Beauty helmet work in progress

10 years, 2 months ago 38
Posted in: Uncategorized


This is my little modeling head. I design and carve my wax models for metal casting on her. She was supposed to become a beautiful doll 2 years ago, but I dropped the head just as I was about to put the last spring through her, and it fell right on the steel hammer under my desk and shattered. Then I cried, because she was about 3 seconds away from being complete. This is the only time I’ve ever broken a doll during assembly. And now she lives on as my head prototype.


Back to the present. This helmet was inspired by an illustration of my beloved artist Sulamith Wulfing. I’ve been wanting to make it for a long time, but kept getting diverted away from it by other commitments. And now I feel a sort of creative pressure relief after having released something I’ve been suppressing for months. I was just about ready to explode there. Feels good.


The ivy tattoes on Beauty’s arms and abdomen are directly inspired by another favorite artist of mine, who was a very influential figure in the birth of modern design, William Morris. Although his influence is always present in my work indirectly, it takes a very direct form on the body of Beauty. I’m usually not a big fan of sleeve tattoos, but I wanted to push the boundaries of my discomfort zone and experiment with the concept to create elegant and delicate wrap around designs that would look feminine and soft on her slender arms.

Engraving this tattoo has challenged all my previously established notions of intricacy when it comes to doll tattooing. The leafs especially, were driving me crazy.

Her veil is very soft French Bridal lace with tiny Swarowsky and cubic zirconium crystals attached to it for sparkle. I love overindulging in ornamentation and it was very difficult for me to resist draping the veil in beads and pearls from top to bottom. But I was trying to create the impression of lightness and mystique with this doll, and over-beading the veil was weighing her down visually and destroying its subtle elegance and grace. So, I limited myself to attaching the tiny crystals for a light, shimmering effect only. It was tough though.

Well, Beauty and the Beast should be in London on Monday. Unfortunatly I won’t make it to the opening as I still have some things to do in the studio before I leave for Europe again, but I will be stopping by London sometime in mid October.

I have more pictures of her to show, but I’m pacing myself. More coming tomorrow.

38 Responses

  1. Heather T. says:

    Your work is amazing and inspiring! Such intricate detail… those tattoos are beautiful, too. I’m glad you challenged yourself!

  2. carla de leon says:

    i love your work… i agree, truly inspiring.

  3. I think I recognise your little “wax-modelling” head…. Did you once preview her with white hair? I think we were calling her “mystery girl” on the forum and she was the one that inspired the look of the doll you made me……

    I enjoyed reading this lovely, indepth story about “beauty” the doll… and oh! You are heading back to Europe… is this for another show as well? Or to visit Beauty and the Beast at her exhibition? :-)

    I utterly love this latest doll of yours….

  4. Sarah says:

    You are such an amazing artist!

  5. Eiko says:

    Wow, Beauty and the Beast looks absolutely gorgeous. I think that she is one of the best dolls that you’ve ever made, Marina.

    Will she be on sale at the show? How much will her price be?

  6. MollyTheWanderer says:

    First couple pictures…kiiiiinda creepy. But I’m so jealous of your Waxwork Marina. Beauty is a wonderful doll, her crown is just the icing on the cake.

  7. MissLK says:

    Dear Marina,

    I love your WIP photos!!!

    Since your creations are so magical and enchanting, sometimes I forgot they were made by a human but these photos prove that indeed they are :)

    Your head model ED is beautiful and she seems to acquire a life of her own bodiless… how did it feel when you carve the wax with those mesmerising gray eyes staring at you?

  8. Mich says:

    Absolutely enchanting! Good luck with the shot and look forward to seeing more of Beauty :-)

  9. Marina says:

    It feels like she is alive, MissLK, it feels like she is smiling her approval at me.

  10. Marina says:


    Chad and I are going to Paris to attend the Louis Vuitton runway show and meet with a publisher to discuss an Enchanted Doll book project. But we’re also going to swing by Moscow and visit a doll fair there. This is going to be my first time in Russia since I’d left 14 years ago.

  11. Crystal says:

    Wow how exciting! The book my actually become a reality! And what fun a fashion show! In the old days we used to hear about ex-patriots going back to Russia and not being let back out, but things have changed. All I have to say is they better let you come back! We’ll all be mighty upset!

  12. Jayne says:

    Oh wow! Your first time back in 14 years. That must be exhilarating and scary at the same time. I left Wales 34 years ago and I’m still scared to return. It’s silly, but somehow my soul belongs in Wales, but I love Australia with all my heart!
    I have a deep love and yearning for my Celtic roots, but have a deep connection with this ancient but young country.
    Enjoy yourself, drink in the soul of your mother country and bring it back to your chosen home.
    By the way, bring on “The Book”, I can’t wait.
    Luv Jayne xxx

  13. The Old Maid says:

    Oh I watched The Grim Brothers yesterday and thought you might have been inspired by the queens crown but maybe the director of the movie was inspired by Sulamith Wulfing first ;) And where is the Beast?
    Hope you will have a wonderful and full of memories trip to Moscow!:)

  14. iki says:

    oh well i think your new doll is very cute, but i have to make you a question, why all your dolls are sad?? they all always shows some kind of sadness could you make dolls who look happy and still look real, i have to say that your dolls are perfect they look very very real i love your work the only word who describe your work is divine, but the fact that they be always sad make me think if you can make happy dolls but you dont like it, or if you can not make happy dolls.
    well all your dolls are simply beautifull

  15. Orangey says:

    Oh wow, I’m glad that was the only time you broke one of your precious dolls during assembly, we can’t have that happening every day. Then again, if it did, I’m sure we all wouldn’t mind you selling just the wee little heads to us, broken or not, there is still so much soul in their eyes, it’s amazing! This headpiece is so incredibly beautiful, as is your Beauty. Incredible earrings also!

  16. cheri hiers says:

    Your work is just stunning.
    Beautifully sculpted, beautifully constructed, beautifully costumed. Just fabulous.
    Well done~

  17. If I may…. Iki, if you take a look through Marina’s gallery, you’ll notice not all of them are sad.
    For example.. take a look at this little bodiless wonder that is modeling marina’s wax crown… why she’s positively cheerful, even though she’s had a terrible accident!!! Edie’s quite a chipper one, as is Dunyazade, Emerald, Clara, etc….

    Also, in this case…. Beauty has every right to be looking a little miserable. She’s been handed over to a frightful looking beast to be his bride, she’s probably missing her father and sisters, and is dreading the thought of the rest of her life cooped up in a castle all alone with no friends….

    A lot of traditional and folk story characters are actually a little sad, and their stories are filled with treachery, misery, and hardships. Lots of people make happy dolls with plastic smiles and empty eyes. Marina’s depicting some serious characters, and hence they end up with serious expressions.

  18. iki says:

    Well monika, i am not saying that all her dolls are absolutly sad, but they are not happy ,i have already seen a+ll her dolls in the gallery, but any of that dolls seem to be happy, she has shown to us that she is able to make exquisite dolls, like stages of grief, that doll is simply gorgeus but is sad. i am not sayng that she have to make plastic smiles dolls i am just saying that she have never make a dolls who get called ephoria, joy or something like that, she is a very good doll maker but, can she show to us happiness without remove her realistic characters? or at the moment that she make a happy dolls it will look fake and unreal, that’s my question. And by the way my favorite helmet is specimen, well it is not a helmet it is a bug, and my favorite doll could be lotus because of the history of that practice, i apologise if i make anyone get offended or get angry.

  19. Orangey says:

    Iki: Well no, in that case, she has not made a euphoric looking doll, I don’t think she prefers to, but I can’t speak for Marina.

    I’m sure she could if she wanted to, she has the skill and I’m sure the doll would look very happy, and not fake if she really wanted to do it. But the thing is, it’s probably more interesting for an artist to discover the other human emotions, other than the happy smile that many fashion dolls have. There’s something about delving into the subconscious and looking at things from another point of view, ‘what is this character -really- feeling in this situation’, etc., and looking at the darker or sadder emotions and feelings people have. It’s just her preference to make dolls like that, at least right now.

    Emerald is probably one of her happiest looking dolls.

    And don’t worry, I don’t think we’ve been offended!

    [Also, this is just my opinion of why Marina does what she does, =P]

  20. Silvana says:

    Oh, about the broked doll had i understand why you cryed, of course….she is so beautiful, and to lost a job finishing is to bad for the emotional. But …present. You are a great artist doll. I think is the better!!!
    Maybe you are correctly about the Beauty and the Beast, the Stockholm syndrome, how this afect the hostage….
    You made a beautiful doll, for a intrigated faire tailes.

  21. Jin says:

    I’m in love with your dolls, I can’t get them off my mind. I love BJD dolls, they have brought so many joy in my life, and your doll is one of a kind. They are so special and magical that make me believe they are alive. Now they have become a new goal in my life. Hopefully someday in my life time I’ll be able to own one of them.

  22. marina, another beautiful doll. i love seeing your works in progress. The helmet is so intricate…amazing. I also love william morris designs. his vines and flowers are so romantic. i was amazed to learn all of his wallpapers were still being handstamped 1 color at a time, while other wallpaper companies had gone to machine printing. His designs are still being printed today.

  23. Maura says:

    Thank you for sharing the WIP stages…I am so sorry for the beautiful broken head…must have been really hard to set it aside (although not completely, since it still has a role in your creative process).

    I enjoyed very much reading about your reflection on Beauty and the Beast and the phylosophy behind this piece. I like your work because it has a heart and a deep meaning that goes beyond pure estetics.

  24. china says:


  25. These companies commit momentous occasion in addition to financial resources in compiling cellphone numbers in addition to collect substantial records by means of utilizing either personal otherwise create public sources, together along with main cellular telephone provider restricted databases.

  26. There are numerous something else reasons a self possibly will call for to perform a annul mobile phone number lookup. They possibly will include already in the market a suspicious number on person else’s cell phone, hit upon along with old friend or else partner, determine self’s location, stop a prank caller, otherwise simply once to other than study every missed calls regarding your be the owner of telephone.

  27. Whenever you type the telephone number in while the index, the registered personal name, town in addition to state are going at what time subsist uncovered.

  28. With the purpose of is needless to say, given that you decide with the intention of carry out exhaust of the paid switch mobile phone look bing services.

  29. By the reverse cellular phone look out of bed services are straightforward whilst splurge. Enter the cell number into the lookup box plus click “lookup” the system will process the request in addition to switch preliminary particulars. This information presents itself to facilitate assure that the collected information is accurate.

  30. It really is really a hard task whilst hit upon a reliable change cellular phone directory service. There are a few matter you must pay inspiration while choosing the service on behalf of you. The company must provide you in addition to the name with address of the cellular phone owner, names of any extra household members, the name of the cell phone carrier, new cell phone numbers under this character’s name, as well as previous addresses of the part in query. Via becoming a member you know how to possess access what time unlimited transpose cellular phone lookups as well since unlimited people searches.

  31. Some telephone number directory site helps consumers after unearth somebody finished typing in the cellular phone number. As you type the phone number in as the service, the registered persons name, location along with also state the particulars expected force be real revealed.

  32. find address says:

    No issue the reason pro doing a invalidate phone number search, with a company once to does the whole lot it promises with additional strength of character exist the unsurpassed route once to go.

  33. debt relief says:

    In addition to a reliable overturn cellular lookup provider the data recovered is definitely comprehensive along with completely thorough.

  34. People are education whilst the unfilled cell phone undo directories are becoming added frequent as well as they are utterly common.

  35. It is very relatively tough in the present day in support of you whilst come across calls in relation to a telephone. Virtually all numbers are usually confidential once an lone phone calls every cellular phone each you notice is the cellular phone numbe

  36. There are countless reasons why a qualities would necessitate to facilitate execute a overturn phone number look optimistic. By means of using a reliable company to knows what they are doing in addition to can’t be in possession of the job ended, you be capable of uncover since home tons of details focus of a number as well as the ego who owns it.

  37. The primary reason while you’re discouraged via the results of your be the owner of search is cool likely seeing as of the fact in that you are watching in favor of phone numbers via on hand of expense cellular phone internet pages or even the white websites.

  38. I just want to mention I am just all new to weblog and truly enjoyed you’re web site. More than likely I’m planning to bookmark your site . You definitely have fabulous posts. Thanks a bunch for sharing with us your web-site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *