My New Year’s resolution this year was to learn a bunch of new technical skills that would enhance my art practice of making dolls. Specialization is good, but diversifying one’s skills opens new doors to creativity and discourages stagnation. Creating a large, porcelain Enchanted Doll this winter/spring, had given me a fantastic opportunity to expand my skill set, but I also decided to learn the art of wax injecting.
When I decide to learn something, I usually jump in with both feet and commit 100%. So, I bought all the necessary injection equipment and began to practice. While my new wax injector and I are still getting to know each other, it wasn’t nearly as difficult as I thought it would be. Until I tried my new Brocade corset moulds. They were difficult to inject and it took me nearly 6 hours of non-stop injections to figure out why I was failing. I tried different temperature settings, I experimented with pressure and viscosity, I tried every method of clamping I could think of….nothing was working.
I knew the mould was entirely injectable, since my jewelry technician had already pulled a few decent waxes from it earlier. It was all about the subtleties of the injection technique, while my failure to succeed at something I just started was totally normal. Still, the fact that I was failing over and over again for 6 straight hours without seeming to progress even a little, was really unsettling me.
I was baffled at my uncharacteristic inability to make it work, because grasping the basics of how something works usually comes easier to me. It shocked me that my most sincerest, consistent efforts were not being rewarded with some measure of success as they usually are. And that’s what I mean about reaching a certain level of skill and comfort, and then plateauing and eventually stagnating without new challenges.
Long story short, I eventually got it to work, but the experience of prolonged failure really took me down a notch. Like they say; When at first you don’t succeed – try and try, and try again.
I really love my new wax injector, by the way. While before I had to rely on someone else to inject my rubber jewelry moulds, now I can do it myself. Having said this, doing everything yourself is not always the most efficient or the right way, because it takes time to get very good at something. Sometimes one just has to let the specialists do their special things which the rest of us can’t or won’t. We always have to consider the ratio of returns on one’s investments.
But in this case, I think that having this wax injector was worth the investment of a 6 hour learning curve. Although in truth, it will take me years to become an injecting virtuoso. The main thing is that it will ultimately enhance my art practice by injecting a new dose of creative freedom into it, and that ladies and gentlemen, is what it’s all about.
Hello my Darlings!
The release and sale of the artist edition of my new book have come and gone last week. I didn’t expect it to sell out this fast, but it was all over in just 4 days! That’s three and a half weeks faster than my last edition of 500. You guys are really wonderful for supporting my work like this. Thank you! Thank you.
I’m expecting the shipment to arrive at Vancouver Port sometime next week and we will begin mailing them out to you immediately. I’ve got to rest up my writing hand for a 24 hour marathon of signing and numbering all your copies. I’m really looking forward to it. I keep imagining you opening your copies all around the world, in all the time zones and delving into the pages of my enchanted world. I am so thrilled to be able to share it with you!
Thank you again, for helping me create that world!
Hey folks, the 500 artist edition of my new Enchanted Doll book is almost entirely sold out in less than 72 hours! I’ve got less than 100 copies left, but not for much longer. Thank you all for supporting my work by buying my book. I’m so lucky to have such fans like you guys.
And speaking of beautiful new books, you guys should also check out my friend and fellow artist Camilla d’Errico’s graphic novel Tanpopo, Volume 2. It’s being released in 2 days! I love Camila’s work and I think everyone should know about it. As you might recall me mentioning in previous posts, Camilla wrote the forward in the Enchanted Doll book.
Tanpopo Graphic Novel Volume 2 is coming to The Camilla Store, Amazon, and book and comic shops near you! Official release date is slated for May 28, copies will be available on The Camilla Store here. Tanpopo is Camilla’s passion project, combining her love for classic literature, manga & storytelling, with her own characters and narratives. Graphic Novel 2, containing installments 4 & 5, continue Tanpopo’s journey to discover what it means to be human, guided by Kuro, the devil in disguise.
Sounds pretty intriguing, doesn’t it? May 28th.
The Enchanted Doll book is SOLD OUT!
Thank you to everyone that ordered, we’ll begin shipping them out as soon as we get them.
Payments are made now, and the book will start shipping in June.
This is an exclusive, signed, numbered and stamped Artist Edition of 500 copies. It’s been revised and expanded from 150 to 190 pages long; hard bound; high quality offset printing on heavy art paper; contains new photography and dolls from 2012-2013; includes a foreword by my good friend Camila d’Errico; has silver gilded page edges and a sewn in cloth bookmark; published by Baby Tattoo Books. Price $90.00 CAD+shipping.
Guess what I received in the mail today in a Fedex Express envelope, which I promptly tore into shreds like I’m a wild animal? Let me give you a little clue.
It’s an advanced copy of my latest edition of the Enchanted Doll art book! Hip-hip Hooray! The pre-orders will open on Friday, May 23rd! Hip-hip, Hoooraay! Let me tell you about it. It’s pretty beautiful and I’m incredibly proud of it:
This is an exclusive signed, numbered and stamped Artist Edition of 500 copies. It’s been revised and expanded from 150 to 190 pages long; hard bound; high quality offset printing on heavy art paper; contains new photography and dolls from 2012-2013; includes a foreword by my good friend Camila d’Errico; has silver gilded page edges and a sewn in cloth bookmark; published by Baby Tattoo Books. Price $90 CND+shipping.
Pre-orders will be open this coming Friday, May 23rd.
Wait for the announcement and get ready to get your copy!
After nearly 30 hours of hibernation, I think I’ve recovered from the Spectrum Live convention, and all the hectic days and sleepless alnighters leading up to it. I had a really good time in Kansas City and want to thank you guys for coming to see me and this big-little porcelain debutante here. What a way to spend a weekend!
My only regret is not being able to kiss my mom on Mother’s day. Happy belated Mother’s day, Mama!
Former prostitute, Wife of Emperor Justinian, Queen of Constantinople – She is Theodora Rex!
Come and see her at Spectrum Live in Kansas City this weekend.
This is her – Gloriana! Please excuse the domestic setting. I didn’t have time to set up a photo shoot, so I snapped some pictures of her around my apartment before stuffing her in a carry-on suitcase and flying to Kansas City for her premiere at the Spectrum fantasy convention tomorrow.
Gloriana – a symbolic name I chose to signify a threshold of a Golden Age, is my new platform for creative expression. I’ve got big plans for these big dolls, namely tattooing them. In fact, the only reason I decided to create a big Enchanted Doll in the first place, was so that I could have a bigger canvas to engrave stuff on. Just imagine all the fine detail I’ll be able incorporate into my tattoo designs on a scale like this! If I wasn’t so exhausted and jet-legged right now, I’d be jumping up and down in excitement and anticipation of things to come.
But, now that this first prototype is finished and I know it works and can be replicated; now that I’ve developed a working production formula, I will have to take some time off from the big doll before I can bring myself to make anther one of these giantesses. She really burned me out. And she it taking over my bed, apparently.
Working on this scale and facing all the challenges that came with it, really put my small doll in perspective and made me appreciate them even more.
Enjoy these candid shots of Gloriana on random surfaces in my home. I’m off to (hotel) bed. Tomorrow I’ll show you Theodora.
She’ll be premiered at Spectrum fantasy convention this weekend in Kansas City, along with two other new dolls. I won’t have anything for sale at the event this time, but we will be giving away posters and if you come, you will be the first ones to see the new dolls!
Oh my god, I’ve got so much to do today…
I’ve had many ‘firsts’ these past couple of months, experiencing processes that are familiar to me, yet never tried before (by me) on this scale: First large molding (which was kinda horrible), first time casting large parts (which was awful), first time firing them (not so bad), first time cleaning ( a little weird) and first time painting them (just what I expected).
I’ve still got one more ‘First’ left to do tomorrow: Assembly – the moment of truth.
If it works, this doll will be premiered this weekend, at the Spectrum Live convention in Kansas City. Well, I’m already committed to going, so I’ll be taking her there with me either whole or in pieces. I hope she’s whole.
Come and see her!