When I was ten or eleven years old (I’m not quite sure exactly when anymore), my mother bought me a porcelain doll at a Cracker Barrel Country Store. She was blonde with a pink dress, and I adored her.
From that first doll, I started collecting porcelain dolls. Not the kind of priceless collection that some people can boast, but the kind of collection a Marine Corps warrant officer on a tight budget could afford to give her daughter. My mother tried very hard to buy me nice ones, and I loved every single one she bought me. the time I was in high school, I had around a couple dozen porcelain dolls of various size and quality, and I had started to collect the collectible Barbies. The $70-80 ones. I had three ballet Barbies, and several fairy tale Barbies, and some in gorgeous designer dresses.
After high school, for reasons unimportant here, I had to put my dolls in storage. And many of them were ruined. And then I stopped buying more. But I have never lost my vast appreciation for dolls and doll-making. It is an art form that is sometimes ignored or forgotten amid popular culture; though, thankfully, serious artists and art-lovers still appreciate it. And sometimes I run across a truly masterful artist who makes dolls that are real, honest-to-god treasures.
I wish to discuss one such artist here. Her name is Marina Bychkova. I came across her purely by chance on Deviantart and I consider that a moment of fantastic good luck. After viewing of a few of her pieces on devianart, I quickly moved on to her website where the gallery is even more impressive. This artist makes all of her dolls entirely by hand – beginning with molds she designs herself. Her specially designed joints have absolutely amazing articulation, which allow fora myriad of life-like and elegant poses. Her artistic nude dolls are sensual, tasteful, and beautiful.
Her costumed dolls are luxurious, vibrant, exquisite in their detail and design. But, as I’ve told several people now, the real selling point on these dolls, the real crux of this artist’s talent is the beauty of the faces. The expressions of these dolls are so beautiful, life-like and emotional that they quite literally left me breathless the first time I saw them. There is one in particular, called Beauty and the Beast, that strikes me every time I look at her. I swear she is going to actually shed real-life tears at any moment.
To see all of these beautiful little ladies, go to Marina’s website Enchanted Doll. I warn you now: you may find yourself lost in her website for hours, just staring in breathless amazement. And just in case that’s not enough, here’s her deviantart page: http://marina-b.deviantart.com.
It is possible (though not this moment, as she is not taking orders currently) to buy one of her dolls. They are, unfortunately, too rich for my shallow pockets. But the price is an honest representation of the quality, beauty, and worth of these dolls, and I would buy one without a moment of doubt if I was in any position to do so. However, I can eke sufficient joy from simply going to her website again and again to stare in wonder. Hopefully, one day I will be in a position to indulge in my long-held love for dolls, but for now, dreaming will have to be enough.