The before and after silver bead caps

6 years, 1 month ago 13

work-in-progress 1


I’ve spent the last few days finishing off my most recent doll Theodora Rex, which is based on a historical Byzantine empress. I’ve been failing to arrive at the final composition that resonates with my inner vision of her, having constructed, tried and abandoned several different accessories to compliment her jewelled head piece and her collar of gold. I believe that when the solution to an almost finished piece proves to be stubbornly evasive, then the problem is not just with details – There is something fundamentally wrong with the whole thing from the bottom up. The best course of action at that point, is to stop tweaking little details, identify the 3 main elements essential to the composition, strip away the rest and start layering supporting details from the beginning. Yes, it’s pretty upsetting having to destroy several days worth of work, but sometimes it’s not just the right thing to do, but the only thing to do. Destruction is a form of creation.

These sterling silver filigree bead caps might be the key to unlocking my composition problem. I embellished them with tiny seed pearls and gold-plated them to look more Byzantine. Theodora is already wearing them, but something else is still missing there…I’m gonna call it a ‘soft’ finish for now and see if she ‘speaks’ to me in the days to come about what else she needs.

It’s time to move on.


13 Responses

  1. Anthony says:

    Marina these are soOoO gorgeous!!! So tiny, delicate and just lovely. Will she be wearing these caps ok either sides of her head similar to the Cinderella buns? I honestly thought Theodora was perfection when I saw her in person but I am LOVEING the direction these tweaks have taken Theodora’s overall look. I’m sure she will eventually be everything you dreamed she would though Marina, and that I can’t wait to see!!!

  2. Nanyalin says:

    I hope the elusive muse comes back to you and helps you to give her that finishing touch you are missing, Marina : ). Meanwhile, great work on the jewel pieces! they look so delicate and, indeed, medieval.

    I have a little something for you. It may help you to focus and perhaps be inspirational? I just know that I thought about your doll Theodora when I head it. Is the amazing composition ”The Return of the She-King”, by Dead can Dance, from the album ”Anastasis”

  3. Marina says:

    Wow, that music was indeed inspiring, Nanyalin. Definitely helped me visualize. Thanks for that!

  4. Jessica says:

    Just beautiful!!

  5. Bertha says:

    Very interesting to see how it turns out!

  6. Nanyalin says:

    Glad that you liked the song! I always was intrigued by the title; the fact of mentioning a ”She-King” instead of a ”Queen”. For me, that meant a woman with the full power of a reigning man, instead of ”the consort of the king” that is usually associated with the word Queen. And the fact of you using the term ”Theodora Rex”, instead of ”Regina”, giving your delicate female doll such a masculine yet deserved resound made the mind link for me :)

    Hope to see the outcome soon, I bet she will bear all the mystic wisdom and decadent elegance of Byzantium. And see you in about a month at Dollism Plus!

    • Crystal says:

      These are so lovely! I adore seed pearls, they add such elegance, I can also see pearls woven into her braids, but maybe not both. I love the bejeweled head piece but with the already intricate body jewelry, it might be too much. Though, I think many fashions in the past reveled in over kill, so there is no right or wrong, just the personal esthetic taste of the artist.
      Sure wouldn’t mind if these little caps came up for sale, if they indeed serve the same function as Cinderella’s.

  7. Marina says:

    I’m delighted to hear that my choice of a name for Theodora has added weight to her meaning in the consciousness of the viewer. That’s exactly what I was going for. And yes, Crystal, I am always trying to find a good place for my dolls on the scale of overkill.

    However, I should clear up that for everyone that I will not be attending Dollism Plus, whatever that is. Seriously, what is that?

    • Anthony says:

      Dollism Plus is the largest ball-jointed doll convention ever to be held in the United States. It’s being hosted by Den of Angels, Dollheart and Mint on Card. It’s held in all over Asia every year, this is the first year it’s being held state side as well. I must admit my heart skipped a beat when I went into the vendors page for Dollism Plus and saw “Enchanted Doll” listed. But to my dismay when clicking on the link it bought me to the “Enchanted Doll Eyes” site not my beloved porcelain darlings :-(

  8. Sonia Anne says:

    Oh, they are so wee and so dainty!

  9. sarah e says:

    The bead caps are so beautiful and delicate- I hope your inspiration returns for this girl, I’m sure it will. One reason you are such an amazing artist is your ability to say when something isn’t working.

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