BJDC 2014 Convention Theme~ Midnight on the Midway
“The circus and the midway has always been a place of magic to me. It is a place to step out of your mundane life, a chance to meet the odd and mysterious circus folk. The smell of popcorn, warm animals and saw dust as you watch the trapeze artist fly through air or the elephants dance. Then outside on the midway, you can win at a game of toss for a stuffed animal, get your fortune told, ride on the Ferris wheel or enter the house of mirrors.” – Sherri Rhein, Convention Chair
For procrastinators still deciding on whether they will attend, pre-registration will close on June 15th for the Ball Jointed Doll Convention, in Austin. The order period for the official show special dolls, Convention version Raspberry by artist Asella and tiny Griffon by Daisy Dayes, has already ended. Don’t feel too bad, though, there will be many other special dolls at the event! They will likely be in VERY limited quantities (often 1 only), but if you don’t sleep too late, you may be lucky and nab one when the sales floor opens at 10:00 AM on Friday. Lots of doll artists will be attending the event, and some others unable to attend have friends to represent them, so when the doors to the sales hall open, find your favorites quickly before they are sold out!
Here are some of the artists and dolls to look for:
Doll artist Connie Lowe of Marbled Halls has lots of previous experience at BJDC, a show she has attended several times in the past.”I have been doing Austin BJDC for awhile now. I really enjoy the show. Each time seems to get better. I love the themes and try to work within them. Sherrie and her staff work hard to make it an event and succeed beautifully. It’s a small enough show to be comfortable, but a big enough show to find all your BJD needs!”
This year, Connie will be introducing her new 52cm size doll named Olga. Three full-set dolls will be sold at BJDC. They will be dressed to reflect the show’s theme Midnight on the Midway. In addition, Connie is preparing to release new Sprocket Pets on her site, and some of them will also be available at BJDC. As usual, Marbled Hall’s-version Dolls Town OOAK full-sets and a variety of unique outfits will be included too.
Sarah Seiter of The Mushroom Peddler is attending BJDC for the second time. She has been looking forward to its return. “I first attended BJDC in 2012. I was a vendor,” she said. “I had great fun and have been looking forward to the next show ever since. I am sad it is only held every two years, since I would go every year if I could! The variety of dolls and doll accessories that are in the sales room and around the halls carried by the people there are wonderful to see, and the content of the panels and events are always a joy.” Sarah is bringing s variety of her little Wonderlings and Implings. Her show special dolls include a tan version of Impling Ivy and a special blue-shelled Slimey the Snail.
Linda Macario is flying in from Florence, Italy to Austin for the show, Linda will have a new resin BJD premiered at the show, named Guilia. “This is the artist proof customized by me for the show,” she said. “Giulia is a new head I’ve sculpted for Jpop Dolls that will fit the 40 cm body (Linda and Amelia). This one is a special customized girl just for the show. The doll will be available for pre-order on Jpopdolls.net after the show. There is not a release date right now, but I guess before the end of summer.” Linda is also working on completing a porcelain BJD, which will also be displayed at her table.
Grace from Jpop Dolls will also be featuring dolls from other doll makers that her company represents, including some from Special BJDC guest, French artist Asella of Noble Dolls. Work by another Special Guest, Lillycat of Lillycat – Cerisedolls, who is also from France, will be displayed there as well. Lillycat stated that, “I will have around ten dolls for sale, with face-ups by me, Lyses with full-set and make up, some tinies and some MSD dolls, like Ombre or Ninon customized too.”
Jpop will also display for the first time a new BJD by popular Australian artist Kaye Wiggs. The doll has special significance to the artist as she was modeled after her grandmother. Kaye said, “Her name was Esme, but we all called her Essie, so my new girl will be Essie. My grandmother passed away some years ago. My grandparents had 10 children, one died as an infant, and they had 7 daughters and 2 sons, so we are a very big family. I wanted to do something to honor my grandmother so little Essie will be very special to me.”She added, “I think she is a little different from my usual sculpts as I was trying to get a “family” resemblance. I have not seen a pic of my grandmother when she was a toddler, but as an older child she had the chubby cheeks and big brown eyes. She had very dark brown or black hair, so I will be doing a brunette version when I get my sample doll.” Essie is in Kaye’s smaller MSD size (with dolls MeiMei and Talyssa’s body). Kaye will not be present at the event, but she is designing three or four full-sets of Essie for BJDC.
Prolific and popular artist Nefer Kane of Circus Kane Dolls was also unable to attend BJDC, but her good friends Sally Chandler and Cheryl Simokat will be running a booth with her work. Nefer has put together a collection of her dolls to be shipped from France for the convention. Nefer listed some of the dolls she is having sent to Texas. “There will be the never-displayed-before Grook, the piglet girl. There will be some Lou the Elf, some dolls in special colors, the Baby Humpties, and a very special pet as a gift to the guests at my table. This pet will be only visible at Austin, and will be only produced for my guests. It’s exclusive! Oh, and of course, there will be Stadnik the Giant!”
Her friend Sally added, “In addition, I will be offering handmade and styled Tibetan Lambskin wigs. And there will be surprises! We knew how much Nefer would have loved to be there herself for her collectors, so we decided to ‘bring’ her there virtually as much as possible. We are having a great deal of fun preparing and planning this, and hope that it will be fun for everyone. Nefer’s loving presence will be felt.”
Photos above from top: Cog the Dog by Connie Lowe, Slimey the Snail by Sarah Seiter, Guilia detail by Linda Macario,Lyse by Lillycat, A photo of Kaye Wiggs’ grandmother Esme,Mystery Elf by Nefer Kane, face-up by Sally Chandler.
(Corrected- Linda Macario is attending the show and will display dolls on her own table. The article previously stated that she was sending dolls to Jpop Dolls.)