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I’m excited to announce that the Enchanted Doll book will be released as a Chinese edition. It was a long back-and-forth process to get it through multiple levels of censorship, but it is finally going to print.

The book is being published by TX River, and will be available for purchase directly through them. The book contains the same content as the previous edition, along with new pages featuring some of my most recent dolls.

Pre-sales have started, you can order the book here: http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=43715713846&

If you need any help navigating that site and ordering, please contact yuanmuhe@qq.com, they will be able to help you with ordering even if you don’t know Chinese.

The book is expected to be ready to ship by May 2015

 

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5 months, 2 weeks ago 19
Posted in: Book

 

The Cinderella auction is about to end, but you’ll still be able to see here in the third and final part of the “Cinderella Comes Together” video series. The video is now up on vimeo (be sure to watch it in HD)

Thank you for all the feedback on the first two videos. We had a great time making these, even if the dog couldn’t remember all her lines. Typical big shot actors.

Part One: vimeo.com/116792189

Part Two: vimeo.com/117751346

Part Three: vimeo.com/118372472

 

Along with the video, here is my artist statement for Cinderella:

The Cinderella Construct

The story of Cinderella is so ubiquitous, that all across human history, geography, and different cultures, it continues to exist and remains virtually unchanged.

There are close to a thousand different incarnations of the Cinderella fable around the world dating back to ancient antiquity. The earliest known version was recorded in the 1st century BC by a Greek historian Strabo, and inspired by an enslaved Greek girl-turned courtesan named Rhodopis, who according to his account, was freed from sexual servitude and went on to marry an Egyptian King.

While it appears that Rhodopis was the original allegorical Cinderella, she certainly wasn’t the first orphaned, abused, and exploited female in the world, nor the last. Over thousands of years of human history there have been, there are, and there will be many more Cinderellas – with and without a happily ever after. Every culture and generation imprints its own ideals and values on the Cinderella construct, altering it somewhat, but keeping the basic Rags-to-Riches narrative intact.

The moving mechanism at the heart of Cinderella story appears to be a conflict of interests that arises between individuals in an evolutionary struggle for limited economic resources. This very survival instinct is probably what sometimes turns perfectly decent women into abusive Stepmothers. It is puzzling though why the fathers in this situation allow this pattern of abuse to perpetuate, as though having gained a new wife capable of bearing new offspring, they are no longer emotionally or even genetically invested in the survival of their own biological children from previous partners.

The reason this fairy tale is still so compelling and powerful, is because its underlying themes are still as relevant today as they were two thousand years ago, when Strabo first penned that tragic story of a slave girl with a Happily Ever After.

The Cinderella construct appears to be a collective existential portrait of the human condition – As long as there are people, there will be Cinderellas.

5 months, 4 weeks ago 43
Posted in: Video

 

 

Here is part two of “Cinderella Comes Together“, a behind the scenes look at the Cinderella doll being put together. Part one started with the doll being strung, and part two moves on to the other elements of the doll (Stand, dress, wig). Part three will be posted later this week.

What’s your favourite shot so far (from either part)?

Be sure to watch it in HD on the Vimeo page.

6 months ago 19

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The annual Enchanted Doll auction is now live, as the all new Cinderella #2 is currently up for auction. The link to the auction: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Cinderella-Porcelain-Enchanted-Doll-BJD-/331459729976?

There are all new photos that can be found on the auction page. More will be coming during the week, so stay tuned.

Part 2 of the “Cinderella Comes Together” video will be posted shortly!

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6 months ago 18
Posted in: New Doll

You guys! Yesterday I had a very long and productive photoshoot with my newest doll Cinderella, who as you already know, is going up for an annual Enchanted Doll ebay auction in just a few hours! In the afternoon I’ll be posting her final studio pictures and releasing the second part of the three-part Cinderella creation film. So stay tuned for all these exciting things happening today, and in the meantime enjoy some of last night’s snapshots from the set!
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6 months ago 11

 

I’ve got a little surprise for your folks. While I’ve been busy making Cinderella, Chad has been busy making a film of me making Cinderella! This special little doll, as you might have heard, is going up for an annual ebay auction on January 24th-31st! Please enjoy this part one of the three part series of short films about the creation of this doll, and stay tuned for the second!

You  can view the video in HD on Vimeo

 

6 months, 2 weeks ago 30

Happy New Year, folks! Thank you for all of your notes with good wishes! I promise to use them well throughout 2015 to create exciting new work, starting with Cinderella. Her ebay auction dates have been set for January 24th-31st, which is only 3 weeks away!

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For New Year’s I’ve been away on my annual holidays with friends in the beautiful Okanagan Valley for a bit of winter and a little ice hokey. We’re heading back home tomorrow, where the almost-finished Cinderella is eagerly waiting to become a doll.

The last thing I did before leaving, was finish this wig. I made it from my special stash of the silkiest mohiar I’ve ever laid my fingers on, which I’ve been saving just for her for over a year. It surpassed my expectations.

The first thing I’m going to do is when I return on Tuesday, is finish beading her skirt and assemble it all with the corset, then cast her masquerade mask and then have a very long photo session with her. Shouldn’t take longer than 2 weeks altogether. But first, we have to navigate a treacherous high altitude highway back to the coast, before the forecasted snowstorm moves in later in the afternoon and traps us on the wrong side of the mountains.

I’ll be counting every mile down to Cinderella.

 

6 months, 3 weeks ago 19
Posted in: New Doll

For Christmas this year, allow me to present my secret doll Phryne, who is one of the costumed projects I completed in 2014!

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Phryne as you may remember from my sneak peeks of her, and that awesome guessing game we played together, was a famous Greek courtesan in 4th century BC, who became a model for Praxiteles’s statue of Cnidian Aphrodite, one of the most extraordinary sculptures of antiquity. To read her full story and description see my original blog post.

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For certain reasons I’ve been holding her back, fully completed for the last 10 months, which took herculean effort at times. There hasn’t been a day when I didn’t want to tell you about her, but now the time has come. Please enjoy.

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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, my friends! And a happy New Year!

 

7 months ago 35
Posted in: New Doll

And the dates of the auction are: January 24th-January 31st, 2015!

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I apologize for delaying setting the auction dates of my new doll Cinderella #2. It is because I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to cast her last minute add-on accessory – the fabulous ball mask – before my metal casting foundry closed for the holidays. It turns out, I wasn’t able to beat the holiday rush queue, so this forced me to move the auction to January. I really want Cinderella to wear that mask!

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In the meantime, I’ve made a luxurious padded custom box for my little Cinderella #2 auction. This weekend I’m doing to attach baby-blue leather cord belts with sterling silver buckles to the padding, to secure her limbs in place while she’s resting in her special tin.

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I’m so happy about the way her face turned out. I believe she is one of my finest, most subtle-blushed faces ever. I almost don’t want to let her go, but I know I have to. Stand by for a picture of her with her lovely wig!

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So, don’t forget: Cinderella #2 is going up for ebay auction on January 24th – 31st 2015! Stay tuned!

 

 

7 months, 1 week ago 18
Posted in: New Doll

This is a first, in-progress glimpse of my new Cinderella, which will be going up on ebay auction in mere weeks.

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At this point I’ve already finished the face and let me tell ya, she turned out pretty. In fact, I believe that she is much lovelier and more emotive than my original 2009 prototype from which I painted this face. I suppose this is to be expected, as my painting style had been evolving and crystallizing into a consistent personal style over the last five years. In 2009 I only had 5 years of china painting under my belt, now I have 10.

I guess that for the sake of an experiment, I’ll be making my last Cinderella #3 in another 5 years. I wonder how those upcoming years of painting will reflect on my future aesthetic. How will these Cinderella’s look different and the same from one to another? How will my painting style progress and which direction will it take? Such existential questions hidden in china paint…

I guess that is the whole point of art: To help us confront and to question our existence, and to help us evolve into people we seek to become.

Beauty will save the world – (Dostoevsky).

7 months, 2 weeks ago 10
Posted in: New Doll