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These are my porcelain prototypes for the master molds of the resin dolls.

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I made these a while back. Every now and then I pull up my spinning chair up to the tallest shelf in my studio and while wobbling precariously, I bring this case down to look at them for a few minutes. It’s become almost like a strange ritual of meditation.

I sit down at my desk, switch on the light and run my hands slowly, deliberately along the perimeter of the box until it feels right to open it. My thumbs find the two clasps on the front, I feel a moment of pressure and then two clicks, and the lid comes up while I behold the contents as they glow softly in the white light of my lamp. I observe that once bright violet, the foam fades and turns more and more yellow each time I open it. At first, I touch the parts lightly with my index finger, but then, having satisfied myself that they are truly there, I run the open palm of my hand over them all, feeling the topography of the body curves brushing against my skin. I slowly pull out a part and caress it lovingly with my fingers, turning it over this way and that, enjoying the pearly sensation of cool smoothness on my finger tips. Sometimes I smile to myself, feeling vaguely satisfied with my work. Other times, I notice mistakes and make mental notes on how to improve my technique.

I don’t worship my dolls. It’s not a ritual of self-congratulation and back-patting. The reason I take them out from time to time and sit over them quietly for a few minutes, is because incredibly, they hold memories of myself and my thoughts at the time of their creation. They are the like tree rings of my life. Tiny fragments of my past self documented in porcelain, captured inside its texture, and touching it allows me to access those long-gone moments. And it feels good to be able to revisit myself as I was then, and say: “Hey you, yeah you. You can do better than this. Now get back to work”.

On that note, I’m finally going to be making a new, Christmas batch of resin dolls next month, and those of you who are coming up next on the wait list will be notified within two weeks!

Stay tuned for more photos of ebay doll Daphne are in the next post.

12 months ago 17
Posted in: Resin line

I’m really excited to show you my new doll, even though I’m still working on her. She is Daphne, inspired by a famous and tragic Greek myth of Daphne and Apollo. It’s an ancient story about Stalking, which sadly, still seems as relevant today as it was thousands of years ago. The old gods are long dead, but violence against women still thrives, as if that is the oldest and only truly immortal god of mankind. The story of Apollo and Daphne – of a stalker and his victim, is a story of many women today.

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According to mythology, Daphne was a beautiful forest nymph who was relentlessly pursued by the love-struck God Apollo, who refused to take a no for an answer. The lovely Daphne on the other hand, did not appreciate being treated like anyone’s possession and desperately tried to flee her stalker. Eventually there was nowhere else left for her to run and she made a final, terrible decision to escape the deranged Apollo by becoming a Laurel Tree.

Defending her right to free will and self-agency had cost Daphne everything she had – her mobility, her identity, her appearance, her aspirations, her very humanity, and essentially, her freedom to pursue a life she wanted. It’s a high price to pay for anyone. If this classical myth of Apollo and Daphne is not a classic example of criminal harassment and stalking, then I don’t know what is.

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This is how I imagined Daphne. Her chest and thighs are engraved with ornate floral motifs t0 symbolize her inevitable transformation into a tree.

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She will be going up for auction in November. Next batch of her pics will go up this week!

1 year ago 56
Posted in: New Doll

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Just got this in the mail the other day! The Enchanted Doll/Lux spread is 7 pages long, with each one of my dolls representing a scent of Lux soap: Soft Luxury, White Charm, Floral Touch, Velvet Luxury, Dream Daylight.

Pretty Cool. Oh, and look, who is that hiding behind the page? Is that the new ebay auction doll? I guess we won’t know until I post her pictures next week… ;)

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1 year ago 18
Posted in: New Doll, Press

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Today I’m making a second, silk wig for this pretty little doll, which will be going up on ebay in November! She will have two wigs. And a special new, metal accessory I’m working on parallel to the doll.

She is keeping the secrets of her final appearance for now, as I don’t want to build your first impression of her with bad snapshots of the work-in-progress. I’ll be posting more teasers of her this week and next, until finally all is revealed!

I can’t wait.

1 year ago 24
Posted in: New Doll

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This is the girl. Photos coming soon.

1 year, 1 month ago 22
Posted in: New Doll

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You may recognize these cute floral hair pins from the Vogue video. I made these tests a couple of years ago in two different finishes, but never got around to using them before. They are made from Sterling silver, plated with 18k gold and painted with epoxy enamel. I’ve been getting requests for them since the Vogue feature, and now I’m considering possibly making them available to order in the future. In the meantime, these three from my collection are available for $230 CAD each. Here is a bad photo of one of my favourites wearing them. Drop me a line if you want to have one.

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1 year, 1 month ago 18
Posted in: Doll Accessories

Hey guys!

I’ve been away from the blog for a few weeks, but with the summer drawing to a close and rains returning to Vancouver, it is time for me to come back online and share with you some new dolls I had made earlier this summer, before both my kilns suddenly went out of commission and left me stranded in doll-making limbo. That’s coming up next, but today, I’d like to share a small glimpse of my summer holidays with you. Chad edited a beautiful short film to commemorate a long camping trip we took with a bunch of friends (17 days in the back country of British Columbia!), while I made a map of our journey. Take a peek into my summer!

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Nearcation 2013 from Chad Isley on Vimeo.

1 year, 1 month ago 17
Posted in: travels

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Hey everyone! I’m back from my summer vacation and I’m very tanned! Aaaand, I’ve finally created the ultimate summer vacation memory of running and jumping off the end of a dock into a lake for the first time in my life. I was only twenty or so years late for that event. It was profound, and pretty awesome.

In other news; I’m super excited to finally be able to share with you the accompanying movie from the photo shoot I did earlier this summer for Vogue Japan and… ta-da! Lux! This image here is a still frame from the movie. Watch the whole thing here. It was directed and shot by Lacey, who also shot my dolls for Vogue last year , while I animated them. The issue with the full spread is coming out this fall! I’ll post more info soon. Enjoy the movie and please let me know what your favorite scene is. And then I’ll tell you mine!

 

1 year, 2 months ago 44
Posted in: New Doll, Press

This doll will be in the 10th Anniversary exhibition at Strychnin Gallery in Berlin, on August 16th! She is already on route there and I’ll be out of town until Aug 5th, so please send your inquiries about her price and availability to Elizabetta at Strychnin Gallery.

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I was inspired by the Renaissance oil painting traditions in creating this brand new face sculpt. It has characteristically small and puffy lips, delicate chin, gently arching brows, heavy eyelids and golden hair. Sleeping Beauty is nude porcelain doll in a 14k gold-plated bronze crown, set set with 11 faceted Amethyst gemstones and 9 fresh-water Pearls. Her removable magnetic wig is made of mohair as soft and as delicate as a spider web, while her translucent features and complexions are painted with china paint. Joints are lined with leather. She comes with my signature carbon steel stand with a flexible armpit hold and a custom tin box for safe-keeping.

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1 year, 3 months ago 24
Posted in: New Doll, show

Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m thrilled to announce that I’ll have a piece for sale at the 10th Year Anniversary show at Strychnin Gallery in Berlin, called ‘All (My) Starts’, opening the 16th of August 2013. This is a very special event that celebrates a very special gallery, and though I’m booked up to the gills, I couldn’t turn down the request to participate. I even made a brand new head mold to unveil at this exhibition. Sleeping Beauty! This is She! (in progress)
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Gold crown set with Pearls and Amethysts. (in progress)

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And my new little home studio all set up for work! (also, in progress). You see, this doll celebrates not just one, but two special events, because she is the first doll to be completed here, in my new work space and my new home. She symbolizes beginnings of things.

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“All my starts”. August 16th. Strychnin Gallery. More pictures and info coming tomorrow.

 

1 year, 3 months ago 18
Posted in: New Doll, show