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Some of you guys knew it right away! Boom, spot on – first try! Pretty impressive. I suppose that my work aesthetic and thought processes are familiar enough by now to anticipate the direction I’m going to take. I guess I’ll have to surprise you more in the future.

And speaking of surprises, Phyrne, although competed, will stay hidden for now. She is for my eyes only for the next little while, but you can glimpse her pretty legs. And read my artist statement about this project. Thanks everyone for playing my guessing game!
feet

Phyrne the Courtesan.

A Courtesan is a high-class Prostitute. Courtesans were well-educated, cultured and independent career women of loose morals, who traded sex and companionship to the wealthy and powerful men in exchange for money, luxuries and social status. They were often skilled conversationalists and entertainers, adept at using their wit, femininity and sexuality to achieve wealth, success and sometimes real political power. Some were gifted entrepreneurs and negotiators who became so influential, that history still remembers them.

One such woman was Mnesarete, otherwise known as Phryne. She 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.

She was not only a beautiful woman, but seemingly a clever, persuasive one too, because when she was put on trial for impiety, which in 4th century Athens was a capital offense, she was able to convince the jury of her innocence and avoid the death penalty. Although it is rumored that she bared her lovely breasts in court to elicit sympathy and mercy from the judges, I believe that her wealth, status and a network of powerful lovers probably had more to do with her acquittal.

Ultimately, it was her social prowess and an ability to manipulate people and situations to her advantage that gave her personality a winning edge, while her beauty became immortalized in stone as Aphrodite – the Goddess of love.

Materials: Crown: 18k gold-plating, sterling silver, bronze, 21 Garnets, 18 Fresh water pearls, carved Water Buffalo bone, lost wax casting, construction. Gown: Gold applique embroidery on fine tulle, 24k gold bead embroidery, 300 Swarovski crystals, 63 Fresh water pearls, sterling silver, bronze, 10k gold-plating, Czech glass beads, 1 Garnet, 1 Rhine stone. Doll: Ball-jointed, bisque porcelain, china-paint, steel springs, magnetic mohair wig, leather lining, 24k gold fired-on applique jewelry on arms and legs.

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

Just another day at work.
snow-doll 1

There are five new and ongoing metal accessory projects visible in this picture, some completed and some nearly there. You will see them very soon. And I think you will like them. Very much.

9 months ago 18
Posted in: Work in Progress

You guys are such good guessers and history buffs! You’ve just come up with a fantastic list of great women and potential future dolls for me to make!

Below is a short list of Candidates named in the first round. The new mystery doll is one of them! You just have to guess who. Remember the criteria – this woman lived in 4th century BC Greece and was not a deity, neither a royalty, nor a myth. And these are her feet. Go!
teaser
The Candidates named so far are in order of vote majority:

Phryne – hetaira (courtesan), artists’ muse. 4th c. BC Greece. 4 votes
Thais – hetaira, wife of king Ptolemy. 4th c. BC Greece. 3 votes
Hypatia- mathematician, academic, professor. 4th c. AD Greece. 3 votes
Cassandra – Trojan princess, oracle of Apollo. 13th c. BC Troy. 3 votes
Sappo – great lyric poetess, an intellectual. 7th c. BC Greece. 3 votes
Agnodice- 1st female physician, midwife, gynecologist. 4th c. BC 2 votes.
Aspasia – hetaira, an intellectual, socialite. 5th c. BC Greece. 2 votes
Cyniska-1st woman Olympic champion, Spartan princess. 5th, BC 2 votes
Penelope – queen, wife of Odysseus, mythological Greek character.
Oracle of Delphi - an order of Apollo priestesses. 8th c.BC-4th c.AD
Pythias – wife of Aristotle. 4th c. BC Greece
Rhodophis- ex-slave, hetaira, queen, original Cinderella 6th c. BC Greece
Archeanassa – hetaira, companion of Plato.  5th c. BC Greece
Gerpilise - I can not find anything about this name. Who is this?
Lais of Hyccara – hetaira,  socialite. 4th c. BC Greece
Lenaia – Maenads, female worshipers of Dionysos. 5th-2nd c. BC Greece
Lysistrata – peace activist, fictional character 4th c. BC Greece
Myrrhine – wife of Kinesias, peace activist, fictional character. 4th c. BC
Ariadne – Cretan princess, mistress of the Labyrinth, mythological figure.
Roxana – Iranian princess, wife of Alexander the great. Persia. 4th c. BC
Artemisia – female navy commander of king Xerxes. Persia. 5th c. BC
Pandora – mythological First human, all-giver, unleasher of all evil.

There, I hope these clues will help narrow it down a bit.

So, who do you think these pretty feet belong to?

9 months ago 51
Posted in: New Doll

Here is a sneak peek of her hand before she was assembled. Her lower arms and legs feature fired-on 24k gold applique jewelry.

hand

This doll is based on a historical woman from 4th century BC Greece. Care to guess who I made?

Let me give you a clue: It’s not a goddess or royalty of any sort. Definitely NOT Helene of Troy, although I’m working on her too ;)

9 months, 1 week ago 59
Posted in: New Doll

Check out what I’ve been working on lately. These are Gothic Lolitas in sterling silver. This is my first test cast. I think I’ll make a gold&enamel one too. Soon to be available for preorder, but not just yet. Inquire if you wish to be put on the wait list.

shoes 3

shoes 5

shoes 1

shoes 6

shoes 4

9 months, 2 weeks ago 10
Posted in: Doll Accessories

Hi all,

I know that my birthday contest has become a beloved Enchanted Doll tradition that many of you look forward to every year. Sadly, I must postpone this year’s contest until next year. I’m afraid that I’m feeling particularly overwhelmed, and can not handle the responsibility of organizing and judging a contest this year.

My birthday contest is a really important event to me, and I don’t want to tarnish it with anything less than a 100% commitment on my part, but I don’t have it in me this year. I think I’ve maxed out my multitasking capacity.

This year I would like to have a quiet birthday, and maybe even take a few days off work as a special treat. I hope you all understand and I look forward to your entries next year!

 

9 months, 2 weeks ago 20
Posted in: contest

With Polar Vortex snowstorms raging in North America, I decided that my dolls needed some luxurious warm clothes, so I had some made for them. These are one of a kind, faux fir ensembles of matching hats and coats, made in the Russian tradition of winter wear. They fit both porcelain and resin dolls, although it’s a roomier fit on resin dolls and a tighter fit on porcelain.

1) Winter Romance.
coats 12

1) Midnight Train.
coats 3

3) Siberian Tales.
coats 5

4) Bohemian Beauty.
coats 10

5) A Night in St. Petersburg.
coats 11

6) Northern lights.
coats 13

7) Moscow Dream.
hats 2

 

 

10 months, 1 week ago 24
Posted in: Uncategorized

My Darlings! Happy New Year!

I’m back from my vacation and I have something personal to share with you today – a commemorative short film of the 9th annual, week-long New Year’s Extravaganza with a couple dozen of my closest friends. It’s a tradition of ours to rent a house some place remote, cold and snowy, preferably with a frozen lake in the back yard and riding slopes near by, and spend the last week of each year together. We skate, play pond hockey, ride and ski, play board games, dance, hold wine and scotch tastings, cook big meals and watch movies together while it’s snowing outside. Also polar bear swim. Life doesn’t get better than this. It’s pure Canadiana!

Big thanks to the group cinematographers, our own Benjamin Taft, Lewis Bennet and Adam Bognar, for capturing these precious moments of happiness which we can revisit until it’s time for us to celebrate the passing of yet another year together. I can’t wait. Love you guys!

Join me briefly for 8 minutes of my life beyond dolls. Click on the Vimeo icon in the corner to view it on viemo.com in HD quality. There are two parts: Ice hockey and Polar bear swimming. Enjoy my Canadiana!

A happy Vaseux Lake new year celebration from Benjamin Taft on Vimeo.

10 months, 2 weeks ago 24
Posted in: travels

holidays

My friends, fans, collectors and fellow artists! Year 2014 is upon us! My family and I would like to wish you all wonderful winter holidays and a prolific and a happy new year!

And speaking of New Years (and by extension, resolutions), here is a funny and informative short episode from SYB: Sustain Your Body web series, made by my personal nutritionist aaaand my dear sister Alina, who is a Nutritionist-in-training at the university of Acadia. Together with her partner Skyler (who is a Kinesiologist-in-training), these two up and coming Nutrition and Fitness Specialists have founded SYB to share quick, effective and sustainable diet and exercise tips for healthier living. Their instructions help me a lot, because I spend most of my time crouched over a desk making dolls and have no time to go work out at the gym. Also, because I hate the gym.

Like Chad and I, Alina and Skyler are a very creative and proactive team, and like Chad and I, they absolutely love what they do. I guess it runs in the family. Check out the Christmas episode of SYB, learn about the turkey and Sustain Your Body! Merry Christmas!

11 months ago 30
Posted in: Uncategorized

Happy Holidays everyone! Vancouver is a snowy/slushy winter wonderland today!

pendants 1

Check out these porcelain decal pendants I found in my storage two weeks ago. They are experimental pieces from 2010, which I made for fun, put away and then totally forgot about until accidentally discovering them while rummaging through my storage for kiln parts. It was like finding a little Christmas present from my past self to my future self! I brought them to the studio, attached them to my silver crown bails, and voila – I’m in love with them.

Too bad there are only 11 of them altogether. That’s still too many for me to wear, so I’m keeping one and making the other 10 available to you for $175 CAD each.

Each one is one-of-a-kind, of different shape and size, and artificially antiqued for a distressed look. The images are permanently fired-on porcelain decals. Back is signed and dated. Stainless steel ball chain included. My last shipping days are Monday and Tuesday, and then I’m off on holidays. Have a look and let me know if you’d like one. Or two.

1) Ruby (edit: SOLD)

pendants 9

2) Mermaid Song – small (SOLD)

pendants 10

3) Agnetha (SOLD)

pendants 8

4) Aisha (SOLD)

pendants 4

5) Camelia (SOLD)

pendants 7

6) Concubine (SOLD)

pendants 5

7) Siren 1

pendants 6

8) Safia

pendants 3

9) Siren 2

pendants 2

10) Mermaid Song – large (SOLD)

pendants 2 (1)

pendants 1 (1)

 

11 months, 1 week ago 14
Posted in: Doll Accessories