It’s that glorious time of year again, folks! The annual Enchanted Doll ebay auction is coming up this November! Can you guess which doll will be auctioned off this year? You get one guess. Here’s a clue.
I’ll be posting more progress photos as we get closer to November. The exact date of the auction will be announced soon. Are you as excited as I am?
I like to look at Orchids, but I really dislike having them in my home. I can never seem to create the right conditions for them to stay in bloom, and I don’t have the patience to keep their ugly, bare sticks around while they are dormant. I’ve even come to resent them for their fussiness, and now I scoff at them whenever I pass by a florist. They are really striking flowers though, and perhaps one day I will meet an Orchid that doesn’t require I bend over backwards to keep it blooming all year round.
I made this little guy after reading Black Orchids - a noir detective fiction from the Nero Wolfe Mysteries, by Rex Stout. Not sure where I will take it from here or what project it will be used for, or even if I like it enough to make more, but it’s good to have the technique in reserve when the need arises.
I’ve finally found some time to play around with making one of a kind, enamelled Venetian masks. Just for my own fun. To relax and take my mind off Madame Pompadour doll, which is in its finally stages of completion. I’m planning a photo shoot for her in October. Anyway, I’m really liking the enamelling results though, and I might offer these as one of a kinds for sale when they are assembled. I’d like to try more colours and gradients first.
It’s really relaxing to do a project just for fun, without any deadlines, pressure and expectations. It’s a very therapeutic form of art therapy. I’ll go engage in some more therapy now.
Which colour enamel or gradient combination would you guys like me to try next?
While shopping for Christmas gifts last year, I found these little, plain and cheap-looking crown tree ornaments at a home decor shop. They were almost lost in the luscious branches of a tastefully decorated Christmas tree, but because I’m always on a lookout for small, interesting objects that fit the Enchanted Doll scale, my eyes picked them out and fastened on them the minute I walked through the doors.
I B-lined straight for the tree, navigating the crowd and barely avoiding the expensive and fragile displays of bone china, mirrors and crystal chandeliers, my eyes never leaving my bounty. Giddy with the potential and anticipation of what I can do with these perfect, little canvases, I scooped up all of the remaining crowns from that tree and practically skipped to the till. Waiting to pay, I felt triumphant over my find and fought back a strong urge to rub my palms together while cackling maniacally.
This was my first crown-enhancing experiment. I used gold wire to attach fresh-water pearls, blue topazes, gold-plated findings and drops to the crown base, achieving a high contrast between the distressed rusty metal and the retrofitted gold ornaments. A magnet holds the crown securely on top of the wig, making other fastenings unnecessary. I believe that this was the final detail Skyler’s been missing in her costume this whole time. Now she feels complete. Now she is a crowned queen.
I’m going to try something a little different with the other crowns. I don’t have a complete picture yet, but I almost never do until I begin working. Eventually, all the gaps get filled in, like with Skyler.
Skyler lives apart from my other dolls, on a bookshelf that houses my precious antiquarian collection of Sulamith Wulfing books. It feels right for Skyler to be there, because I consider her to be a sort of an indirect descendent of Sulamith Wulfing’s work. She was created in the spirit of Wulfing’s unique illustration aesthetic, which informs much of my own work and is present to at some level in each and every one of my dolls.
When I was a little girl, I believed that my toys came to life and went about their own business at night time, freezing back into inanimate objects in the morning. This seems to be a very common delusion for children, as if it’s some kind of a necessary, early childhood developmental mechanism. Kind of like Lacan’s Mirror Stage theory. I wonder if there is a psychoanalytic theory by any scholar that would explain why many kids engage in that phantasy of living toys? Anybody childhood physiologists here that have an explanation?
Well, I no longer believe in the living toys nonsense but for some reason, a force of habit perhaps, whenever I pass by my favourite bookshelf on the way to the kitchen, I always glance at Skyler involuntarily to see if she’s moved while I slept. I roll my eyes whenever I catch myself in this silly act, but I know that the next time I’m heading to the kitchen, I’ll be looking for it again.
I think I’ll go make me some tea.
I’ve spent the last few days finishing off my most recent doll Theodora Rex, which is based on a historical Byzantine empress. I’ve been failing to arrive at the final composition that resonates with my inner vision of her, having constructed, tried and abandoned several different accessories to compliment her jewelled head piece and her collar of gold. I believe that when the solution to an almost finished piece proves to be stubbornly evasive, then the problem is not just with details – There is something fundamentally wrong with the whole thing from the bottom up. The best course of action at that point, is to stop tweaking little details, identify the 3 main elements essential to the composition, strip away the rest and start layering supporting details from the beginning. Yes, it’s pretty upsetting having to destroy several days worth of work, but sometimes it’s not just the right thing to do, but the only thing to do. Destruction is a form of creation.
These sterling silver filigree bead caps might be the key to unlocking my composition problem. I embellished them with tiny seed pearls and gold-plated them to look more Byzantine. Theodora is already wearing them, but something else is still missing there…I’m gonna call it a ‘soft’ finish for now and see if she ‘speaks’ to me in the days to come about what else she needs.
It’s time to move on.
It’ll work itself out in my head eventually, I’m sure. Hopefully by tomorrow. Her photo shoot is scheduled for the end of the month, so I really gotta figure it out and wrap it up already. Tonight I’ve got to plate some more hair accessories. Ugh – I hate setbacks!
Back to work on dolls as of today! Gotta finish my ongoing project Theodora Rex, which is near completion, and then move on to finish another doll I’d been working on for a few months. Given the stage she’s at, I think it is now safe for me to disclose her name: Madame Pomapadour.
Hello hello all! I missed you guys!
You might have already guessed it from the lack of posts, but I’ve been away this summer on a 50 day-long, Trans-Eurasian, overland traveling adventure. We took the Trans-Siberian train from Moscow to my home city Novokuznetsk, seeing my extended family for the first time in 17 years. We went on an amazing rafting trip in the Siberian Taiga with my cousins, and then hopped back on the Trans-Siberian and continued our journey on to Beijing, gradually working our way south to Yunnan from there. It was quite unforgettable and now I get to cross Trans-Siberian off my to-do travel list and get back to work on dolls for the next few months. It’s good to be back home!
The books just arrived two days ago, woo-hoo! Chad and I have been packing and shipping them in the last 48 hours like maniacs. They will continue getting shipped out throughout the month of June, so expect yours to arrive sometime between next week and August, depending of course on which shipping method you chose.