Marina Bychkova

May 15, 2007 at 10:12 pm (Tutorials and how-tos)

Marina Bychkova 1

The exact definition of a “doll” is a topic of continuing interest to me, and one that will probably crop up in this blog from time to time. Today’s artist can be found both on Flickr and on her own web page, and on the Flickr site her significant other, Chad Isley, responds to a surprised comment about the fact that the dolls can move with this: “That’s why it’s called a DOLL. She doesn’t make figurines.”

But oh, if only all dolls looked like these. Bychkova’s pieces are made of porcelain and remind me of those gorgeous ball-jointed dolls coming out of Asia these days. The difference is that each of Bychkova’s dolls is completely handmade, including the fabulous beadwork on the costumes. I’ve done enough of this kind of work myself to be completely in awe of Bychkova’s skill and artistic vision. Porcelain is not an easy medium to work with.

Part of me agrees with Ilsey; despite the trend in the doll world to describe our art as “figurative sculpture” in order to gain more acceptance in highbrow art circles, there’s something different about dolls. Sculpture is just for looking at, but dolls are for touching. I think that’s the paradox many of us struggle with. I gave up the fight a while ago and started making fixed sculptures, but perhaps Bychkova will inspire more of us to experiment with the tactile, interactive side of doll art.

If you’ve been inspired, too, here’s a tutorial on sculpting ball-jointed dolls.

P.S. Sorry for the lack of pictures, but you’ll just have to follow the links to see more!

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3 Comments

  1. Forest Rogers -- Fine art « Needle and Clay said,

    […] I’ve previously discussed the question of what, exactly, is a doll, and I’ve shown you an artist who is definitely making dolls, and an artist who is definitely making figurines. So today I’m going to showcase an artist […]

  2. Kate Sjoberg — critters and innovation « Needle and Clay said,

    […] But it’s not enough for Sjoberg to excel at four-legged critters, she’s also into something I’m dying to learn more about: ball-jointed dolls. Take a look at her bear-rider, below, in two different poses. I’m absolutely fascinated by the idea of hand-made ball-jointed dolls; I think they might just be the wave of the future. (I blogged about ball-jointed dolls a while ago when I featured Marina Bychkova.) […]

  3. Update « Needle and Clay said,

    […] wait to show you what I found today! Marina Bychkova, whom I previously blogged about on these pages, has redesigned and updated her website, but even better than that, I’ve just discovered she […]

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