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5 years, 4 months ago 38

hand11

I made this hand for my test doll. I’m convinced it’s the most beautiful hand I ever made. You see, I don’t just pull a hand out of the mold and fire it, I manually shape ans sculpt it to make it more expressive. Unfortunately, expressive, tiny hands are virtually impossible to mold with the rigid plaster molding method. So, they have to be very simplified in order to be mold-able. Therefore, each hand undergoes significant re-sculpting and remodeling in the post-molding period.

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I separate the fingers, define the knuckles and establish the bending angles on all the fingers. It’s ridiculously tedious and I hate doing it, while simultaneously loving it. I estimate that it takes me 2-3 hours to make one hand from casting to painting, or 4-6 labor hours+ 12 kiln firing hours for a pair of hands for one doll.

This hand is the pinnacle of my achievement. Just wanted to share it.

5 years, 4 months ago 36
Posted in: New Doll

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So I turned 30 yesterday, and I just wanted to thank all of you for your warm and moving birthday wishes. Thank you All. It’s so wonderful of you to remember my birthday. It made my day! It was a really good day. Here is a play-by-play. Just because, that’s why.

The previous night I had stayed up until 7am, finishing a new doll, and then I got up at 10am, having only gotten 3 hours of sleep. I couldn’t sleep while there was a new doll in the house! Still tired, I played with the doll and made her a wig while Chad started cleaning up. As I was working, I kept getting messages from you, and each one made my day brighter. Then came a delivery from Amazon; it was a new book illustrated by Lostfish! Then, Chad and I went to pick up my cake, after which he went home to clean some more, while I went shopping for a new outfit for my birthday party later that night. I generally dislike clothes shopping or grocery shopping or really any kind of shopping, unless I’m getting doll-making supplies. That I can do for hours. And yet, in only two hours I managed to acquire several new outfits, including two gorgeous coats from LuluLemon. They are so athletic AND pretty!

It was time to go home and get dressed up, and as I walked down the crowded street, arms full of bags, headphones over my ears playing the Gorillaz to drown out the bustle of other Friday night shoppers, I watched the old, green North Shore mountains loom over the glassy downtown and thought about my 30 years of life here on earth. Had I really been around this long already? It felt like a blink of an eye. Will I be sixty next time I blink?

I walked contemplating the transience of things, and yet I didn’t feel sad, on the contrary I smiled the whole way home, feeling very fulfilled by the meaningful friendships I had formed and satisfied with what I had accomplished so far, and grateful, so so grateful for the opportunity.

I came home modeled my new outfits for Chad, and soon after, friends began showing up. My parents stopped by to wish me a Happy Birthday. My sister stayed for the party. Chad wore a dress jacket, his luscious beard all fluffed up very fancily for the occasion.

I was in my studio, a little drunk and happy because I was surrounded by everything I loved. Here in this place and in this moment in time was the sum total of my 30 years on earth: Book shelves, Travel maps, Tool drawers, Work desks, Dear Friends, Dolls and Chad. And Birthday wishes coming for every corner of the world.

It was a very good day.

5 years, 4 months ago 44
Posted in: Doll Accessories

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Although I intensely dislike the look of raised feet on dolls,  for the sake of experimenting I had made a pair of them for Enchanted Dolls. Raised feet look pretty in high heels, but naked, they look so contorted and unnatural, that it repels me. In my opinion, raised feet restrict a doll to a specific, severe glamor look, while flat feet can be more versatile, soft and feminine. I dislike dolls that are permanently stuck on their tiptoes. Particularly if they have a movable ankle joint. It just looks silly.

Those of you who own my dolls know, that even though they have flat feet, they can still wear the custom designed high heels of the Enchanted Doll brand. I design stilettos specifically so that can go on a flat foot and appear as if they belong there.

Anyway, I was curious to see if I could make better raised feet somehow. I’ve learned that sometimes ideas which make us initially uncomfortable, are the ones that may turn out to be quite interesting with enough consideration and proper treatment. So, whenever I am repelled by something, I try to give it enough thought and decide if it may actually be worth pursuing. So, I made raised feet against my own reservations. It could be an interchangeable option for those who do like it. I’m going to model a couple of raised shoe designs for them in sterling silver and see if I like them any better then.

In the meantime, I’d love to hear what you guys think about dolls with permanently raised feet and which you prefer.

5 years, 4 months ago 81
Posted in: New Doll

Surprise! I’ve been secretly developing a new body prototype for the past 5 months, and now it’s nearly ready! It feels so good to get that off my shoulders. I’ve been bursting at the seams with this news for weeks, but couldn’t tell you until I knew it would work. This is partially the reason I’ve been mostly absent from the web lately. Between this and the book and a couple of other really challenging new projects, there was no time to chat. Now, allow me introduce you to the rough master model of the Rubenesque!

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Definition of RUBENESQUE

: of, relating to, or suggestive of the painter Rubens or his works; especially : plump or rounded (figures) usually in a pleasing or attractive way <a Rubenesque figure>.
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Her figure is inspired by the fuller feminine form of classical antiquity, painting and sculpture. Of course I also stylized it to suit my own aesthetic preferences and to add a touch of surrealism. I’ve been wanting to make this body shape for a long time, but things kept getting in the way and I’m so relieved to have finally done it.

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When I sculpted my first, slim body model, I sculpted all the parts and joints separately, gauging the desired movement of the ball joints without ever stringing them together and testing how them move until they were already painted porcelain parts. The reason is that all the parts were made solid, without thought out hollows and at the time i didn’t have a drill to drill them out and string them. It was a risky, arrogant and kind of a stupid thing to do as I had to fix a lot of mistakes postmortem, but the doll turned out alright in the end.

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This body though, was a lot more thoroughly designed and modeled than the first one. I had spend a lot more time tuning every part to fit just right and to move like silk. I’m also loving the new shape. She is lovely.

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I didn’t think I’d finish it before summer, but it’s starting to look like I just might. I’m already doing china painting trials on the first parts!

I know it’s hard to judge properly at this early stage, but what do you guys think about her?

5 years, 4 months ago 38
Posted in: New Doll, show

hands

A handful of hands. I never usually have this many blank pieces all at once, as each doll gets cast, sanded, painted and strung individually, but since I’ve mostly been too preoccupied with the book to complete a doll lately, these unpainted parts have accumulated over the past few months. Soon, they will become dolls. A couple of these will become Echos, while one of these heads will become the latest show doll for the exhibition at the Strychnin Gallery in May.

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Oh which one, which one will it be, I wonder?

5 years, 4 months ago 34

Dear Enchanted Doll Fans,

Time has ran away from me again. :( I had my hands so full the last 6 months, that I didn’t notice my birthday creeping closer and closer. I very much regret to inform you that the 4th annual ED Birthday contest has been postponed to next year due to time constraints.

I apologize, since I know that like me, many have been looking forward to the contest. The Enchanted Doll book has taken a lot out of me, and combined with other commitments, I just couldn’t come up with a contest theme in time.

I am very pleased to say however, that the Enchanted Doll book is nearly all printed and bound, and should arrive here in about 2 weeks. Just in time for my birthday! We have started emailing those who purchased it with rates on shipping. If you haven’t received an email with shipping information, just hang on, as we will likely get to you soon.

In other news, I am working on a brand new doll for an upcoming (May) show at Strychnin gallery in Berlin, Germany. Stand by for more details. Right now I am nervously biting my nails while I wait to see if the crazy new head ornament I’ve spent over 150 hours designing and milling for it is going to work out. We shall see, we shall see…soon.

5 years, 5 months ago 76
Posted in: Book

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I am both delighted and a bit surprised to announce that the entire first edition of the Enchanted Doll art book has sold out before it even went to print!

Now that the manuscript is at the printer’s, it feels strange to not be working on it, as it has consumed most of my time for the past several months. I was so committed to it, that I actually felt a little bit lost on the first day after it was done. I was walking around my house and thinking that I should be typing something.

And now, after all that time being frustrated and pulling my hair out and swearing to never write/design/publish another book ever again, I feel strangely compelled to  make another book. This time, a fairy tale of some kind. Yup, I’m definitely making another book. I have decided.

I think I will need to take a break from authoring books for a few months, though (it’s exhausting), and make some dolls! Yea-Yeah! And plan some shows! And do other things! And possibly travel a little bit! I am getting a cabin fever after 4 months in the studio….I’m thinking, South America and the Himalayas…ok, my mouth is running away with me here…it’s just too excited.

In the meantime, stand by for the announcement of the upcoming, 4th annual Enchanted Doll birthday contest.

5 years, 5 months ago 43
Posted in: Book

editing

Hey folks!

Great News! After much refining work, my book is going to print tomorrow. I’m so excited and relieved. When I got the first proof in December, it already seemed complete to my eyes but my wonderful editor has been kind enough to find and eliminate a whole bunch of errors in the text. Together, we polished it and refined it and cleaned it and improved it until I almost went crazy, but the manuscript is now truly perfect. Despite hating her a little bit at times during the process, I am truly grateful to have had her on board for this project. Thank you, Lindsay.

The printing and binding will take three weeks, and at the end of February we expect to begin shipping out the books to you guys! The edition is almost completely sold out, but there are still a few books left for those yet to order one. UPDATE: The first edition of the Enchanted Doll book has sold out!

5 years, 6 months ago 21
Posted in: Doll Accessories

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The peeks continue: for the past few weeks I’ve been working on this little side project as a way to relieve stress. Yeah, sometimes I relieve work-related stress by working some more, but I digress.

This is a Sleeping Beauty face pendant. It’s cast in sterling silver and designed to be versatile and customizable. There are 10 discreet holes and loops in the pendant that allow for extra accessories such as jewels and chains to be attached and suspended from it. The pendant can be as minimal or as extravagant as desired. They are almost like dolls that can be dressed up or down. I’ve made only two fairly conservative combinations because I only had three tests pendants cast and didn’t really have time to play with them. I’ll post more pictures next week. Today there is more book editing to do.

5 years, 6 months ago 19

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My editor is in the process of polishing up my writing for the book before it goes to print in two weeks. I took a day off molds in order go over the latest revisions she had sent me and spent most of it editing at my alternate (and rather comfortable) working station until my laptop got tired, said: “Adios Amigos!” and promptly crashed. Thank software engineers for auto-save. The deadline approaches…it’s the nature of deadlines.

I love my job.