Ondine by Cynthia

The inspiration for this design concept is the legend of Ondine and the symbolic connection of women and the sea. The tale of Ondine begins as many fairy tales do, as a love story and ends almost like a tragic cautionary tale. The handsome prince vows faithfulness to his last dying breath to the beautiful sea nymph, who trades immortality to become wife and mother. Eventually, Ondines beauty fades and the prince strays. Upon discovering his betrayal, she demands the fulfilment of his promise by cursing him so that the moment he falls asleep, that breath will be his last. Although likening a woman to the sea (in all its tempermental and life-giving beauty) is an ancient and universal idea, it remains intriguing.

This design features many layers of symbolism, from the crown of coral and shells to the tattoos of sea plants entwined around her lower body- as if unwilling to let her leave the depths, by binding her with reminders of her roots. The belt is a series of links, patterned after waves, ending with an eye-shaped clasp set with a moonstone and tear-like pearls. The paper doll is meant to be cut out with an x-acto knife, assembled with brads, then dressed in the accoutrements (I didn't use tabs - as they make the doll lay unevenly, I used a small piece of double sided tape). It was painted with egg tempera on board.

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Copyright © 2011 Marina Bychkova.