DollStories is returning after a long hiatus. BJDcollectasy talked to artist Glenna about the return of the company and new Kirya’s debut at IDEX.
Q: Can you begin by telling me how you first became involved with BJDs?
A: In 2005 I was working on a graphic novel idea, and I needed reference for figure drawing. I purchased an Obitsu and loved using her to pose and work from to draw the figure. But when the time came to look for more clothes for her, I saw an online ad for Dollmore (I think it was Dean). I fell in love! Since the Obitsu dolls have painted-on eyes, I loved the realism and romance of the BJD eyes.
Q: When did you release your BJD head Kirya? WHat caused you to take a break from doll making?
A: I started sculpting my first head, Kirya, in the summer of ’07 and showed her at Dollectible in ’08. I was working with my brother as a partner. He did all the mold-making and casting. We made a run of about 100 heads, but he left the business shortly after that. I now had to learn the mold-making and casting process, which took me a long time. I had recently brought my infant daughter home from Vietnam and she was still a baby. This is why I went on hiatus! It took me several more years to put the time aside to sculpt a whole body, as I was also working full-time as the creative director for Aetna, the insurance company. Last year I left that position, which enabled me to finish my 60cm body sculpt and learn how to cast a doll. I also added an addition on my house which is now my studio. As many people know, casting involves using a pressure chamber and working with silicon rubber. It is very involved! When my brother left the company he told me not to even bother trying to learn to mold and cast… that it was “a guy thing”. Although I use an assistant to string dolls (I have tennis elbow from sanding doll parts), I do all the rest myself. I am gratified to say that doll making is very much “a girl thing”!
Q: Did you have a particular look or personality in mind when you created Kirya?
A: When I created Kirya, I aimed for pure beauty. Keeping the Asian aesthetic was also important, even though I’m in the USA. I also wanted her to be versatile, so owners could change her expression easily depending on the faceups they chose. So she can look sweet and friendly, or have an edge to her, depending on how she’s painted.
Q: How tall is the full doll?
A: The DollStories girl body is 58cm tall. She is a mature style, although I will be releasing a small-breasted version in the coming months. She has single joints, and a joint just above the waist. The beauty of human anatomy is foremost to me, so she has some of muscular detail, particularly in the upper back. I think the anatomy of the back is so beautiful.
Q:In what resin colors will Kirya be cast?
SA: he will be offered in off-white, pure white, pinky-white, beige, and light brown.
Q: Can Kirya fit into any standard size doll clothing?
A: The DollStories body does fit into standard 57-60cm doll clothing and shoes.
Q: Can you tell me more about the dolls you are bringing to IDEX? How will they be styled?
A: The theme of our appearance at IDEX is Mori Girl, which as many readers know means “Girl who lives in the Forest”. It’s a Japanese style that began a couple of years ago in the Harajuku shopping district. Mori utilizes lace and layers, and natural materials such as linen and muslin, often accented with antique jewelry and accessories that play up a woodland theme, such as antlers, rabbit ears, and flowers. I’ll have only off-white dolls at the show, many with body blushing. I’ll be playing up the Mori theme on my face-ups, so there will be a few special touches on the dolls’ faces. My retail shop will open shortly after IDEX.
Q: Do you have plans to release more dolls soon?
A: Yes, absolutely more dolls! I have an SA (half closed eyes) head which is just about finished, though it won’t be done for IDEX. When I return from the show I am focusing on releasing more heads and my small-breasted body.
DollStories~ company website
The new version of Kirya will be released at IDEX, Orlando Florida