Category : Work in Progress

7 years, 6 months ago 19

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My editor is in the process of polishing up my writing for the book before it goes to print in two weeks. I took a day off molds in order go over the latest revisions she had sent me and spent most of it editing at my alternate (and rather comfortable) working station until my laptop got tired, said: “Adios Amigos!” and promptly crashed. Thank software engineers for auto-save. The deadline approaches…it’s the nature of deadlines.

I love my job.

7 years, 6 months ago 66
Posted in: Work in Progress

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Some more peeks of my current projects. Making more molds. These shots were taken just this morning. So tired… I wish I could just go to sleep, but my mind is restless…13 hours spent in clay, water and plaster up to my elbows don’t think I can stand the feeling of clay on my hands any more…skin is so dry and tight, I just want to jump out of it, like a lizard, God I wish I were done with this already but there are so many more…oh my god I hate making molds so very much alas, that’s what it takes to make what I want to make and I will make it so help me god…at least I’ve got a few more episodes of the Tudors left why is the iPad screed so shiny and reflective? is my nose too long? why did Henry the 8th come to hate Anny Bolyn so much? did he really believe she was a witch? my fingers are so pruney I wonder how much water they can absorb before the skin starts falling off the bones… can that happen? if only this part would just set already so that I can take it out and clean up I should also sweep before I drag these plaster crumbs all over the place I really need to clean  this place up, if only I were finished with these stupid molds already…I need some hand cream…

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…man, my orange tree is going to freeze outside if it keeps getting colder, I wonder if I ought to pull it back in? I should stop dropping my flipflop every time I tuck my knee under so that the chair wouldn’t roll over it and get stuck every time I move, and why do I have to tuck my knee under every time I sit down anyway? I, like, don’t even notice how it happens…god, my knee is so sore I wish I would just stop doing that, when is this mold going to set already…?Ouch! pay attention when you’re using dental tools if you want to keep all your fingers…perhaps a knife would be better to trim this seam…this towel is covered with clay I need a new one…Chad? Chad?! damn, he is wearing headphones in there…I’ll have to put this down and hope it holds for a few seconds…ohh for crying out loud, that stupid flipflop!!……

7 years, 6 months ago 24

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This is a sketch I recently made for a doll-related project. I can’t say which project or how it’s relevant exactly, yet, but I’m very excited about it. This project has been confounding me for a couple of years, and I think I’m finally going to be able to pull it off.

It’s heavily inspired by my favorite Sulamith Wulfing drawing, but I still had a very hard time with it, as symmetry and geometry are not my strengths. I love Gothic architecture though. My passion for it was sparked in a grade six history class, when we were first introduced to different styles of architecture. Like yesterday, I remember turning the page of my textbook, and glimpsing a picture of the magnificent Duomo di Milano (Milan Cathedral). It took my breath away. It seemed so light and ethereal, stretching, seeking to be closer to infinity with its pointy spires…as if it could just lift off and float away.

I loved Gothic architecture since then, but having seen Duomo di Milano with my own eyes and having climbed up to the roof and walked amongst those painfully intricate arches and spires, I love it even more.

This is another project for 2012.

7 years, 6 months ago 41
Posted in: Work in Progress

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This is one of the projects I’ve been working on for a few months. Can’t tell you what it’s for yet, but soon you will see. Or perhaps you can guess which doll I’m working on based on the vibes from the embroidery? I’ll give you a hint: It’s inspired by a fairy tale.

7 years, 6 months ago 44
Posted in: Work in Progress

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Happy New Year, everyone!

I’ve had a great holiday, a wonderful end of 2011 and a fantastic beginning of 2012! I’m so excited about this year! With all the new things I’m working on, I can just feel how awesome it’s going to be! I’m bursting at the seams with creative energy and can hardly contain myself.

The Enchanted Doll book is undergoing final edits and will be going to print in three weeks, on February 1st.

I, in the meantime, have been sketching out new project ideas, creating rough machetes and making new molds. You know how much I like to keep things secret until they’re finished and until I know 100% that the are going to work, but I’m very compelled to give you a few sneak peeks of what I’ve been working on. Perhaps I should. Perhaps I will…

Alright, meet me here next week for some peeks.

Back to work now. Art can not wait to get made!

7 years, 8 months ago 25
Posted in: Work in Progress

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I buried a doll in sand today. Then I dug her up, pretending that I was finding a precious, lost relic.

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This photo shoot was for a project I’ll tell you about later. I would never do this with a resin doll, but porcelain doesn’t get stained by dirt or scratched by the soil particles, so it was relatively safe. However,  I was a little concerned about it getting inside the spring mechanism and between the joints, so I chose to bury her in sand as opposed to soil, because the grains are larger and can be  vacuumed out once they dry. I was able to brush most of the sand off her skin pretty easily, but she still needs a wipe down and a vacuum. She sounds worse than she looks, because her joints grate with the sand stuck between them. But she’ll be alright. It was a fun experiment.

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Pieta!

7 years, 10 months ago 37

..For the 2011 Birthday Contest Winner!  The grand prize doll Lily has been completed and will be shipped to its new owner this week. Amal, please let me know you’re in town and confirm you shipping address.

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This still frame animation depicts some steps in the painting process of Lily, showing how it starts out and it’s final look, but there are other steps between the layers that aren’t shown, such as firings, of course. This head was painted in 3 china layers and 3 kiln firings. You can see how each layer fades after each firing, and has to be built back up to gradually intensify. It’s a one step forward, two steps back kind of process.

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Due to the unique transparency and non-drying characteristics of china paint, which require multiple firings to set, the painting process is driven and defined by the two conflicting targets: To paint the doll in as fewer layers as possible to minimize the number of firings, while simultaneously achieving the ultimate feature shapes, vibrancy and depth of colors.

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After years of practicing china painting, I’ve finally come up with a suitable analogy to describe its multiple characteristics: China paint is like watercolors because it’s translucent; like oil paint, because it doesn’t dry; like digital graphics, because all layers must be kept separated and like ceramic glaze, because it bonds only through kiln firing.

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A completed doll face. This one is for you, Amal. Claim your prize!

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7 years, 12 months ago 27

This morning I was mailing out the gifts for the 2011 annual Birthday contest winners, and I realized that I hadn’t yet announced the third contestant who had guessed one of my current projects! Well, here we go then: The last prize winner of the 2011 contest is  Jon Songserm, who submitted a concept design for a street lamp crown (sketch here), which was very close to my Chandelier crown doll. Thank you again for everybody’s entries. All gifts but the grand prize are in the mail. I will be posting pictures of them for all to see in a couple of days, but in the mean time here is how I made the Chandelier Crown.

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Original concept sketches were made about 2 years ago and put aside for while. No technical consideration or calculations are made: the project is pure idea at this stage.

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December 2010 Chandelier idea is pulled off the shelf and wheels are set in motion for production. Measurements are taken, additional sketches are made, maximum weight and height are worked out, structure is determined and various needed components are identified and designed. The goal is to create the lightest possible piece, without compromising structural integrity or aesthetic. A detailed technical drawing of the most complex part is made and sent off for carving by a computerized mill, as its small scale prohibits successful hand-carving.

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Seven weeks later a wax prototype is carved out and a rubber mold is made for multiple wax injections.

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After all the parts are cast in bronze and silver, they are cleaned, assembled by hand and soldered into a structure.

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The piece is then gold plated with 24k gold and the crystal assembly begins using a nylon cable.

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The details of the design are worked out during assembly.

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Chandelier in the early stage of crystal assembly. The wight increases with each added crystal strand, and as the crown turns more beautiful, it also grows into an almost unbearably heavy monstrosity. In the end 1,800 Swarowsky crystals were used in the final composition.

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Finished chandelier crown for the project titled “The Weight of Light”

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‘The Weight of Light’ happens to be 178 grams in this case.

8 years ago 23
Posted in: Work in Progress

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Working on the skirt now….

8 years ago 25
Posted in: Work in Progress

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I bought a bunch of pretty lace in Paris last year, thinking to make something awesome with it, but I just haven’t found the time…..until today.

I was really inspired by a collection of antique laces I saw in a Copenhagen museum of design recently, and came home determined to finally do something fantastic with mine. In rows and rows of cabinets and drawers were hidden laces of such breathtaking beauty and fine craftsmanship, that I shrieked in disbelief, delight and coveting every time I opened one. I also nearly fainted from sensory overload and might or might not have tried to lick the glass at one point. The security guard didn’t like me very much.

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I want it! Give it to me!

I’ll just have to do my best with what I’ve got.