Category : Work in Progress

3 days, 22 hours ago 19

I recently had a nature photo session with Kay, a one of a kind, first generation resin doll from my personal collection. She is a great favourite of mine because of her vulnerable, photogenic beauty. The camera loves her!

If you had to pick a favourite photo, which one would it be?

10 months, 3 weeks ago 21
Posted in: Work in Progress

“People once believed that when someone dies, a crow carries their soul to the land of the dead. But sometimes, something so bad happens that a terrible sadness is carried with it and the soul can’t rest. Then sometimes, just sometimes, the crow can bring that soul back to put the wrong things right.”
James O’Barr, The Crow

  

1 year, 1 month ago 22

1 year, 1 month ago 28

Hey doll people! You’ve probably noticed that I’ve been missing from the internet lately. It’s because I’ve been stuck in home renovations purgatory for the last year. But, with my art studio renos nearing completion, I’ve been really enjoying working in my newly improved, open, bright and green workspace. See if you can spot a difference so far.

And I’m not returning to the blog empty handed, as I have a new doll in-the-works to share. I decided to up the challenge a little by working more detail into the hands and feet than I’ve ever done before.

Up to this point I chose not to carve my dolls’ fingernails or toenails, but paint them on instead because in greenware state the porcelain is still as soft and crumbly as a shortbread cookie; It’s prone to breaking at the lightest pressure of a needle point….or a gentle breath of a pixie…or even just from looking at it a little too hard.

In fact, most hands and feet almost never survive high detailing intact, and I end up having to reattach at least 2 or more fingers with raw porcelain slip and then fuse them together during high-temp firing. Index fingers are most vulnerable for some reason. Somehow, I managed not to break a single finger on this hand, while the other one needed 3 finger reattachment surgeries.

I must have looked at it a little too hard.

 

1 year, 7 months ago 10

Here’s the second video in Madame de Pompadour’s creation series, showing how her tattoos got their colours.

Music: Music: IV. Vivace by Gavin Gamboa

You can view the video in HD on vimeo

2 years, 4 months ago 14
Posted in: Work in Progress

This doll is some piece of work….and not in the most positive way right now. She’s been trying my skills and pushing the outer boundaries of my patience. Some dolls are ‘born’ easily from my hand, almost effortlessly sometimes – but not this one. This one’s been challenging me on almost daily basis, daring me to be better and to evolve past my comfortable place.

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At least once a week I have to fight down a strong urge to hurl it out of my window, and cackle maniacally as I watch it shatter on the pavement below. In fact, I kinda feel this way right now, so I’m taking a little time-out from work for some complaining therapy.

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Feeling better already.

 

Applying white highlights on Madame de Pompadour's engraved tattoo. #porcelain #enchanteddoll #bjd #tattoo #workinprogress

A video posted by Marina Bychkova (@marinabychkova) on

2 years, 4 months ago 18
Posted in: Work in Progress

Having been blessed with a good eyesight (thanks dad!), I’d always scoffed at the idea of working under magnification, even though I suspected it would have been helpful for the small scale of my dolls. But working with bare eyes was a source of pride for me and I stubbornly refused to accept any artificial optic assistance before it was absolutely medically necessary for me to wear glasses. I was such a fool. I had no idea what I was missing.

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Getting a magnifier a year ago gave the ability to engrave the finest micro tattoos I never imagined possible. It instantly upped my skills and unlocked a new difficulty level in this doll-making game. I’m playing on hard mode now. And loving the results.

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This doll, Marquise de Pompadour, is my first doll tattooed entirely under a magnifier. Because of that, she features the most advanced tattoo engravings ever seen on Enchanted Dolls that took almost a year to engrave. If I wasn’t feeling slightly unhinged from all that tattooing (at the moment), I’d be giddy with joy at the sight of this little French beauty. She is going to be auctioned off on May 13th. I’ll show and tell you more about her in the days to come.

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As for me, I’m never going back to pre-magnifier tattooing. Not because I can’t, but because I don’t want to. Those years are behind me.

 

 

2 years, 4 months ago 9
Posted in: Work in Progress

Attention Enchanted Doll collectors – this doll will be auctioned off on May 13th – 16th, 2016! More details will be posted with more progress shots in the upcoming days and weeks. Get ready!
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tattoo 3

2 years, 5 months ago 11
Posted in: Work in Progress

tattoo

Tattooing, I mean engraving, the last arm of my Marquise de Pompadour doll. Whew… Judging by the number of months it took me to finish tattooing this doll, one would be forgiven for thinking she has a couple dozen of them arms. Anyway…whew.

This doll will be auctioned off in this spring! Stay tuned for more details, pictures and everything!

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2 years, 5 months ago 17
Posted in: Work in Progress

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I’ve been running tests on my new china paints for the last couple of weeks, and I’m almost done! My plan is to finish and fire all my porcelain tiles by Sunday, so that on Monday I can go ahead and finally begin painting my new porcelain doll.

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I’ve been using white, matt porcelain tiles as ground for my paint samples. Saves me a whole tedious step of casting, cleaning and firing my own porcelain chips, which would have added up another two weeks to the testing phase. Why make life difficult for yourself when there’s an easier and better alternative?

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Also, tiles make it all look homogenous and organized, as opposed to loose porcelain chips.

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Aaaand as an added bonus, I’ve stumbled on another possible china-painting method with a quill, while labelling my colours! I’ll have to test it out more on an actual three-dimensional doll before I can try to integrate it into my own painting technique. I don’t know how this never occurred to me before!

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Oh no-o-o! A firing casualty to fatigue fracture and thermal shock. On second thought, I think it’s now perfect.

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