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From Strychnin's site regarding my upcoming show (June 11th):

Wondrous dolls and creatures by Marina Bychkova. Also: Wendy Froud (UK) and Virginie Ropars (F) in The Vault + special guest Sasha Petrova.

Fragility unites three international luminaries of doll-creating art in one show. About 20 fragile figures pull the viewer out of the common two-dimensional frame and into three-dimensional space. First and foremost, however, these works impress by their sensitivity, their extraordinarity and their meticulous attention to detail. Opens June 11th at 7 pm.

The porcelain dolls by Canadian artist Marina Bychkova are a provocation. They cross the boundaries of what defines a sculpture and constantly refuse to be seen as mere dolls. With 18 moveable ball-joints, the pale and vunerable looking dolls invite to be moved and posed but their often unadorned nudeness may keep some viewers from handling Bychkova’s creatures too freely. The cumbersome weight and rigidity of metal garments of the figures shown in this exhibition accentuate the delicate beauty of these porcelain dolls, acting both as a protective shell and an oppressive, restraining contraption for their little bodies.

Wendy Froud was born in Detroit, Michigan. She is most famous as a sculpture and puppet fabricator for Jim Henson’s The Muppet Show, and the feature films like The Dark Crystal (sculpting and fabricating the main charaters Jen and Kira), Labyrinth (sculpting the goblins) and The Empire Strikes Back (as a sculptor and fabricator of Yoda). Wendy Froud's dolls ands figures are highly sought after and can be found in many prestigious collections around the world.

Virginie Ropars was born in Brittany (France). She still lives and works in the same place, surrounded by nature and the legends and superstitions that have fed her mind since she was a child. After a Master’s degree in graphic art, she worked as a 2D/3D graphic artist for computer games and the TV cartoon industry.
Taken from my blog (which has pics!…)

That's right. It's official. Enchanted Dolls will soon be also available in fine resin.

Oh what a journey it has been! The minute I came back from a show in Germany in the fall, I began following on leads for resin manufactures until I found the manufacturer of my dreams who GETS ME. Really, really gets me; My minute perfectionism, my high demands for my dolls, the vision of what I want to create. Together we have big plans for this resin ED line. Sorry I've been keeping a tight lid on this secret. I've been wanting to announce this amazing news for weeks, but having been burned by manufacturers before, I didn't want to jinx it. And now finally I have physical evidence and results to show how amazing this line is turning out!

The resin EDs are copies of my porcelain dolls with some improvements. They are the same size of 13.5″( 36cm), but they have 3 different pairs of hands with various levels of finger expressiveness. Also, all the joints have been altered for a tight fit to improve the body lines and recalibrated for a non-leather-lined traction. So far, 5 different head molds are available, but I plan to make more soon. I am also planning to create a raised foot, self -customizing option for a heeled shoe. But that's in the future.

These are my first impressions of my very first experience with resin.

The resin parts themselves by far exceeded my expectations. They are incredible quality. They are very tough and a little flexible, so that even their tiny fingers can take a tremendous amount of abuse! My porcelain dolls are very strong but a bit brittle, while resin dolls are strong and also durable and don't require gentle handling at all. The resin has a UV retardant mixed in. They are silky smooth and pick up every nuance of my porcelain dolls' skin surface. There are some dramatic differences in how resin and porcelain each 'take' and retain the surface paint, both aesthetically and technically: China paint on porcelain being hard, permanent and absolutely non-removable through human means, while Acrylic and whatercolor on resin being soft and removable with solvents and abrasive materials.

That's the main contradiction I'm facing with porcelain and resin dolls: while porcelain requires gentle handling and full awareness of the doll because though very strong, it is brittle and vulnerable to medium velocity impact, its surface is completely impervious to scratches, UV, dirt or paint damage. Resin dolls on the other hand are a lot more durable and can easily survive a medium velocity impact and all kinds of very rough play and probably even small children, but their acrylic-based surface paint is not molecularly bonded to resin the way China paint is to Porcelain, and so one has to be aware of not accidentally removing paint through careless abrasive surface contact. Although touching it and gently wiping/washing it with wet cloth is quite safe because it's sealed with varnish. I've tested it.

So, gentle handling is still advised, but not because of the doll itself, but for the sake of the paint.

Even though I'm not very pleased about this impermanence, I understand that this is the primary characteristic of resin which is common to all resin dolls, ball-jointed or not, and despite this, it still makes up for this minor shortcoming with its other amazing characteristics, such as incredible strength and customizing versatility.

The articulation of my resin Enchanted Dolls is the same as my porcelain dolls.  All the joints were altered to improve a movement range and after testing all kinds of stinging up methods and playing with elastics, I realized why I developed a steel spring articulation to begin with: it's because elastics absolutely SUCK compared to carbon springs. They suck. Sucky-sucky-suck-suck.

That's why I had decided to keep my complex, signature steel articulation style in my resin dolls too. It's takes a long time to do, but it's so worth it. The registration of the joints is very good due to the spring tension, even though most joints are not lined with leather and are very smooth inside. I lined only two parts with fine leather: the chest joint and the neck joint. The rest is resin on resin contact and due to isolated-joint stringing system, the registration is still remarkable. I love springs.

My first painting attempt 3 days ago was a spectacular failure. I naturally assumed I can do anything,  and when I couldn't create my beloved misty blushing effect with acrylic paints on resin, I was so upset I almost lost it. I kept trying to do it and resin just kept "grabbing" the paint half a second after I applied it and I couldn't do any blending to it. Acrylic dries really fast, but not this fast. I was shocked and frustrated at seeing this new characteristic of acrylic on resin, nearly to tears. I kept failing and wiping it off and starting again and failing again and thinking: "This can't be! How can this be?! I know acrylic like the palm of my hand. How can I be failing at something I know? I went to art school for five years, damn it!!" Well,  Acrylic is impossible to mist without an airbrush, it turns out. It's something I didn't know because I've always painted a wet on wet acrylic, which blends just fine. While wet on dry is pretty impossible. I plan to buy an air brush for large area blushing, but meanwhile I used whatercolor to create the misty blush on her face and body. The look it creates on the skin is similar to that of china paint, but that's as far as similarities go.

Chad said this was because I got a bit too arrogant since I haven't failed for a while. I should say without false modesty that most of my attempts end up in success. This was a huge reality check to my ego.

In most ways painting a resin doll is way easier than painting a porcelain doll because it doesn't require specialty tools, specialty paint, an extremely steady hand or a highfire kiln to bond the color to porcelain and that means anyone can do it with readily available art supplies. Like anything else, it does require practice and I, unaccustomed to the new technique characteristics, was struggling for control of my tones, lines and blushing. I was a novice. About 36 hours into my attempts I began to figure it out though. I couldn't sleep until I did.

I still think that China paint allows for a far more control, especially on a miniature scale like my dolls' faces and hands, not to mention the whole permanence thing. In fact, getting to know the beauty of resin gave me a whole new appreciation for how amazing porcelain really is. I think I just missed it after not working with it for a few days! It remains my first, high maintenance love, while resin is my new mistress.

Resin dolls can balance a lot better without a stand than my porcelain dolls. I don't have stands made for these yet, but I'm working on it. Wigs, custom boxes and stands is my next project for my resin line. I am so excited about the new boxes! I think you guys will be too when you see the sample. It's something very special.

These are my first four resin prototypes. I haven't had time to paint the other two yet, but perhaps next week I might. I'm still working on developing this line and can't say exactly when I will begin taking orders for these. Hopefully this spring I will be able to take the first batch of 20 orders or so. I will honor my wait list and give the people who've waited the longest the opportunity to order first. I'm still working out the prices, but because they are quite expensive to manufacture, high quality dolls they will retail for around $1500 CND -$2,000 CND. I'm still working it out.

I'm also considering offering the option of a limited number of blank dolls to artsy people who like customizing their own dolls. I frequently get requests for blank dolls and with porcelain it is absolutely out of question, but with resin it's possible but I am undecided. On one hand I am really eager to see how others would interpret painting of my dolls, on the other hand, I am a bit protective of them. Perhaps you guys  could offer some insight on that. Is this something you would like?

Well, I hope this was worth the wait. Whoever is interested in purchasing one of these dolls, please email me as I'm making a resin nude doll wait list.

Eventually I plan to create limited resin costumed lines too, as well as accessories, but that's in the future. One step at a time.

It looks like my announcement coincides with the premiere of the last season of Lost. Got to go watch it. Hopefully it won't be a huge disappointment like the last two seasons.

New Season of Lost and Resin Enchaned Dolls!? Wooo!
Hello, Enchanted Doll fans. Lolita outfit was supposed to go on ebay auction today, but there's been a change of plans.

I will be putting a new, nude doll up for an auction instead! I am also making 3 removable wigs to go with this doll. One long, for natural look. One short and stylish, and one, well, that one is a surprise. You will have to wait a few days to find out. This doll has a decorative, one of a kind thigh tattoo that was hand painted, as opposed to the usual engraving.

Auction will begin on Sunday, December 27th and end on Sunday, January 3rd. The third day of the New Year 2010.

This is a very important time for me, the time when I contemplate and catalog all my failures, accomplishments and ambitions. I sit down and write all my goals for the upcoming year and make a plan for accomplishing them. This is the time I firmly decide that this new year, will be better than the last and that I will do everything I can to make it better and happier than all the years before it. Every year I promise myself to make dolls ever more beautiful, so that my life can be filled with beauty and joy. Because beauty is ultimately what will save the world.

In Russia we have a superstition about New Year. We believe that the way we spend the first days and hours of the New Year, will determine our quality and enjoyment of our life for the rest of the year and foretell how the remaining 11 months are spent. That's why it's always important for one to enjoy those first days and spend them doing something meaningful and important to you. Those first days is when you commit to being happy.

And so, in accordance with this tradition I'm making this doll as a good luck charm to celebrate the beginning of the New Year at the end of the First Decade of the New Millennium. She is a symbol of all the beautiful things of the past, dreams of the present and promise of the future. She will be the last doll sold of the Old Year and the first one of the New Year.
The auction is now live and will run for the next 7 days (until Sep 28, 200918:26:02 EDT).

listing # 330361964245 on ebay

The doll is being sold as a nude, with two removable wigs and a metal stand.

More pictures of lolita can be found in her gallery…
Marina Bychkova:
Enchanted Doll
April 8 - June 7, 2009

Opening Reception:
Wednesday, April 8, 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.
With Artist's Talk with Marina Bychkova


2220 N. Terrace Avenue
Milwaukee, WI  53202
(414) 271-3656

The show is just around the corner and although I'm extremely busy, I'm really excited about it.  I'm flying in to setup the show and staying for the opening, but will be heading back home the very next day to return to work.  Work, work, work.

As for the dolls on display, many of them will be part of a personal collection or are privately owned, but there will be some that will be available for sale.  The details regarding the dolls available for purchase will be revealed closer to the show's opening.
From my blog :

Well, ladies and gentleman, I am beyond thrilled to announce that The Enchanted Doll has finally got its first magazine cover feature!

My latest doll Cixi will grace the cover of Кукольный Мастер Magazine (Doll Artist Magazine)  in Russia. I believe the issue has just gone to print and will be out in the media in several days. The cover feature will be followed by a big story on Enchanted Doll in the next issue of Doll Artist.

I am very excited as I’ve been waiting for this to happen ever since the official Enchanted Doll website launched in spring 2006. This is big milestone for me. I wish i had time to celebrate, but unfortunately I’m too busy to leave my desk. If I took time to celebrate every accomplishment, I would accomplish a lot less.

Date of the show is getting closer and i just know i’ll be working until the moment i get on the plane. And then some. That’s always the case with me for some reason. I just don’t seem to know when to stop and cram another project in even though it’s not always best thing to do. Everything is always rush rush rush. I’m simultaneously surprised that so much gets done on a such rapid schedule and disappointed that it’s still not enough.

Anyway, there is a link (on my blog, can't link it here for some reason) to a Russian cite where one of the editors of the magazine is discussing and showing the process of choosing the best image and designing the layout for the cover with Enchanted Doll.

They go through several versions of the layout and explain the basis for their creative decisions.

I don’t know why they asked me for those particular photographs of those particular dolls. I think that there are others that would have worked just as well or even better, but hey, I’m not a designer. The decision was not mine.

I like the final result a lot. I look forward to receiving my copy, holding it in my hands and admiring my handiwork.
After a few hectic weeks of work, my version of Alice in Wonderland is finally complete. Well, the Alice part us complete. I had no time, to make the Wonderland. Check out her gallery here for more pictures.

I'll shoot some more before I leave for Europe.

Alice was made for the Walk though Wonderland art show at the Duirwaigh gallery and is available to purchase there for the duration of the show from October 27th to November 30th.
I have been in contact with the publishers of the Skydoll Magazine, and the images in question were pulled prior to it going to print.  The publishers weren't aware that the images were such close copies of my photographs, and were apologetic upon learning this.

Thanks to everyone who posted offering advice/information, you were all very helpful and supportive. I hope that I don't have to go through this sort of thing again.

Now with all that behind me, I can get back to focusing on new Dolls.  Look for my take on "Alice in Wonderland" soon.
I was recently notified that Gradimir Smudja has been using some of my doll images in his recent work (upcoming piece in a SkyDoll publication).

I've never heard of him before, and I'm in the process of trying to contact him, but I'm wondering if anyone here on dA knows of him.

I put his page side by side with the original images

I've been trying to get in contact with both Gradimir and Alessandro, but haven't had any luck yet.

Am I wrong in going through this?  I know others on dA have gone through similar acts of thievery, is there a proper course of action to take at this point?


Hey Everyone,

I have finally updated the website!

This site will have a lot more dolls than my old one, including many more accessories and modifications to the limited edition nude dolls.

I'll also be blogging on the process of making the dolls (

Please have a look and let me know what you think.