I just had to make it

Sometimes there comes a moment in my life when I feel an extreme need to challenge myself and my audience with something that I have never done before. I call those moments “what if moments”. So it all has started as a simple master model for porcelain BJD. Then there were long months of sculpting, the breaks and then resculpting, and more resculpting, and then molding and remolding and then finally casting and then, like if I wouldn’t have spent more than a year on this project already, came “what if moment”. “What if I would decorate a porcelain doll with sculpted roses?” – I thought to myself, and started sculpting tiny porcelain roses and adding them to a casted torso. I had no idea if they will come out nicely or if they will fall off after firing, if the doll parts themself will fall apart because of different thickness of the porcelain, if something will explode at the end… you never know when you are doing something for the first time and you have noone to ask about it… but well – it had to be done, because I would not be able to sleep without knowing the answer to “what if …?” Just in a case I have sculpted a couple more doll bodies of this type and placed everything to kiln for the first firing. WIth a trembling heart I had opened it the next day and – voila! – the doll parts didn’t fall apart and all the ornaments and blossoms were still in their places. This was encouraging. After sanding and adjusting I went for the second (the high temperature) firing, and again the tremble of the heart. Eleven hours to fire, ten more to wait for the kiln to cool down and… nothing happened! All doll parts came out nicely! What a relief! And a small moment of pride – I did it ๐Ÿ™‚
And the a second “What if moment” has hit me. “What if I make the joint lining not the most ugly part of the doll, but the most beautiful?” A fancy lace collar on the leg joint? Some beading maybe? Yes, no matter how crazy it sounds, I have to try it! And so I did. And I absolutely love how it looks, how ever the fans of doll’s mobility and functionality would be disappointed, because the doll has lost a good part of it… well beauty comes at a price ๐Ÿ™‚

The other “what if moments” that happened during the creative process:
“What if I use a crackle glaze on a porcelain doll” – ordered glaze, experimented a couple of times mixing different colors and firing until I have found the shade and texture that I needed for this doll. It came out beautifully. yay!
“What if I string the doll with help of a flexible wire” – bought flexible wire of different thickness, tried out several ways of stringing, spent some days on rethinking the scheme – it didn’t work, and I had to come back to a classical way. pfff… not all experiments end up successfully, but it is still a useful experience.

So let me present you my first fully jointed porcelain BJD:
That feeling of harmony with the world and oneself, that feeling of being able to accept and to give, that feeling of fulfilment…simply blooming.
Why is my blooming full of cracles and scratches? Because it didn’t come easy at all…
43 cm
English bone porcelain
Glaze and overglaze paint
Mohair wig
Linen laces
Glass beads
The doll is stringed with metal springs.IMG_9755


10 responses

  1. I love reading about your process and the joy of trying new ideas. This seems to be the central theme with not only doll making but all artistic endeavors. Some people make one doll and then just keep making essentially the same doll over and over. But the most fulfillment comes when in the process of pursuing one idea, another comes, and the excitement of trying it. Many times it may not work but you always learn something. And if it is successful, that is worth all the work. I still believe you are one of the best artists in the world of art and doll making.

    1. Thank you Vicki! Yes that is exactly what what gives the fulfillment! Hugs!

  2. Lynnette Avatar

    Hi Dorote
    Thanks for taking the time to explain so well, your thoughts and the process. It means so much more when you describe it.
    She is a truly beautiful doll, and what you have done is so special, with adding the roses and beads. I liked your thoughts about ‘what if’. So right. An artist must explore. Wonderfully creative. I look forward to all your work.

    1. Thank you Lynnette!

      1. Jill Jackson Avatar
        Jill Jackson

        I love your “have to create moment”, Dorote. The addition of roses, beading, and lace, are strikingly beautiful. Love the crazing in the porcelain. Phenomenal!

        1. Thank you so much Jill! I appreciate it!

  3. Tracy Frasche Avatar
    Tracy Frasche

    She is an absolute masterpiece and such a tribute to your amazing gift.

    1. Thank you very much Tracy!

  4. Amazing! All that lace is porcelain? WOW! Very beautiful!
    Do you ever have moments when something does not work out right but you discover something in the process? Sometimes I want to just quickly destroy a mistake like a head that comes out of the mold with a defect. But then I think, maybe I can play with this and see what I can make. Mistakes can be good. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thank you Crystal!
      That lace is natural linen lace, I was thinking of making a porcelain lace like on Dresden figurines, but then I thought the doll would become too fragile and to hard to handle.
      True what you say that defective parts can be reused. I have some parts which have got broken while high firing and I was thinking to make a special piece of all those parts.

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