Back in the days when the USSR still existed and Russians weren’t allowed to travel meeting Russians was kind of exotic, at least were I live. The first Russians I met were my little sister’s violin teacher and his family, they somehow got out. It was a family of artists, and the first impression I got as a child was that Russians are a people of gifted craftsmen, who are able to make something out of nothing. I was fascinated by the wooden sculptures carved from drift wood by the father, the crochet work the mother made and all kind of objects that had ornaments and embellishments I hadn’t seen before. And Russian illustrated fairy tale books.. I must have spent hours looking at the pictures.
This is still what I associate with the culture: That a lot of Russians have a skill for artisan crafts work that shows in a love for intricate details, perfectionism and a touch of something ornamental I can’t quite put my finger on, but that is somehow often recognizable as Russian. I am sure it’s a prejudice, but one I don’t care to abandon.
And since I started the doll hobby I saw a lot of work from artists and collectors that confirmed this impression. Especially the doll artists among them. I have admired the work of the Popovy sisters and Natalia Loseva for a while, and I am fascinated by the miniature beauties made by Ekaterina KKerrin (KKeRRinDolls). I would have wanted Kim if I had seen her whithin the order period. Or the very realistic work of Anastasia and Sergey Lutsenko, or Anna Kucherenko.
But I discovered another artist’s work a while ago, Ancient Tales dolls by Helga Reinhard /Olga Reingard, and when I saw her Rachel for the first time it was like seeing a Waterhouse painting come to life. I always loved his paintings and all things pre-Raphaelitean.
So I ordered her, and it was maybe the most impulsive purchase I ever made. And one of the most pleasant transactions, at least for me, because I guess all my post-purchase questions were probably a bit annoying. But Olga (Her real name) was very friendly and helpful, and she even offered to make the doll in a lighter skin color than the color I ordered.
She made a tour through Russia – at least it seemed like it in the tracking history- and finally arrived after I got really worried because the local carrier’s tracking was not working and she apparently sat in the airport for at least ten days.
But now she is here safe and sound. She is a bit darker than I expected after Olga offered to make her in lighter skin, but it’s probably close to Volks normal now. I like it.
And she is absolutely stunning. Beautifully sculpted, very well made, smooth resin and a great poser. She feels so light yet solid, flexible and bendy that she feels just right sitting in my hand, and her body has a very elegant, slender look.
She came with heel feet, tiny shoes (a gift, thank you, Olga), extra eyes I ordered and a certificate in a black box. I wish I had ordered a wig, her head is super tiny. But I can make one for her, so that’s not really a problem. And her ears are pierced! I didn’t even know it was possible with such tiny ears. Her hands and feet are beautifully sculpted – as is the whole doll, but these tiny details give that extra touch of delicacy and realism. I will probably always be afraid to break something, but she is lovely to pose and play with.
It’s dark and rainy outside, so the light is not good, but I didn’t want to wait with pictures of this lovely little lady.