Nuestra by Irina

My first entry is inspired by a documentary I saw a while ago on the National Geographic channel. The documentary was about the destructive consequences of people on the rain forest of the Amazon. Commercial logging is the largest cause of rainforest destruction, both directly and indirectly. Besides commercial logging, there are other activities that contribute to the destruction of the rainforest, including clearing land for grazing animals, subsistence farming, building roads, and burning the forest to produce wood coal. It is estimated that more than a hundred species of trees, plants, and animals disappear daily because of the rainforest destruction. This is why I came up with an idea to create a doll that will represent the beauty and uniqueness of the Amazon rainforest.

The character for my first entry is a Great Spirit, keeper and protector of the Rain Forest. Her name is Nuestra and she is a fictional figure that was inspired by the documentary. Nuestra is an ancient spirit that has seen the birth and collapse of great civilizations such as the Aztec’s and Mayan’s. People for millennia worshiped her and for that she protected them and the rainforest that they lived in. The old legends describe her as an extremely beautiful woman. Her skin is white and smooth and gleamed faintly with silver light each time she moved. Her long, black, silk-like hair fell down her shoulders to the ground. Her black eye lashes cast soft shadows on her face. Nuestra's eyes have the most beautiful colour of green that could only be compared to the finest emeralds of the world. Her wrists and ankles adorned with thick bracelets of pure gold. The legends also tell that she wore a magnificent necklace of heavy gold that had two lizards holding large emerald stone in their mouths. Its been told that this necklace possesses a great power of the Universe which gave Nuestra her immortality and magical powers. With her presence and protection, the rainforest enjoyed the Golden Era of peace and growth and all living creatures and people lived together in harmony. But when people lost their ways with Mother Nature, and forgot how to live in harmony with other living creatures, Nuestra had to flee into the heart of the forest to seek peace and protection from the same people who once worshiped her. To protect herself, Nuestra had to disguise herself as an animal. Nuestra's human form was one of many. The legends tell that she was able to transform herself into fierce animals like the jaguar and black panther, or become a delicate and colourful butterfly, or a fast and shy hummingbird. But her favourite form was an emerald green lizard. The lizards were Nuestra's most devoted servants and companions throughout centuries. She loved them for their smooth, colourful, quirky bodies, and for their cheerful and funny predisposition. For the lizards' loyalty, Nuestra etched the image of the emerald-green lizard on her body, which always reminded her of her faithful servants in her exile.

I see this doll being made out of white porcelain with soft-pink body blushing. She has long, silky black hair made out of premium mohair. She has emerald-green eyes and beautiful red lips. Her wrist and ankle golden bracelets are fused into the porcelain or could be cast from sterling silver and then gold plated. Her necklace with intricate details of the lizards is made out of sterling silver and then gold plated. The cabochon emerald is used as a centre stone. The body lizard tattoo is made with china paint or could be done with gold overlay that is infused into the porcelain. This will create a 3-D effect. In order to decorate the lizards body, green and turquoise enamel could be used. Lastly, two small marque emerald stones/ Swarovski crystals for the eyes.

Faith, Hope, Love. (Vera, Nadejda, Lubov') by Irina

My second entry is loosely inspired by two famous Russian classics. The first is Rock Opera "Unona and Avos" and the second is a novel "Scarlet Sails" by Russian author Alexander Grin. The two classics are the ultimate stories about eternal feelings so powerful that they help to withstand distance, time, and tragic consequences. I see the second doll as a romantic character that waits for her beloved and for his safe return from a long sea voyage. I imagin her as a beautiful young woman that went to the sea shore every day. She doesn't look older than eighteen or nineteen years old. Her sun-kissed skin glows with innocent radiance and youth. The gentle breeze softly whispers the words that only she could hear and understand and plays with her golden blond hair that falls down her shoulders. Her beautiful grey-blue eyes so distant and intense, trying to look beyond and above the horizon to find the one that she belongs to with all her heart and soul. Her young face is so serene and captivated with eternal love and devotion. The girl waves to the seagulls, the only companions she could talk to and trust all her secrets. She comes closer to the water and whispers the words of prayer for the one that she will love and wait for forever. The sea gently strokes her hands and feet with its coolness. Two powerful forces, woman's love and endless sea, are somehow connected by an invisible link that will help the loved one find his way home. She knows that her love and faith, will help him to survive and come back to her.

This doll is made with soft peachy porcelain with soft bronze undertones. She has golden blonde wavy hair that is made out of premium mohair. She has soft pink lips that represent the youth and purity of the character. I see her eyes painted with soft blue china paint that will resemble the sea when it is most peaceful. The doll will have two body tattoos. One of the seagull, that represent freedom, and the second is a sail boat that represents constant drive for adventure and the powerful will to come home.

Captives by Irina

The third entry is greatly inspired by a quite famous photograph from the cover of the National Geographic magazine (by Steve McCurry) of a young Afghan girl that shocked the world with its genuine and piercing beauty. When I first saw the picture of that girl, I was amazed by her striking beauty that did not belong in the chaos, suffering and despair of the refugee camp that she lived in. She reminded me of a beautiful panther, I once saw at the local Zoo. The animal captivated me with its beauty that came from within and at the same time struck me with misery in it’s eyes. The same happened when I saw the eyes of that girl. I compared her eyes to the eyes of the young panther. Both of them were condemn to live their live as captives, one in the refugee camp and another one in a cage. Both were silent victims of human ambition, old ways of living, cruelty and even politics. That is why I compared the refugee girl to the panther. Even though they both were unable to change the status and circumstances of their lives, somehow they have projected hope for a better future through their beauty and the pain that you could see in their eyes.

With this entry, I hope to raise awareness, and to educate people about all the groups of refugees all over the world. When that picture was published, it helped educate people about Afghan culture and the hardship of life as a refugee.

I see this doll with a body tattoo of the black panther with striking green eyes (optional) to represent a free spirit that has been captured, natural beauty, and will to survive. She has long, dark brown hair, red lips and green eyes. I think that her face should be a focal point of the doll, especially her striking eyes because they will speak louder than any words. Her unique facial expression will show suffering and despair but at the same time project hope for a better future. Even though the character of the doll is a very young women, the suffering that she has gone through has left its mark on her face/ and or body. For example; expression lines, scars, or burn marks. I see her skin of warm copper undertones. The doll could wear a head piece (simple sari) that is common for women to wear in that region, but that is optional.

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Copyright © 2011 Marina Bychkova.