Archive for August, 2009

Sketch of the week:10-Alice

Monday, August 31st, 2009

sketch-alice1

Yup, I had a totally different vision of Alice when I had made this sketch. My sketch book provides a glimpses into the evolution of my aesthetical preferences over time.

Some of the earliest Alice sketches from 2006 show an entirely different concept than what the completed doll looks like. In the end, I did incorporate some of the classical features of Disney Alice into my own interpretation to maintain a sentimental connection to this well known character.

sketch-alice2

When is Tim Burton’s Alice coming out? Kind of curious to see that movie.

Sketch of the week:9-Bride of Frankenstein

Friday, August 28th, 2009

sketch-bride1

Sorry I’m a bit late with my sketch of the week segment. I fell asleep really early yesterday.

This sketch was shown at the Villa Terrace museum during my first solo show in April-June 2009. Almost every doll in the show was accompanied with a concept sketch. This one is for The Bride of Frankenstein doll. I think I will show all the sketches that were in the show in the upcoming Sketch of the Week segments. Enjoy.

click the image for a larger version

Enchanted Doll in The Vision magazine- Denmark

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

vision11This fashion magazine is based in Copenhagen. I just got it in the mail yesterday. It’s the August 2009 issue, so those of you living in Northern Europe might be able to buy it outside of Denmark this month.

This is one of my favorite features, despite the fact that it’s only one page long, because of the way the content of the interview is framed by the writer. The article features the photograph of the media favorite- The Bride of Frankenstein. Yup, they just loooove her. I think my other dolls are getting jealous of the attention she is getting.

You can read the full article here

In other news- I just finished that special tattoo I had mentioned a couple of posts ago. I’m rapid drying it so that it can go in the kiln this afternoon and be ready for painting tomorrow.

Sketch of the week 7- Agnetha

Monday, August 24th, 2009

sketch-agnetha

agnetha-trim

Some of you have been asking to see Agnetha‘s sketches. There are several pages of Agnetha related drawings and doodles in my sketch book, but these three are the most relevant ones. From top to bottom are sketches for crown, collar and dress fringe. I did a lot of preliminary work drawing some aspects of the costume out, before actually starting it, making Agnetha one of the least improvised ball jointed, costumed dolls of mine. She was also the very first doll on 1:6 scale, I’ve made in my quest for a perfect doll.

agnetha-crown2

To get symmetry in the violate dress fringe, I drew out a single matrix of the design by hand and then had Chad reproduce and tile the rest of it in photoshop, thus creating a repetitive pattern for embroidery. But, of course it got changed around once I began embroidering it.

Metal is not as permitting of improvisation as other mediums, such as embroidery. Such precision is required in sawing out a design with a saw blade the thickness of dental floss, that you can’t just change your mind about this or that right in the middle of it. The unforgiving hardness of metal coupled with a small size of the design and the thinness and delicacy of the sawing blade which tends to break with the smallest changes in direction, won’t allow it. Every single detail must be worked out in the sketching stage and once that is done, you’re committed to that design. This crown took me a week to design and get the necessary materials, about two hours to saw it out of a sheet of Sterling silver and about 12 hours to file, sand, solder and set with stones. Once I started making it, I didn’t stop until it was finished. Soldering was the most nerve wracking part, always is for me because of my fear of open flame and flammable gasses and the danger of making a mistake and accidentally melting the project. Or, having a leaky gas tank or a torch and blowing myself up. I actually did almost melt this crown. It’s so thin and delicate, I’m surpirsed I didn’t.

And there you have it, ladies and gents.

I just got a fashion magazine from Copenhagen, Denmark with a short, one page feature on Enchanted Doll. I’ll post it soon.

Collar cast in Sterling Silver and polished-Finally

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

collar

Here it is. I took some snap shots in front of my window. The surface is soooo shiny and reflective that I found it difficult to get a good photo of it in the natural light, but wasn’t in the mood for setting up a well-lit shot. I’ve got more important things to do today than worry about the perfect composition. I’ll do that when the collar is on a doll. Then I’ll go nuts.

Today, I’m working on finalizing some last nude orders and developing a new tattoo design. Of course it’s not just a tattoo, it’s something more than that. This tattoo has a somewhat different function than an ordinary tattoo. It will be something else if it works out. It might be a huge failure though. We shall see.

Right now I’m anticipating going into an intense show preparation mode and I guess my brain is gearing up for some serious creativity. Last night as I was sanding some parts, my mind was going into a thousand different directions at once, at 200 km an hour. Whatever the speed of thought is, my thoughts must have been doing double that. I was experiencing a type of neurotic inspiration that overwhelms all other senses like a tsunami of creative thought and creates a euphoric state of hyper awareness when everything is clear and every problem has a solution. I guess it’s like an adrenaline rush of mental activity. The problem with it, is that it’s exhilarating for only a couple of hours and then it turns into a sort of paranoia, because ideas just keep coming faster and faster until everything is spinning out of control and thinking turns into a counterproductive activity. I’ve come to call this type of inspiration a Creative Thought Hemorrhage, because after a while my head begins to hurt form all the ideas as if I actually burst a blood vessel in my brain.

Last night I had to take two Advils and watch a couple of episodes of air crash investigation just to calm me down. Yeah, I know. Air crash investigation. About commercial airlines carshing with high fatalities. To calm me down. I don’t know why I find National Geographic’s shows about disasters so soothing. I often have them playing in the background while I work. Either that, or relaxing nature sounds by Solitudes. I don’t know what’s wrong with me.

Song Of The Dolls-Enchanted Doll on poetry book cover.

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

bookcover

This is the other book I mentioned earlier. I love how the looks photo printed on the textured paper. It definitely enhances the picture but it doesn’t scan too well.

Also, I’ve got some more news about that silver collar. I finally have one ready to show. It looks fabulous. I’ll put a couple of pictures up today or tomorrow, while I complete the assembly and put together a series of pictures to show different stages of progress. Maybe I’ll run it in my sketch of the week section on Monday or Thursday. So, stay tuned.

Enchanted Doll on magazine covers 2009

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

mag-covers

Three is a profound number. I’m embarrassed to say that I don’t know the origins of its importance, but I intend to find out.

A third magazine this year has featured Enchanted Doll on its cover. Woo!

The cover girl is the Mermaid Song held in Chad’s hands, so Chad’s hands are sharing the spotlight with her. The magazine is called Tattoo Extreme. Inside, there is an eight page spread about tattooed, porcelain dolls. It’s printed in Taipei, Taiwan and it’s all about ink and body art. I’m very pleased that I was featured alongside some very talented tattoo artists even though I am technically not one of them.  The spread looks fantastic. I wish I could tell you where it can be bought in North America, but I don’t know. But you can go to their website and order a copy from there.

Stand by for more magazines

The spread can be viewed in my Published work section

Sketch of the week 6-Concubine origins

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

sketch-conc

concubine

Another example of me not following my sketch.

My initial idea for a concubine was heavily influenced by ancient Mesopotamian, tribal clothes. She started out looking very ethnic, like a Bedouin princess, but gradually evolved into a more refined, regal lady of the court. So, I pretty much started out with one doll and ended up with something totally different. And this is often the case. While I work and follow my instincts, it all makes sense, but then the project is finished and I look at the disparity between the sketch and the doll and wonder, “How the heck did this happen?” But I’ve learned to trust my instincts. The heart wants what it wants, and my hands comply subconsciously, making decisions seemingly on their own.

But I always second guess my instincts anyway. A lot of times it’s a waste of time, but I have to do that in order to negotiate the proper course of action and achieve the balance between ideas and execution.

Imperial Concubine’s Gallery

Sketch of the week 5-Nitocris’ crown.

Monday, August 17th, 2009

sketch-nitocris

nito2

This is a sketch for a project from 2006. This early doll Nitocris is a portrayal of a Egyptian pharaoh of the sixth dynasty who avenged the political assassination of her brother at the hands of traitors by inviting them to a banquet in a sealed room and then flooding it with Nile. Some stories say that she chose to remain inside and die with her victims while others claim that she committed suicide later. Her very existence is not a proven, historical fact, but since not many things from four thousand years ago are, I choose to believe in her life and death.

You can see significant differences between the sketch and the actual piece. Although a sketch is a good thing to have before embroidering a design with beads, I often deviate from it quite a bit. My beading style is very instinctive and tactile. I let my needle and my beads take me in the direction that feels right, regardless of the sketch, relying instead on my immediate sense of composition, color and shape. So, every bead embroidery session is a form of improvisation with changes, surprises and excitement about the evolution of the design.  Making up the design as I go is like discovering a secret, one bead, one stone, one pearl at a time. The process is incredibly slow but interesting at the same time because you feel that all that repetition is going to turn into something wonderful when it’s complete. And that makes it all worth it.

The monotony begins as soon as I finish the design on one side and start replicating it on the other. Repeating a pattern is definitely easier and less time consuming than figuring it all out, but it’s not very entertaining. And that’s why I never replicate beaded costumes: I’ve already discovered its secret and without that mystery, the bead-work is nothing but hundreds of hours of soulless repetition. And that is not worth my precious time.

State Property Gallery

Friday, August 14th, 2009

Property of the State

State Propery now has a gallery in the Costumed Dolls section of the site.  There are various shots of her, with close-ups of the tattoo, and there’s even a guest appearance by another new doll…

As previously stated, the doll is still a work in progress, so there will be more images added once she’s completed.

So head on over to her gallery to see the pics.