Category : New Doll

9 years, 11 months ago 12
Posted in: New Doll

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I have some more pictures to process tomorrow moring, but Lily will be going up on Ebay later in the afternoon of December 27th, at 5pm Pacific time. That’s tomorrow.

I will be putting more pictures up before that though and making the final announcement, so, watch for it.

And just in case you are wondering what Lily is holding in this picture- that’s my recently removed wisdom tooth.

9 years, 11 months ago 8
Posted in: New Doll

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I’m shooting her again today, while the daylight lasts and should have more photographs to post this evening. Meanwhile, I have a close up of those lovely Rococo slippers coming in an hour or so.

9 years, 11 months ago 26
Posted in: New Doll

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That’s the way they do it.

9 years, 11 months ago 34

It took me almost 3 full days to make the tall, Rococo wig for the Little Aristocrat Lily doll. The doll, which will be auctioned off on Ebay on Dec 27th. Here is the general idea of the process.

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The construction begins with making a wig cap and attaching the padding and supporting infrastructure to it. Then, extra long hair is glued down and it is determined which parts will be going up first. Hair is spread into isolated sections. At this point I sit and look at the doll for a long, long time, visualizing what I want her hair to be and devising a plan of action and steps to make it happen.

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Because a lot of wig-making methods are designed for humans or much larger dolls, I often improvise with various materials and contraptions and find new applications for my kitchen utensils, woodworking, jewelry and porcelain tools. Sometimes the least likely thing will provided the most desired results.

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This wig was probably the most complicated one I’ve made so far. Because it was very sculptural in essence, I had to think of hair and treat it as a sculpting medium, sort of like a lump of wet clay or wax, which you then shape into a form. But now that I think about it, this is how I tend to approach most of my projects. I have a very sculptural frame of mind. After determining where certain locks will go and how many of them I want, I began to pin them up in their approximate locations, keeping in mind the desired size, direction and angle of each curl.

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I used traditional and not-traditional hair styling products to put this hair into shape. Luckily, I have a huge arsenal of all kinds of painting, diluting, thinning, thickening, texturing etc. substances in my possession, which were acquired for various, non-hair related practices. Some are poisonous and others you never ever want to put on your own scalp. But this is porcelain we are talking about, and porcelain to my knowledge is impervious even to acid. Water was one of the main agents in trying to control the vast mane of hair that was required for the wig this size.

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Pinhead. Kind of like this one.

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I hate gore horror. Whenever I watch it, I’m not so much    scared, as I am disturbed and at the same time fascinated by the kind of sick imagination one would need to have to write and film stuff like that. I much prefer ghost horror than blood and guts. But getting back to MY lovely Pinhead-Lily.

Ah, that’s better.

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After a few hours of construction and a night of drying and setting, the curling phase is over and now it’s time to take everything apart in a carefully choreographed order and arrange it in a desirable way. The problem is getting the curls to lay on the head instead of well, curling up. For this I use an experimental method of applying a synthetic, transparent primer to the hair with a brush.

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My concern was the eventual coming apart of the wig. I realized that simple hair spray will simply not be enough. That’s why I went with a much tougher alternative. The primer literally glues hair to itself, making it firm and tough, while maintaining the appearance of hair. By the time I was done, there was more plastic in that wig, than hair. Seriously, the thing is almost bulletproof.

Warning: Do not ever use this on your own hair. Unless you want a permanent hold and the same hair style for the next few years until new hair grows out. Then go ahead.

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Stylin’. She has hair spray and primer all over her face. Once again, because she is porcelain and her face painting is molecularly bonded to the surface of her skin at high temperature, I can for allow all kinds of things to be stuck to her face, knowing that I will easily be able to remove it without removing her entire face. You never want to do this with a resin doll. When the wig was done, the primer was so tough that I had to scrape from her face with a surgical blade and fine sand paper to get it all off. And you would never know it.

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Finished. Drying. Setting. Looking lovely. But still missing something. I had to send Chad to the drug store to buy me some cosmetic powder for her hair. Apparently they don’t really make loose face powder anymore since it’s 2010 and not 1710. All he could find was fancy moose powder and sheer cover and stuff. So, we had to get some Johnson’s baby diaper powder instead. Oh, well-if it’s good for babies then it can’t be bad for my doll.

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Cough, cough, cough! There. Cough, cough, cough. Now she is complete! Cough, cough, cough.

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What? I’ve sat at this desk for how many hours?! 48? You don’t say…..felt like 48 minutes to me.

Was all worth it, as far as I’m concerned.

Thank you and good night.

9 years, 11 months ago 17
Posted in: New Doll

Well, first of all-at this point I’ve been up for 28 consecutive hours and working like a dog for 25 of those hours, to bring you these quick preview shots of this doll today. I believe the last time I had stayed up this long was during the final week of my senior year at art school; feverishly finishing essays, presentations and studio projects all due at the same time. My body is surprisingly energetic and refreshed, but my mind is beginning to descend into an exhaustion-induced stupor and numbness. Also, I think I might be hallucinating…… Sorry if my writing is a bit jumbled. I’m not even done yet. I have to get ready for a full photo session of this doll tomorrow morning.

Ok, here we go. The pictures. Meet Lily-the Little Aristocrat.

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As I’ve said before, this doll will be auctioned off with 3 wigs. Two are shown here. This is Rococo wig; made with fine, long mohair and styled into shape with synthetic primer strand by strand over the course of many hours. It’s also powdered with perfumed powder for a more authentic, period look. This wig is light and very strong, reinforced with several coats of primer. You can juggle with it, and not a single lock will bend out of shape. Ideal for hard play.

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This second wig is the exact opposite of the first one: it’s incredibly long, loose, organic and soft like silk. It is also made of very fine, high grade mohair. There is no rigidity and structure in it, only streaming white strands, which can be styled, brushed and braided into almost any hair style.

Third wig is on its’ way. Pictures will be ready tomorrow. I’ll also show a series of pcitures, documenting the making of Rococo Wig. The auction will begin on December 27th.

Time for a nap.

9 years, 11 months ago 27
Posted in: New Doll

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Hello, Enchanted Doll fans. Lolita outfit was supposed to go on ebay auction today, but there’s been a change of plans.

I will be putting a new, nude doll up for an auction instead! The outfit will go to auction right after the doll. The reason I’m postponing the auction of the outfit is so that I could try it on this new doll and photograph her wearing it for a fresh look. I am also making 3 removable wigs to go with this doll. One long, for natural look. One short and stylish, and one, well, that one is a surprise. You will have to wait a few days to find out. This doll has a decorative, one of a kind thigh tattoo that was hand painted, as opposed to the usual engraving.

Auction will begin on Sunday, December 27th and end on Sunday, January 3rd. The third day of the New Year 2010.

This is a very important time for me, the time when I contemplate and catalog all my failures, accomplishments and ambitions. I sit down and write all my goals for the upcoming year and make a plan for accomplishing them. This is the time I firmly decide that this new year, will be better than the last and that I will do everything I can to make it better and happier than all the years before it. Every year I promise myself to make dolls ever more beautiful, so that my life can be filled with beauty and joy. Because beauty is ultimately what will save the world.

In Russia we have a superstition about New Year. We believe that the way we spend the first days and hours of the New Year, will determine our quality and enjoyment of our life for the rest of the year and foretell how the remaining 11 months are spent. That’s why it’s always important for one to enjoy those first days and spend them doing something meaningful and important to you. Those first days is when you commit to being happy.

And so, in accordance with this tradition I’m making this doll as a good luck charm to celebrate the beginning of the New Year at the end of the First Decade of the New Millennium. She is a symbol of all the beautiful things of the past, dreams of the present and promise of the future. She will be the last doll sold of the Old Year and the first one of the New Year.

Pictures coming soon.

Meanwhile stay tuned for another sketch for Cosmos Exploratum and my final decisions about which costume to give her.

10 years, 2 months ago 18
Posted in: New Doll

The auction is now live and will run for the next 7 days (until Sep 28, 200918:26:02 EDT).

listing # 330361964245 on ebay

More pictures of lolita can be found in her gallery

10 years, 2 months ago 36
Posted in: New Doll

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These are Lolotia’s one of a kind undergarments. I wanted to photgraph them on her even though she will be sold nude. I’m very thrilled with how they had turned out. She is wearing a 24k gold plated corset and bra with 24k plated bronze stilletoes. Her stockings and a French fan are hand made and embroidered with applique designs, pearls, Ruby and 24gold plated beads. Corset stocking laces can be easily unclipped so that the corset can function as an outer garment and be worn with any skirt or pants. A hair ornament of Zirconium, Austian crystals and swan feather completes the period look and can be work with different wigs.

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I’ve just shot these earlier today and Chad just finished editing them. All day I’ve been playing with different looks, combinations and compositions and definitely want to have another couple of photo sessions to capture them, but I don’t want to make you guys wait any longer so I will list the doll on ebay on Monday and shoot later. I think these are pretty descirptive already.

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I’m very pleased with how gold plating looks on this corset. It doesn’t always work for everything, and I had my doubts about this one. It was quite expensive to have a piece of this size plated with a heavy plate and I had spent a lot of time considering whether the result will be worth the effort and the money. But like with everything else, considering only gets you so far and then you just have to do it, to really know. Sometimes you regret it and sometimes you don’t, and this was definitely a very successful experiment. I find that once I get some project or experiment into my head, there is really no choice for me after that point than to try it. I may spend days or weeks or months thinking and agonizing and weighing my options but at the end of the day I know that I’m just delaying the inevitable. I’m going to do it- no matter what it costs or how much time it takes. If it persistently captivates my imagination then it’s worth doing it. What else am I supposed to do: Not do it and wonder about how it would have worked out for the rest of my life? Anyway. More photos.

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The corset laces up at the back.

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Love these shoes.

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And finally in this photo I’m just being silly. I think. Maybe I’m serious. The ship ornament is so out of proportion to the body that it’s almost like a parody of the flashy, over-the-top fashion of Rococo period. This wig is not meant to go with this doll, but I just wanted to try this composition and see what it looks like. And to be quite honest I love the result.

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Funny story with the ship ornament. It’s a found object. Remember when I mentioned that sometimes I have magic thoughts that can materialize into actual objects and occurrences? Well, I think that I dreamt it into existence. After I had made this wig months ago, I thought I need to put something crazy-beautiful in there in the high style of Rococo. It sat in a box all summer until last week I took it out and decided to do something with it. A ship ornament was such an obvious  cliche that I amost dismissed it as tacky.

Yet, it stuck with me and I found myself mentally returning to it. So, a few days ago I was walking home from a dentist I decided to stop by and look for my ship ornament in this antique shop on the way. Why not? Incorporating found objects can be very effective. I didn’t actually expect to find one though. I mean, come on: what are the chances of me finding something so obscure right away? I stepped in and walked straight to a shelf filled with old, useless rubbish and the first thing my eyes happen to rest on was a tiny, filigree tall ship figurine, sitting amongst a pile of disappointing clutter like a diamond.

I couldn’t believe it. It took me 3 days of thinking about it and less than a minute of semi-actively looking for it to have it in my hands. It’s like the universe just dropped it into my lap. Pretty cool. I took it home, removed unwanted parts and the base stand and embellished it with Rubies, Emeralds and Pearls. Not sure how this experiment will end yet. But that’s the fun part.

And that’s all for now. Thank you and good night.

10 years, 2 months ago 9
Posted in: New Doll

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More photos coming tomorrow. A sketch of the week post is coming later today.

10 years, 2 months ago 13
Posted in: New Doll

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Click the image for a larger view (the auto-resize is distorting it) More coming soon.

To answer Noxy’s question:

Chad doesn’t seem particularly concerned about his slightly disfigured right thumb, so much so that I’m beginning to think he likes it this way. I don’t really mind it either. It’s quite beautiful in a way.
I don’t mind it if it shows up in photographs with dolls either-it adds character and highlights contrast between eternally perfect porcelain and the vulnerable imperfection of human skin. Although we spent almost an hour setting up and shooting the hand pose, we settled on this particular composition not because of the thumb, but because this angle looked best.

I love photographing dolls in Chad’s hands, but to be quite honest he is not the most co-operative model at times. Because I’m so meticulous at arranging the shot to perfection, changing angles, adjusting light and taking a million test exposures, it usually takes a while and he starts complaining within 20 minutes about cramping up and discomfort from being unable to move a muscle. (Sorry honey, it’s true)

We also start fighting and arguing over creative differences during the shoot. Things can get intense. So, some of the best photographs of my dolls were actually taken under duress. I still enjoy working with Chadasaurus. ( my nickname for him, I call him that almost exclusively. He calls me Marinamal. Chadasaurus and Marinamal. I love it.) I enjoy working with him because despite the character differences and occasional work-related tension, most of the time when we work together we create something beautiful.