December 11, 2011

Kissed By the Sun

My Daenerys doll has a light golden complexion that tells the story of long days spent in warm, golden sunlight. Her even skin tone is rich with rose and gold tones. You might be surprised to discover that all of the skin you see on Daenerys is painted; it is not bare porcelain.

unpainted porcelain bisque sample

unpainted bisque for daenerys

I applied several thin layers of china paints to the porcelain to achieve her warm complexion. Painting a doll's complexion requires lots of blending of layers and colors. When the doll is complete, I want the porcelain to appear smooth and unblemished. Using several layers of paint allows me to achieve a realistic complexion that has depth and nuance. This depth and nuance only enhances the beauty of the doll.

I think Daenerys' complexion has a lovely warmth and subtle glow.

A sample of Daenerys' golden tan

Daenerys- golden complexion 


November 13, 2011

Introducing Daenerys

This weekend I finished assembling my Daenerys doll. I was so excited about her that I couldn't stop smiling. Even bad news didn't affect me for very long, because I had a new special doll.

My Daenerys is based on my interpretation of the character from the A Song of Ice and Fire series. I love how strong, brave, and intelligent Daenerys is.

Daenerys has pale platinum hair and violet eyes. I decided to give her tanned skin, because she lives in the sunny grasslands and I thought it would be a striking contrast to her pale hair.

I took a few preliminary pictures of her; and now, I can introduce her to you.

Originally, I planned to create one outfit for Daenerys, but now I am inspired to create several outfits for her. Her first outfit is a pale blue chiffon floor-length gown. I play with the simple lines of the gown and lightweight fabric to create a pleasing, feminine silhouette.


dani- face closeup















July 08, 2011

Painting Adara: Part Two

As I add more color to Adara's tattoo, I can see that the butterflies are beginning to radiate vibrancy and loveliness. I am excited to see how each layer will add more depth and detail.

In these painting sessions, I painted the base colors for the butterfly bodies and wings. I also painted two of the flame colors.





 Later, I began to add additional colors and details to the butterfly wings.


June 29, 2011

Painting Adara: Part One

Recently, I started a new porcelain project. I am calling her Adara. The main inspiration for Adara came from an imperfect shoulder plate and my desire to transform it into something beautiful with body painting or a tattoo.

My concept for Adara's tattoo is beauty emerging from pain, and the image is butterflies emerging from flames.

I was inspired to paint my butterflies like the ones I have admired in Asian paintings and embroidery. They have wispy wings, expressive antennae, and trailing tails. I wanted them to appear as if they were dancing while in flight.

  back view of tattoo outlines


  view of outlines from the front


   first layer of china paint



January 12, 2011

A Petite Bouquet

Earlier this evening, I made a hand-tied bouquet from petite white roses and lilies for Rose (a 1920's bride).

Each flower is slightly smaller than a dime.












It was fun arranging the tiny buds and tying the white satin ribbon to finish the bouquet. Despite its small size, this bouquet took quite a bit of time to arrange and hand-tie.


Finally, my Rose has a proper bouquet to hold.












All of the knots on a hand-tied bouquet ribbon must line up perfectly.





This is how the lovely bride would see the bouquet.





May 25, 2010

Introducing Perryn Michelle

Recently, I completed Perryn Michelle. She is a commissioned porcelain doll that is intended to be a graduation present.


When we first started discussing this doll, my client told me that her daughter liked Marilyn Monroe, pink, and feminine things.  We did not want to create a doll that was supposed to be Marilyn Monroe; however, I created a new persona that was influenced by Marilyn Monroe's style. 

Perryn has pale blonde curls and blue-gray eyes. She is also graced with high cheekbones and full raspberry lips.


Perryn Michelle surrounded by Tulle


About Perryn

Perryn is the beloved sweetheart of her family. Her parents have treated her to a Sweet Sixteen garden party. To her great delight, they have commissioned a couture dress and custom jewelry. Perryn was so beguiled by this experience, she has started planning her debutante ball gown.

This young lady is attending her party in a soft-white silk dupioni dress that features ethereal straps made from Swarovski pearls and crystals and a delicate organza lace waist. She also wears a creamy white mink shawl. Her ensemble is completed with Swarovski crystal and pearl jewelry and an enchanting hydrangea corsage.

 Perryn enters the garden          Perryn's silk dress     


 Perryn's bejewelled corsage and purse



Perryn watches the fireworks
 Perryn watches the fireworks at the end of her party with wonder and gratitude...

 Perryn's Gallery


I hope you enjoy Perryn Michelle. She is a delightful doll and I shall miss her. Hopefully, she will be a welcomed treasure in her new home.



March 04, 2009

The Belle of the Ball Has Arrived

This past weekend I finished Lucia. She is a 23-inch porcelain lady. Lucia is attending a masquerade ball as Aurora, goddess of the dawn. Her romantic ball gown evokes the serenity and magic of dawn. 

Her gown is several layers of pleated and tucked chiffon. I used pale pink, primrose, wisteria, and pale gold chiffons. I embroidered her gown with tiny crystals of pink, white, and champagne and delicate pearls of pink and gold. 

She wears golden pearls and crystals in her dark auburn hair. Her necklace is a 3-strand torque of gold and pink pearls intermixed with crystals. She wears three pearl bracelets.

I made Lucia's mask from soft pink marabou feathers and fiery aurora borealis rhinestones.

As Lucia waltzes, her gown and jewels will capture the light. She will appear to float on air. Surely, Lucia will enchant her Prince.

Here are a few preview shots of her:






I'll be posting her gallery page very soon.

December 09, 2008

Making Daenerys: The Beginning

I thought it would be nice to share my porcelain doll making process with you.

Most of the time, my dolls are characters that I have imagined. Daenerys is different, because she is a literary character. Therefore, her initial characterization was created for me. As I sketched and designed my doll, I thought about how the author described Daenerys, her setting, her hopes, and the events that had shaped her life. I hope this portrait doll captures her strength, beauty, intelligence, and vulnerability.

After the conceptual phase, I searched for a mold that would serve as the canvas for my doll. I found the Chari mold by Doll Artworks.

soft-fired greenware for Daenerys- before cleaning  Soft-fired greenware

Carefully, I cleaned the fragile greenware. I cut out the spaces for her eyes, removed all of the seam lines, and sanded away the imperfections. When the greenware was as perfect as I could make it, I loaded my doll into the kiln.

During the bisque firing, the greenware (which is chalky) is transformed into hard, durable porcelain bisque. I then spent many hours polishing the porcelain, until it was silky-smooth.

After I polished the doll, I applied the first thin layer of china paint, which will be the foundation of her sun-drenched skin.

I shall share more about Daenerys in future posts.



 Porcelain bisque for Daenerys



November 04, 2008

The Beauty of Eyes

Many beautiful words have been written about eyes. A common saying is "Eyes are the windows to the soul." 

If you want a doll that moves people, that speaks to people, that evokes some emotion, then the doll must have eyes that are evocative and expressive. One may wonder how an artisan can bring a sense of life to a doll. One way is with the eyes.

Doll artisans use various media for eyes. For porcelain dolls, an artisan can choose to paint the eyes or set the eyes.  Some artisans only paint eyes; and, some artisans prefer set eyes. I work with both; however, I do have a strong preference for glass and silicone set eyes.

Painted Eyes

Painted eyes are expressive and romantic. The doll artist layers the thinnest layers of paint, often using several colors and firings, to achieve depth and personality. Good eyes are never flat and lifeless. They are vibrant.

painted eyes      Painted Eyes

 Glass and Silicone Eyes

My favorite set in eyes are made from glass or silicone. I use handcrafted eyes that have a lot of realism. The irises in these eyes are often striated with various colors, giving them depth and personality.

bianca's silicone eyes





                                                      Silicone Eyes



Miyoko's glass eyes




     Glass Eyes




The big doll has glass eyes and the companion doll has painted eyesteddi with her doll.