New doll-Cathedral

10 years, 6 months ago 71
Posted in: New Doll


I’ve been working on this doll for a while and I’m absolutely infatuated with it. I think she is the best doll I ever made. But then again, I think that about every doll I just completed. But I do feel that she is very unique and different from everything I’ve ever made before. To me, she seems to signal some sort of a renewal, a new direction,  new inspiration and fresh blood, like a shot of adrenaline to the heart.

She is one of a kind. Her name is Cathedral and she is the first doll from the new, Architectural series, which presently exists only in the concept/research stage and it will be at least a year until I expect to complete the collection. Cathedral will take part in the Berlin show as a special preview for the next series, but she is the only doll that won’t be for sale just yet.

Fragility show at Strychnin will consist mostly of 15 one a kind-tattooed and nudes in new, metal head dresses. There will be an online preview for everyone on the Strychnin website.


I haven’t figured out how to photograph this doll yet. The cathedral head dress is very tricky to capture effectively an I’m still figuring out the best lighting that will show the piece best. More pictures to come.

You may recognize the cape from a while ago. It has a lot of Sterling Silver and Amethysts attached to it. The Cathedral itself is a one of a kind wax carving, also cast in Sterling. It’s quite heavy. In fact, this is the most silver I’ve ever used in a single doll. She is literally precious. I’ll tell you  more about it in the next post and show the wax carving. I think you might be a bit surprised to find how I made it.

71 Responses

  1. Eneo says:

    The cathedral headpiece is awesome. I am so agry, because I am not free for The Show in Berlin, that is SO CLOSE!

  2. Candice says:

    This is simply stunning. I have been learning the lost wax process recently and am blown-away by the level you have taken your work to. You are a constant inspiration to me as an artist in pursuit of her own dreams. I admire and respect you very much. I cannot wait to see what creations you continue to dream up. Thank you for sharing your world with us.

  3. Annarchy says:

    Okay, I normally don’t post, but this is freaking awesome! I really love the way you’ve taken the traditionally architectural shapes and details and turned them into something that very definately feels like a piece of jewelry, and not just because it’s silver. Also I have to mention that your painting skills have really moved up another level. The shading and coloring on this girl are fantastic, and I don’t even like closed-eye dolls. I hope there will be up-close shots of her.

    The one thing that I’m not sure about is the cape. (And this is being very nit-picky of me- really the whole thing is gorgeous!) The pattern of it almost feels distracting to me. I would love to see her in a very simple (maybe medieval style?) dupioni silk dress, especially something that echoed the colors of the jewels in her “crown”.

    She makes me incredibly excited to see the rest of the girls you’ve been working on! You truly are a master.

  4. anon. says:

    do you only create pretty dolls? what about more realistic, less artificial beauty. that would be truly innovative and unique…

  5. Marina says:

    Yes, Anon, I only create pretty dolls.

    I’m not very interested in hyper realism, if that’s what you mean by innovative. And if not, then please elaborate and give me an example as your suggestion is a bit vague.

    Oh, and thanks for implying that my work is neither innovative nor unique.

  6. Olivia V. says:

    She’s gorgeous, definately one of my favorite dressed dolls. I really love all the little pearls especially. I’m sure she’ll be quite the crowd-drawer at your show! Now if only in my wildest dreams I could afford her…

  7. Sandra says:

    “But I do feel that she is very unique and different from everything I’ve ever made before. To me, she seems to signal some sort of a renewal, a new direction, new inspiration and fresh blood, like a shot of adrenaline to the heart.”

    I totaly agree !!! I can’t explain precisely why, but I feel the same.
    I’m not sure but her face seems more rounded, more soft, very sweet and light. It’s hard to explain it. But she is definitly different from all your others dolls (but I still love all of them !)

    I agree with annarchy for the cape. The pattern is too “strong”. Maybe something more simple will be better to enphasize the beauty and the complexity of the Cathedral head adornement (in a gothic catedral style, isn’t it ?).

    You said true when you said that we will be surprised by the new dolls of the Berlin show.
    I can’gt wait to see the new ones.

    Congrats for this beauty, she is breathtaking !

  8. Marina says:

    Thanks Sandra,
    I’m glad you guys like it, but the cape stays.

  9. Kimmi says:

    That’s just ridiculous. Marina, your dolls are VERY realistic. I’ve shown my friends pictures of just their faces and they thought they were real people. There is such a wide variety of faces, each with a unique type of beauty, not at all traditional and definitely not artificial. Barbies are artificial. Enchanted dolls are not.

    And who would want to play with or purchase an ugly doll?? That’s just silly.

    ANYway…. I just love this doll! Her heavy eyebrows and her light hair is just so pretty, I like how the colors of the cape bring out her coloring. I can see what the others mean by they think the cape is too strong, but I disagree. I think the intricacy and vivid pattern of the cape matches the intricacy of the crown and makes it look even more delicate.

    Good job as always Marina :)

  10. Beautiful doll, a regal head dress. Coincidentally, I live in Berlin so will definitely catch your show.

  11. Bella says:

    :O This is what I imagine the st. stephan’s dome here in vienna to look like as a person.

    Wow. I truly think you’ve outdone yourself.

  12. Marina says:

    Indeed. St.Stephan dome is what inspired me to make this head piece after my recent trip to Vienna. That, and Duomo di Milano in Milan. That was just magical.

    You nailed it, Bella.

  13. Iren says:

    Марина Вы полу4или наши журналы?

  14. Marina says:

    Да Ира, получила. Спасибо!

  15. This is incredible, as usual. I’m just back from London and its gothic wonders so this transports me back. I can’t wait to hear more about her!

  16. I love her. I love her serene face, her wispy pale hair, the calm expression…
    I like the colours in the cloak matched with her blonde hair and tawny brows… her headpiece and costume make me think of her like the embodiment of an idol or deity… marina I really love her, she’s my favourite too….

  17. Iren says:

    Очень прошу, сфотографируйтесь с номером, мы хотим разместить подобный снимок в этом номере:)
    Я понимаю. что Вы очень заняты и я Вас беспокою! Но буду весьма благодарна, если Вы мне пришлете фотографию. Заранее Благодарю:)

  18. Marina says:

    Я с радостью сфотографируюсь. Дайте мне пару дней.

  19. Iren says:

    Спасибо огромное:) жду с нетерпением:)

  20. Crystal says:

    She’s a dream! Thank you so much for showing us a preview she was worth waiting for!

  21. ~Jenny~ says:

    Wow, she’s stunning. She looks like some sort of saint with the architectural head piece. It will be interesting to see the wax carving in your next post. =] Wonderful work, Marina!

  22. Annina says:

    oh wow she is my instant favourite of all your dolls, i know what you mean, i agree she is new and different, so much feeling emanating from her face! it’s so exciting because you just get better and better, each new doll is more amazing than the one before! ♥

    on one hand i understand that an online preview is very cool for everyone who can’t make it, but on the other hand i’m a little disappointed because i won’t have internet while traveling, so while i will be in berlin all the dolls might be bought online while i can’t get online. :/
    but i do understand that you are trying different ways to please everyone, it’s not easy i know.
    Elizabeth did say that she might be able to set up a “real life” preview and would get back to me closer to the show, i hope it will work out because i would be sad if i was so close but then would miss out due to it being online-only.

  23. Jean says:

    wow she is such a beauty!!!! i think im in love :D

  24. Anne says:

    She is really beautifull Marina! I love it! I can’t wait to see the completed Architectural series, sounds like a great idea

  25. kelly says:

    My New favorite! Great work.

  26. Jayne Wourms says:

    The expression on her face is lovely and serene. She really looks like she is in a state of grace.
    What a lovely little divine beauty! I love the headpiece, reminds me of the all the beautiful chapels and cathederals from where I come from.
    You can almost hear her sigh. She is stunning!

  27. Andrew says:

    Seriously contemplating a trip to Berlin for this opening. The piece is stunning– it seems strange that there are people making suggestions about the work. Art is not a democratic process– the artist creates for her/himself first.

    Excellent work Marina – you never cease to blow my mind.

  28. gabi says:

    I didn’t think you could get any better. She makes me want to cry. Why would I want hyper-realism? I can see that every day walking down the street. How is copying that unique? It takes no imagination whatsoever.

    As for the cape, many cathedrals are heavily adorned… dripping with lacy stone and flying buttresses. She is perfect.

  29. Cay says:

    What a creation ! This doll is superb, as the others… But I think that you are right : This is a new stage. I find that to currently, you was inspired by female styles which have already existed and you drew it essence the most delicate and the harmonious. this doll is something once again, when you create your own style to leave domain which has got nothing to do with the world of fashion, historical beauty, traditionnal story… It’s a good manners to go towards the delighted world that you like without passing by stereotypes. It’s very interesting ! I am impatient to see the next !

  30. Maura says:

    The Architectural series! Brilliant concept!
    I can see how this doll is your pride and joy. I can’t stop staring at her. Her costume and headpiece are astonishing with all the beautiful gems and intricacies of design. Her expression is sublime. She bears the opulence and complexity of her jewels with humility and composure…like a Madonna or a saint around which entire cults have grown: their glory not affecting their pure souls.
    Ok, maybe this is not the feeling you were going for when you made her, but that’s what I read in her…:).

  31. Silvana says:

    Lovely work as always Marina. The doll is formidable and the crown is gorgeous

  32. noxy says:

    I adore this doll! she’s so lovely! And it’s great to see the Illumination cape finally belong to a full costume, I think it’s perfect there. That headpiece has to be the best part of the doll though, I can’t stop looking at it. It’s incredible! I can’t wait to read more about the wax carving!

  33. Claudia:S says:

    Wow! This is a true masterpiece!

  34. Leigh in ME says:

    I think this is fantastic!

    Funny I was just in Disney World admiring the Lattice work, flags and spires on it’s castle, wondering how I could translate those ideas into clothing or jewelry!!!

    What a clever and beautiful concept!! You must have been at it for a long time to get such a beatiful product!

    I don’t get the comment about your dolls not being hyper realistic… If they were wouldn’t that in fact
    make them just like plenty of the very popular resin Fashion BJD dolls, or the porcelain art dolls produced by other artists?

    You make unique pieces and your work evolves, which is the only innovation that should be expected from an artist.

    Sounds like a hater, and I guess they wouldn’t be Hatin’ if you didn’t have a good thing going, right?

  35. The Old Maid says:

    Oh, she is a real treasure! You absolutely MUST tell us more about her:) Hope to see more photos of her and your new series:) Congrats!

  36. jslord says:

    Her face is so lovely. There is a delicacy and purity about her that is perfect for the cathedral theme.

  37. Amarilli says:

    She’s stunning!

    You know, the Duomo in Milan has a tiny little Madonna on top of it, which every milanese is proud of (there is this old classic milanese song “oh mia bèla Madunina” in her honour). Your precious doll is the exact other way round, a little Duomo on top of a Bèla Madunina ;)
    (I am now imagining your doll on top of the Duomo in Milano, with a tiny silver doll on top of her cathedral headpiece, and so on….^_^)

    Is she a self-portrait? to me, she looks like you.
    Such a touching creature.

  38. Annina says:

    oh Ama, now you put that image in my mind as well, of “Cathedral” on top of the Duomo with her headpiece which has a tiny Madonna on top, which has a Duomo, which has a Madonna, which has a Duomo, infinitely continuing…
    how cute!

  39. kelly says:

    Have you been told lately that you’re a genius? I’m telling you now. Again. I love the lavendar grey colors in the jewels, crown, and face. awesome.

  40. Maura says:

    Ama that’s really great…only…now my head is spinning and I’m also trying to see what’s at the top of the headpiece…(not a Madunina, it seems…). ;)

  41. Sandra says:

    Of course the cape will stay !!
    It was just an opinion and reading the others commentaries about the “cape lovers”, I understand better why you probably choose it for Cathedral :)

    When I’m looking at her, I’m not thinking about the St. Stephan dome (because I don’t know it) but I’m thinking about the cathedral of my little town (called Sens) – the first Gothic Cathedral of France.
    It’s very touching for me. Looking at your girl remind me my home, my house, family and friends (since I’m in New Caledonia since one year and a half now).
    Thank you :)

    I’ll add you the link of the Cathedral of Sensif you want to see it (it’s a french wikipedia page, the english one is so poor…)

  42. Jenny H says:

    She is exquisitely beautiful, ethereal… I love the way the headpiece becomes an extension of her delicacy and not something heavy and restricting; though her eyes are closed her spirit soars… in fact in miniature she evokes the same feelings I have had when wandering inside some of the great cathedrals of the world! And what a response she has inspired!!! It is great to see/read such an outpouring of emotions, ideas, memories. That is what art is all about! Congratulations Marina!

  43. helvella says:

    Gorgeous!! Words fail me…

    Can’t wait for more pictures. I would love to somehow get a 360 view of that headdress!

    Is that painted enamel on the spires?

  44. Jayne says:

    Sod “…more realistic, less artificial beauty”. If I want that I can look in the mirror (ugh!)
    You just keep doing what you’re doing and ignore the anon’s of this world.
    Evolving, constantly pushing the boundaries of your chosen medium and always bringing beauty into this world is what you do so well.
    Don’t suppose anybody wants to spring for an air ticket for me to Berlin…No? Ok, lots of piccys will do :)
    Jayne xxx

  45. Crystal says:

    I think this doll more then any other looks very “Sulamith Wulfing”.

  46. jslord says:

    I’ve been thinking about the architecture series, and I’m wondering…will we see onion domes? Spires and minarets? Crystal fountains? Wow oh wow oh wow!

  47. jslord says:

    By the way, I forgot to say that that nice mossy stump she’s sitting on looks like it was custom-designed for her. I love her little bare foot peeking out and fitting perfectly.
    Never stop taking us with you, Marina, on the journey into the beautiful reaches of your imagination.

  48. Kari says:

    oh Marina! she’s a beauty! you outdo yourself every time =)

    and I’m wondering the same thing as jslord. spires and domes and oh my! I’d love to see a little beautiful city of your new architectural dolls! ;)

  49. Karen says:

    HI! Marina! Lovely doll with such a petty face. Her dress colors are well suited with her cathedral headpiece and jewels. Thanks for showing all your wonderful work! Karen…in Nebraska

  50. Desiree says:

    This doll looks sooooo sad, but very beautiful :)

    Is she from the resin-line – she reminds me on the picture of the birthday-contest which won the price :) with this beautiful cathedral as backround.

  51. Desiree says:

    Oh I have to mention:

    Her face is amazing – Painting in such detail! Amazing!

    But I also think, that the dress and the crone – both together are alittle bit overloaded.

    Maybe an Empiredress or something like that instead of too much stones on the dress.


  52. Wilma says:

    Your exquisite doll reminds me so much of the paintings by Shulamith Wulfing, only your doll is even more wonderful for being three dimensional. Thank you for sharing your amazing work. Your talent is just beyond words. I look forward eagerly to the next additions to this series.

  53. Sonia Anne S says:

    It takes my breath away as all of your other Creations do!

  54. Patty says:

    Marina, She is absolutely stunning! I am amazed every time I see your work. It is so breathtaking!!

  55. Lidia says:


  56. Her dress is truly exquisite. The intricacy of the crown is amazing.

  57. Oh my – she is soooooooooooo gorgeous.

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