Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Beauty of an Original # 12

This year I finally was able to commision an Enchanted Doll - beautifull, fully articulated porcelain dolls hand made by an incredible young woman and fantastic artist, Marina Bychkova.

This was a big thing for me, after all, Enchanted Dolls are a serious purchase, with a waiting list and price tag to match. But she was worth it all, everything. Whenever I haven't posted art in a while, it's probably because I'm sewing outfits for this girl... who could blame me?

Marina was gracious enough to meet my meticulous customization demands, and created Fern for me.
I asked for a girl that embodied my aesthetics and what I strive to capture with the girls that I draw - wild girls of the woods, mischevious coquettes, mysterious ladies made of air and mist and ferns.

Fern - Enchanted Doll by Marina Bychkova

I've mentioned before that I like to think of the art-dolls that I purchase as muses. Inspired by Fern, (my Enchanted Doll) and my admiration for Marina, this was the perfect project to suit such a complicated process and technique.For myself and as a gift to the original artist.

 I really wanted to capture the intricacy and exquisite nature of Marina's dolls in an artwork. An etching seemed very fitting. A lengthy, time consuming process of drawing an image into a sheet of copper, letting acid eat into those lines, then printing it by hand with an etching press. The corset and collar were inspired by the intricate filigree silver costumes Marina creates for her dolls. The brambles and antlers were my own aesthetic creeping into the piece.
Enchanted Etching

For interest, here's the initial and final revised sketch I made. Progress shots of the etching can be seen ~here~


  1. oooo the etching is lovely! I love your details of the silver corset and collar. And the vines. And her jewelry... she should be an ED! Hehe.

    Ya know, after reading the etching process... I realize I was supposed to do an etching in high school. We were required to cut out a piece of copper in a shape, then use the etching technique for the details within the shape. I had intended on making a little ghetto alien, (he had a backwards cap, baggy shirt and baggy jeans) and carved his outer shape, only to decide at the last minute that I hated how the details looked on my plan. So I didn't do the etching. I kept the little alien shape though, and while others were etching, I was reading using my alien as a bookmark, and thinking of a name for it. And so "noxzimbyp" was born. Hehe haha. lil nox still sits right next to me on my desk. :)

  2. What a great face! Lovely job! I love how the filigree of her corset turns into brambles!

  3. It's a very lovely piece, Monika. Does it inspire you to do more etchings? I love the somber colors enlivened by the intricate lines and intense gaze. And how nice to meet Miss Fern here! I can never see enough of her!

  4. Thank-you darlings :-)

    Paiva - It does, but not for a little bit. I had a lot of complications with this one. It took about 10 proofs to finally get a decent pull, something was going wrong at the printing stage. It's such a tricksy process!

    I really do want to get back into it, though. A good resoluteion for the coming year! :-D

  5. wow Monika, i love the etching, the girl is so intrigueing, Marina must love this!
    look at the insect like horns and the lovely collar, and the thorns, they give it such a dark feeling.

    also, Fern really is such a great balance between "Marina's girls" and "Monika's girls", i see now how she really is perfect for you!

    hey noxy, how cool, now i learned how your username came to be!

  6. thankyou annina, every part of your comment made me smile :-)
    She *is* perfect for me, she's the perfect balance and muse and mix of our aesthetics...


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