in: Work in Progress

A few days ago I announced that the upcoming edition of Echo dolls will have two interchangeable pairs of feet, one normal and one bound, and since then there’s been lots of speculation about the mechanics involved in switching the feet, with various guesses being put forward. Well, guess no more! Here is a short demo video, showing this very simple procedure.

4 years, 11 months ago 20
Posted in: travels

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This is Anya, my new board. I got it a couple of months ago and now she is a part of me. On Friday, instead of the usual local mountains, Chad and I went riding at beautiful Whistler-Blackcomb, our amazing world-class ski resort just 1.5 hours drive north of Vancouver. I’ve been skiing this mountain sporadically since 1998, but earlier this year I decided to commit the whole 2012 season to snowboarding to get a taste of it, and fell hopelessly in love with the sport! Having been strapped into a board, skis just no longer feel the same way to me. I’ve been guiltlessly cheating on them with Anya.

It was a sensory abundant, physically challenging and an intensely gratifying day. Nothing to think about but the sky above me, the snow below me and the wind all around me.

Today I’m back at the studio, making Echos. Anya beckons to me from her wall mount, but I force my eyes away and bend over my desk, thinking to myself: “Soon, my darling, soon”.

Probably tomorrow.

4 years, 11 months ago 29
Posted in: New Doll

feet

I’ve been working on the Special Five ultra limited edition of the Echo doll which should be finished and available this spring. Amongst other unique characteristics, this edition will have a very special feature: interchangeable feet.

Each doll will have two sets, a pair of normal feet with a silver pedestal shoes and an alternate pair of Lotus feet with  silver lotus slippers.

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Each set of hands is unique too. All fingers are posed a little differently, while one of them is wearing a ring. Even their little faces show minute differences in painting. They are five sisters, each one with her own secrets.

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They are waiting to be Echos.

4 years, 11 months ago 38

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I made this hand for my test doll. I’m convinced it’s the most beautiful hand I ever made. You see, I don’t just pull a hand out of the mold and fire it, I manually shape ans sculpt it to make it more expressive. Unfortunately, expressive, tiny hands are virtually impossible to mold with the rigid plaster molding method. So, they have to be very simplified in order to be mold-able. Therefore, each hand undergoes significant re-sculpting and remodeling in the post-molding period.

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I separate the fingers, define the knuckles and establish the bending angles on all the fingers. It’s ridiculously tedious and I hate doing it, while simultaneously loving it. I estimate that it takes me 2-3 hours to make one hand from casting to painting, or 4-6 labor hours+ 12 kiln firing hours for a pair of hands for one doll.

This hand is the pinnacle of my achievement. Just wanted to share it.

4 years, 11 months ago 36
Posted in: New Doll

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So I turned 30 yesterday, and I just wanted to thank all of you for your warm and moving birthday wishes. Thank you All. It’s so wonderful of you to remember my birthday. It made my day! It was a really good day. Here is a play-by-play. Just because, that’s why.

The previous night I had stayed up until 7am, finishing a new doll, and then I got up at 10am, having only gotten 3 hours of sleep. I couldn’t sleep while there was a new doll in the house! Still tired, I played with the doll and made her a wig while Chad started cleaning up. As I was working, I kept getting messages from you, and each one made my day brighter. Then came a delivery from Amazon; it was a new book illustrated by Lostfish! Then, Chad and I went to pick up my cake, after which he went home to clean some more, while I went shopping for a new outfit for my birthday party later that night. I generally dislike clothes shopping or grocery shopping or really any kind of shopping, unless I’m getting doll-making supplies. That I can do for hours. And yet, in only two hours I managed to acquire several new outfits, including two gorgeous coats from LuluLemon. They are so athletic AND pretty!

It was time to go home and get dressed up, and as I walked down the crowded street, arms full of bags, headphones over my ears playing the Gorillaz to drown out the bustle of other Friday night shoppers, I watched the old, green North Shore mountains loom over the glassy downtown and thought about my 30 years of life here on earth. Had I really been around this long already? It felt like a blink of an eye. Will I be sixty next time I blink?

I walked contemplating the transience of things, and yet I didn’t feel sad, on the contrary I smiled the whole way home, feeling very fulfilled by the meaningful friendships I had formed and satisfied with what I had accomplished so far, and grateful, so so grateful for the opportunity.

I came home modeled my new outfits for Chad, and soon after, friends began showing up. My parents stopped by to wish me a Happy Birthday. My sister stayed for the party. Chad wore a dress jacket, his luscious beard all fluffed up very fancily for the occasion.

I was in my studio, a little drunk and happy because I was surrounded by everything I loved. Here in this place and in this moment in time was the sum total of my 30 years on earth: Book shelves, Travel maps, Tool drawers, Work desks, Dear Friends, Dolls and Chad. And Birthday wishes coming for every corner of the world.

It was a very good day.

4 years, 11 months ago 44
Posted in: Doll Accessories

newfeet

Although I intensely dislike the look of raised feet on dolls,  for the sake of experimenting I had made a pair of them for Enchanted Dolls. Raised feet look pretty in high heels, but naked, they look so contorted and unnatural, that it repels me. In my opinion, raised feet restrict a doll to a specific, severe glamor look, while flat feet can be more versatile, soft and feminine. I dislike dolls that are permanently stuck on their tiptoes. Particularly if they have a movable ankle joint. It just looks silly.

Those of you who own my dolls know, that even though they have flat feet, they can still wear the custom designed high heels of the Enchanted Doll brand. I design stilettos specifically so that can go on a flat foot and appear as if they belong there.

Anyway, I was curious to see if I could make better raised feet somehow. I’ve learned that sometimes ideas which make us initially uncomfortable, are the ones that may turn out to be quite interesting with enough consideration and proper treatment. So, whenever I am repelled by something, I try to give it enough thought and decide if it may actually be worth pursuing. So, I made raised feet against my own reservations. It could be an interchangeable option for those who do like it. I’m going to model a couple of raised shoe designs for them in sterling silver and see if I like them any better then.

In the meantime, I’d love to hear what you guys think about dolls with permanently raised feet and which you prefer.

4 years, 11 months ago 81
Posted in: New Doll

Surprise! I’ve been secretly developing a new body prototype for the past 5 months, and now it’s nearly ready! It feels so good to get that off my shoulders. I’ve been bursting at the seams with this news for weeks, but couldn’t tell you until I knew it would work. This is partially the reason I’ve been mostly absent from the web lately. Between this and the book and a couple of other really challenging new projects, there was no time to chat. Now, allow me introduce you to the rough master model of the Rubenesque!

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Definition of RUBENESQUE

: of, relating to, or suggestive of the painter Rubens or his works; especially : plump or rounded (figures) usually in a pleasing or attractive way <a Rubenesque figure>.
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Her figure is inspired by the fuller feminine form of classical antiquity, painting and sculpture. Of course I also stylized it to suit my own aesthetic preferences and to add a touch of surrealism. I’ve been wanting to make this body shape for a long time, but things kept getting in the way and I’m so relieved to have finally done it.

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When I sculpted my first, slim body model, I sculpted all the parts and joints separately, gauging the desired movement of the ball joints without ever stringing them together and testing how them move until they were already painted porcelain parts. The reason is that all the parts were made solid, without thought out hollows and at the time i didn’t have a drill to drill them out and string them. It was a risky, arrogant and kind of a stupid thing to do as I had to fix a lot of mistakes postmortem, but the doll turned out alright in the end.

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This body though, was a lot more thoroughly designed and modeled than the first one. I had spend a lot more time tuning every part to fit just right and to move like silk. I’m also loving the new shape. She is lovely.

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I didn’t think I’d finish it before summer, but it’s starting to look like I just might. I’m already doing china painting trials on the first parts!

I know it’s hard to judge properly at this early stage, but what do you guys think about her?

4 years, 11 months ago 38
Posted in: New Doll, show

hands

A handful of hands. I never usually have this many blank pieces all at once, as each doll gets cast, sanded, painted and strung individually, but since I’ve mostly been too preoccupied with the book to complete a doll lately, these unpainted parts have accumulated over the past few months. Soon, they will become dolls. A couple of these will become Echos, while one of these heads will become the latest show doll for the exhibition at the Strychnin Gallery in May.

heads

Oh which one, which one will it be, I wonder?

4 years, 11 months ago 34

Dear Enchanted Doll Fans,

Time has ran away from me again. :( I had my hands so full the last 6 months, that I didn’t notice my birthday creeping closer and closer. I very much regret to inform you that the 4th annual ED Birthday contest has been postponed to next year due to time constraints.

I apologize, since I know that like me, many have been looking forward to the contest. The Enchanted Doll book has taken a lot out of me, and combined with other commitments, I just couldn’t come up with a contest theme in time.

I am very pleased to say however, that the Enchanted Doll book is nearly all printed and bound, and should arrive here in about 2 weeks. Just in time for my birthday! We have started emailing those who purchased it with rates on shipping. If you haven’t received an email with shipping information, just hang on, as we will likely get to you soon.

In other news, I am working on a brand new doll for an upcoming (May) show at Strychnin gallery in Berlin, Germany. Stand by for more details. Right now I am nervously biting my nails while I wait to see if the crazy new head ornament I’ve spent over 150 hours designing and milling for it is going to work out. We shall see, we shall see…soon.