Du Buh Du Designs — Christine Alvarado

June 28, 2008 at 12:40 am (Uncategorized)

Today’s featured doll artist is proof that you don’t need genius technical skills or phenomenal attention to detail to be successful. Don’t get me wrong — I’m not saying that Christine Alvarado doesn’t have those qualities — but the charm of her dolls is their sketchlike simplicity. I would call them folksy or primitive, except for their luscious, urban-styled costumes. I want to pick them up and play with them.

I haven’t discovered yet what they’re made of, but Alvarado’s dolls are simply sculpted (or maybe cast from molds) and heavily painted with dreamy, cartoon-like faces. They have simple shoulder joints, and some have bent arms. The legs seem to be jointed too, although the leg joints are firm enough to stand, at least when propped against something. The dolls have costumes that range from simple print dresses to luxurious velvet coats.

The costumes are half of the charm of these pieces. I love how Alvarado uses graphical prints, just the right amount of texture, and unexpected trimmings. Some of the pieces have crocheted lace for scarves or fancy braid for necklaces. Many of them come with extras, like little cats to hold in their laps, masks that actually fit them, or painted portraits of themselves. And then there are her equally lovely mermaids, which have less costume but more embellishment.

You can see Alvarado’s work on her blog, her Flickr site, or her Etsy store. Her pieces are very reasonably priced, for art dolls.

By the way, I’m not exactly sure (and I’m too lazy to look it up) but this blog is about a year old now, and I want to thank everybody who reads regularly. Please leave me a comment — I love your feedback!


  1. Christine said,

    Thanks so much for posting my dolls! Yes you are accurate to say they somewhat folk art/primitive in structure with an urban sense of style .To answer your question,they’re made of polymer clay and painted with acrylics. I actually learned how to make this simple style doll from Dame Darcy on a craft show on TLC. It was something I wouldn’t normally watch but found her work to be simple ,alternative and,modern at the same time and modern which I find an appealing combo.

  2. thessalyrose said,

    Thanks for commenting, Christine! I thought they might be polymer clay, but they’re so smooth I couldn’t be sure. You must either sand them or use many of layers of gesso, or both. Either way, they look like paper mache.

    They must be so much fun to play with. This is what Barbies ought to look like!

    For those who are interested, here’s Dame Darcy’s Website: http://www.damedarcy.com/
    I couldn’t get any art doll pics with Firefox, though. 😦

  3. Kim G. said,

    I LOVE Christine’s dolls and am the lucky owner of Athena, pictured above. I adore her. I have more pictures of her on a post I did on my blog. Thanks for sharing Christine with everyone, I think she rocks!!!

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