This is what I’ve been working on lately: three new head types for Inamorata dolls. I have been making a new Asian head, Midori, inspired by my travels in Taiwan and Japan this year. Even though I absolutely love the rebooted Nnaji 2.0 I feel she lost some of her ethic look with the more narrow nose, so her new sister Nubia is here to bring back the feel of the original Nnaji had. Last but not the least, as I have been working on her for years, is Valerie, a whole new Caucasian sculpt to compliment the most popular of Inamorata sculpts; the Latina vibe Charo.
The new heads will be available with the new preorder patch either as blank dolls or commissioned OOAKs. Please read more about the order here.
People often ask me why I don’t use 3D imaging in my work. I love sculpting by hand and feel more connected to the finished work this way. Also, I believe in keeping the old traditions alive. Too many beautiful crafts are dying in the world and while visiting museums in Taiwan I have become even more acute aware of this. This is why I make my dolls completely by hand.
Instead, I use hard wax to make the first drafts, make a silicone mold and home cast them in resin to continue refining the sculpt. These heads are in the resin stage of sanding the surface and endless tweaking of facial features. For this I use a 2-component epoxy putty to add mass to the resin. The brand I use; Magic Sculpt, gives about an hour to work with the soft, wax like, form of the putty, before it hardens and can be carved, sanded and painted. I paint the models grey to see imperfections of the skin more easily and finally use a surfacing agent like Mr.Surfacer 1000 to give the model a nice matted skin like texture.
I’m preparing to place an order for new Inamorata 2.0 dolls and gathering feedback on which head sculpts, skin tones and bust sizes to make for this patch. If you want to commission a OOAK doll, please read the commission info first; if you want to preorder a blank Inamorata doll with 8 hands and a stand, please email me for the colour and sculpt details. The usual price for blank dolls is 800usd, but the preorder dolls will be discounted for 700usd each. Right now I’m gathering interested parties to determine the order size. When that phase is done there is a 50% deposit and about 3 months production period. The second half of the payment is due with shipping charges when the dolls are at hand.
I was excited to take part in the Moscow Doll Salon 2016 on 7th to 9th of October. The Salon featured spectacular artist works such as the unique Popovy dolls, romantic Filipova and extremely realistic dolls of Zaikovat. I was honoured to meet the Popovy Sisters in person, I absolutely adore their work, and to reconnect with old friends like Petr and Elena from Doll Chic. You can find more photos of the event at my Instagram.
I created an exclusive collection of OOAKs for Moscow Doll Salon. I planned on 5 dolls, but had only time to complete 4. I will complete the fifth, The Huntress, when time allows. I named the four doll The Hunted and they all share milk skin tone translucent resin with hyper realistic body blushing featuring veins, freckles, moles, wrinkles and all the wild beauty nature intended. Each of the Hunted has a alpaca wig with unique shape hand sculpted antlers, strands of hair hanging from them like peeling skin. Their haute couture garments are completely hand stitched from black lace and embellished with Japanese micro beads to the point where parts of the garments are stiff as armour. Their wild footwear contrasts with the delicate lace, made with dark brown faux fur and spiky heels growing from bare feet. The make up palette is dominated by dark eyes and strong brows, lips pale from fear as The Huntress approaches. Each has a pair of hands with fingers turning dark brown and two pairs of regular hands.
From right to left: Buck (SOLD), Hind, Fawn and Hart.
Unfortunately I got very sick during the exhibition and was forced to pack up and miss most of the event. Hence, I’m offering the three remaining dolls up for sale online. Please email me for inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Hunted Hart (resculpted Charo in Milk skin and Andro chest) – ON HOLD
The Hunted Hind (resculpted Nnaji in Milk skin and Busty chest) – SOLD
The Hunted Foal (resculpted Nnaji in Milk skin with freckles and Andro chest) 2400usd
When I started my doll line I could not find small enough miniature buckles anywhere. I wanted something tiny and beautiful, not the bulky plastic ones I found online or the small, yet still too large for 4th scale, shoe buckles in Chinese wholesale markets. So I had my own laser carved out of metal so thin it’s like a sturdy business card. Since a metal factory’s minimum order was 1000 pc I have quite a collection of these. For a long time I jealously horded them like a dragon sitting on gold, because they offered some proof of authenticity when my old shoe factory in China started selling fake copies of my designs on eBay. However, nothing is preventing them from stealing the buckle design too, so I thought I might as well allow good things to go around and share this resource with my fellow doll artists.
Each sheet has 30 metal buckles and comes with options of GOLD or SILVER colour. The size of these buckles works well with soft 3mm silk ribbons, or 2-1.5mm straps cut out of thicker or harder materials like leatherette.
Each buckle is laser carved with intricate decorative pattern and easy to clip off the sheet with wire cutters or nail clippers. They are quite strong and fully functional for straps that need opening and closing, or adjusting fit. You won’t find anything this tiny and intricate elsewhere!
For size and colour reference, here are the buckles in use on 16″ Inamorata doll shoes and purse:
Prices including a significant wholesale discount:
1 sheet (30 buckles, 15 pairs) 9usd
10 sheets 80usd
50 sheets 220usd
Priority shipping starts at 7usd and depends on the amount.
Email me if interested: email@example.com
P.S. I would love it if you post links to your creations using these buckles in the comments. Its always a treat to inspire others to create!:)
One of my favourite things in painting dolls is to use layers to create lifelike skin so translucent and textured that it is almost as if the doll is just holding their breath, ready to gasp to life at any moment.
This means multi hue base. To give Milk skin that exquisite translucence I use pale copper oxide green, powder pink and faint lavender. Between the layers I might draw blue blood vessels, on top freckles, moles, scars and tattoos. It’s a mixed media of aquarelles, pencils, acrylics, pastels and other pigments. I often use loose pigment powders made for human makeup such as the ones from Make Up Store and MAC. Each layer is sealed with thin spray of Mr. Super Clear UV Cut Flat sealant and each doll has 5-10 layers depending on the level of detail. I also love deep dark skin tone, although dark resin is always harder to work with, but there is something so stunning about the paler palms and soles of African skin.
For tattoos I often use aquarelle pencils, simply free hand drawing the designs on the dolls skin, designing the patterns dancing over the three dimensional shapes as I go along. If the tattoo is meant to look fresh I use darker, more vibrant colours over a base layer of blushing pink. If the tattoo is worn and old, the colours are faded and I do the body blushing over them for a more authentic feel.
I’ve always loved tattoos, although my own even evolving taste has never allowed me to have one. I would be bored with any design I would make before it was finished. Dolls offer an ideal medium for exploring the world of body art. For two years I have been planning a collection of tattooed dolls, each OOAK representing a tradition of body art. My favourite has always been the Japanese Irezumi. An aesthetic heavily influenced by the ukiyo-e wood prints of Hokusai and his contemporaries, and donned by the yakuza. The other tattoo traditions represented will be Russian Bratva prison tattoos, American biker gangs, Indian henna, and Viking warrior.
I am also interested in exploring bruises, scars, piercing and other body modifications in dolls. I was a tomboy of a child with constantly scraped knees, that grew into martial artist naming her bruises after the person who gave them to me. I consider scars and wrinkles as a part of a person’s life story written on their skin and all of it is beautiful, even if painful, because it is scars that carve depth into our souls. Hence, making dolls that show aging, bruises and scars is a wonderful way to tell story. It is what makes the dolls, and this work, interesting.
You can find examples of commission prices for OOAK Inamorata dolls and other doll commissions here. Hyper realistic body blushing is 100usd. Tattoo work depends much on the scale and detail, but estimate for a small individual tattoo is 50usd, and larger sleeves or full body tattoos need to be priced case by case. Same for leaf “gold” gilding. A detailed full body Irezumi style tattoo is 500usd.
A while back I saw a SD size Dollshe David with a removable beard and decided to figure out how it would work in 44cm scale. I have a huge thing for beards and hence went a bit nuts making different colours and styles of hard cap wigs for him. I’m still learning how to make hard cap wigs but was just figuring it out before I snapped my clavicle and hard to take 2 months off work. Almost recovered now and just remembered that I never uploaded the photos. So here they are, available for sale and also for commission order after my arm has been rehabilitated.
I make wigs for Inamorata, Popovy, Dollshe 44cm (bearded ones only for David), Numina, Ficon and ModDolls. I can make others too in combination with OOAK doll commissions if you send the doll (or the head) to model for the wig.
Each Inamorata doll comes with a set of 8 hands. Three of the pairs are elegantly expressive hands for holding objects, editorial posing and even dancing. One pair is dressing hands that help you slip into the tightest sleeves without a fuss. The Inamorata hands system is easy to change and the different sculpts with ball joints centered or pointing up/down will add variety of poses to your doll’s repertoire.
The hands are easily exchanged by hooks that latch on to the elastic cord inside the arms. The important thing is just to keep the old hand attached until you hook in the new one so that the elastic cord won’t escape inside the arm. Also, ease the hands to their place slowly as the snap back might damage the resin.