I love silver findings, especially box clasps and bails. I wasn’t satisfied with what I was finding on the market, so I decided to design my own. I don’t usually make detailed sketches like this for myself, as I can see it all in my mind’s eye, but computerized milling requires meticulous design drawings, lest it get misinterpreted as something else.
I was getting increasingly surprised and annoyed that it was taking me almost 4 days to get this sketch right. I had to re-do it so many times, that I started to regret just not going ahead and trying to carve it by hand. It probably wouldn’t have looked as nice if I had, so I suppose it was all worth it. Almost always is.
These are printed aluminum key chains for the 7 runners up: Ran, Iris, Madaline, Miss LK, Emily, Adriatzin and J.David.
These are printed aluminum dog tags with a custom sterling silver crown bail and adjustable chain, for the 3 guessing submissions by Noxy, Jon and Cynthia.
And these sterling silver doll hand pendants (minus the chains) are the 2nd and 3rd place prizes for Karolina and Maura.
Thank you again for all the effort that went into your submissions. I hope you like these. I made them especially for you.
This morning I was mailing out the gifts for the 2011 annual Birthday contest winners, and I realized that I hadn’t yet announced the third contestant who had guessed one of my current projects! Well, here we go then: The last prize winner of the 2011 contest isÂ Jon Songserm, who submitted a concept design for a street lamp crown (sketch here), which was very close to my Chandelier crown doll. Thank you again for everybody’s entries. All gifts but the grand prize are in the mail. I will be posting pictures of them for all to see in a couple of days, but in the mean time here is how I made the Chandelier Crown.
Original concept sketches were made about 2 years ago and put aside for while. No technical consideration or calculations are made: the project is pure idea at this stage.
December 2010 Chandelier idea is pulled off the shelf and wheels are set in motion for production. Measurements are taken, additional sketches are made, maximum weight and height are worked out, structure is determined and various needed components are identified and designed. The goal is to create the lightest possible piece, without compromising structural integrity or aesthetic. A detailed technical drawing of the most complex part is made and sent off for carving by a computerized mill, as its small scale prohibits successful hand-carving.
Seven weeks later a wax prototype is carved out and a rubber mold is made for multiple wax injections.
After all the parts are cast in bronze and silver, they are cleaned, assembled by hand and soldered into a structure.
The piece is then gold plated with 24k gold and the crystal assembly begins using a nylon cable.
The details of the design are worked out during assembly.
Chandelier in the early stage of crystal assembly. The wight increases with each added crystal strand, and as the crown turns more beautiful, it also grows into an almost unbearably heavy monstrosity. In the end 1,800 Swarowsky crystals were used in the final composition.
Finished chandelier crown for the project titled “The Weight of Light”
‘The Weight of Light’ happens to be 178 grams in this case.
I bought a bunch of pretty lace in Paris last year, thinking to make something awesome with it, but I just haven’t found the time…..until today.
I was really inspired by a collection of antique laces I saw in a Copenhagen museum of design recently, and came home determined to finally do something fantastic with mine. In rows and rows of cabinets and drawers were hidden laces of such breathtaking beauty and fine craftsmanship, that I shrieked in disbelief, delight and coveting every time I opened one. I also nearly fainted from sensory overload and might or might not have tried to lick the glass at one point. The security guard didn’t like me very much.
I want it! Give it to me!
I’ll just have to do my best with what I’ve got.
Same day, different outfits.
After setting up the show a fairy god mother came and transformed a tired and crumpled Chad and I into a beautiful prince and a princess……Well, it was actually a lot more like getting stuck in traffic for an hour on our way back to the hotel because President Medvedev was in town and all the main roads were blocked off, and not having any time to do my hair, with a strong possibility of missing the opening of the ball. Also our pumpkin was really just a taxi, but it was still a magical day!
Here’s a little video of our grand entrance to the show at the Catherine Palace. We went through many rooms on our way to the ballroom, one of which of the famous Amber Room. Since some people were interested, I thought I’d show you my dress in action.
Hey gang, I’m back from my recent exhibitions in Russia and travels in Scandinavia! It was both a prolific and an adventurous trip, if a little bit stressful. But then again, Chad and I are not the ones for relaxing vacations, exactly, so it was business as usual.
I spent the last couple of weeks decompressing from the intensity of the last 3 months of show preparations and a month of bouncing around Europe, by enjoying quiet domesticity and drawing a map of our adventures (link goes to a large version of the map). I think I might start doing that for every trip we take, as I found it to be a therapeutic and a reflective exercise. It was nice to be painting something other than dolls for a little while, and it gave me a flashback to my high school assignments. Can you tell I’m a fan of Indiana Jones movies? I even liked the last one…..
Well, I’m jumping back into studio work for the next 5 weeks to complete another costumed doll/s for upcoming shows later this year, and then Chad and I are off to China for a research trip in August. In the meantime I’ll be taking more orders for paper dolls, shipping out prizes to the Birthday 2010 contestants and and and…… showing you some new things, of course! I might sneak a couple of videos and pictures from St.Petersburg shows too.
It’s good to be back!
I brought my traveling collection, plus several new dolls to the Musical Olympus Foundation Charity Ball on May 21st, at the Catherine’s Place in St. Petersburg.
This was my exhibition room at the Catherine’s Palace. Not too shabby.
Setting up for the show later in the evening.
The new doll ‘Wife’, was exhibited too.
The weather was beautiful and really warm and the palace grounds were like a fairy tale.
It’s show time! Chad and I are making our way through the palace chambers to the ball room.
Explaining the concept behind ‘State Property’ to a theater director.
Believe it or not, but this is almost 10pm in the evening in St.Petersburg inÂ May. The days are very long and darkness only lasts for about 3-4 hours. In mid June it doesn’t get dark at all. The room was filled with golden light and everything glowed.
The ball was magical and at the end, there were fireworks in the gardens. The show had to be taken down that same night after the ball, and I had to do it very quickly in my ball gown.
I’m exhausted from a day jam-packed with working, dancing and unforgettable impressions.
But the night didn’t end there. As we took down the show, and the palace emptied, Chad went to inform the organizers and got locked out of the palace, leaving me all alone, stuck on the other side. I spent almost 40 minutes trying to find the rest of the crew and Chad, wandering around through the darkening mazes of cavernous gold rooms and staircases, all on huge heels and enormous skirt and with 2 heavy suitcases full of dolls. Chad in the meantime was running around in the dark gardens, going from one locked entrance to the other. Every now and then I would run into some staff member of a take-down crew and plead for their help, but in such an enormous place and with several different crews working, there was a real communication problem and nobody could help me. I was beginning to think that we were accidentally left behind to spend the night there with the ghosts of Russian monarchs.
Eventually I was found, or I found them. I was substantially frightened and exhausted and my feet were bleeding by that point.
But it makes a good story.
Sorry for not posting these shots sooner, it’s been all hustle and bustle in St. Petersburg. Here are the new dolls (or newly finished dolls) that are part of the 2011 ED Traveling Collection:
Swan Princess (updated)
These dolls (and others) will be on display at the Doll Time International doll exhibition at the Union of Artists exhibition center from June 10th-13th in St. Petersburg.
This is a group shot of my traveling collection, minus Snow White, Prince and Dunyazada, who didn’t fit in frame (out of aesthetic considerations). Most of these dolls are mine, kept in my own personal collection for traveling shows, however, there are some new, recently finished dolls such as Cixi, Crystal Chandelier, the Wife, Stepmother (formerly Aisha) and an upgraded Swan Princes with a new face and body (didn’t like the old one). A few of those dolls are for sale. Price list and individual photos of the new dolls coming up shortly. Sorry to keep you guessing still, but we’re just so busy right at this moment, tying all the loose ends here, in St.Petersburg. We haven’t had time to see anything yet, due to the show preparations. Our hotel right across from the Hermitage museum, which is awesome, because that’s the first place I want to visit once we’re done work.