Merry Doll Round an artist-run doll company in El Campello, Spain, opened in 2012. All of the doll heads and BJDs are made by Nuria.
Q: How did you become a doll-maker?
Since I started collecting BJD I tried to customize them all by myself, so I started with face-ups, then sewing some clothes (failed miserably at this) and learning some photography… It seems start sculpting was just the next step.
Q:How did you become interested in BJD?
A: I saw a Dollfie (that was wrongly tagged as BJD) customized as a video game character that I loved in a local comic store. Then I started looking them on the Internet, joined forums and started learning and attending to doll meetings. After holding the first one (it was a Homme Kirill from DoD) I started saving.
And that was back in 2007!
Q:Do you have any art background?
A: Well, I loved drawing and other art related activities since I was a child.
I learned a bit of face sculpture while I was studying Fine Arts but I wasn’t very good at it. Also I learned some basic things about mold making then.
And some basic graphic design tips from Illustration studies. But I still have a lot to learn! I would like to know sewing clothes and jewelry making.
There is an Spanish expression that says something like: “Apprentice of everything, master of nothing”. That’s me!
Q: What was the first doll that you made?
A: It was Besuga. Oh my. It was made with cheap paper clay. She was a mermaid/sea creature, close to MSD size. She was never cast, but I used her head as reference for Ophelia. And I still have a mermaid project in mind!
Q: Was your first doll head cast for sale Merry?
A: Yes! After trying to make a complete doll, I started from zero and made the Merry head. I think it was necessary for me. She will be always special. I remember crying when I received the first batch. Also it was very nice because a lot of friends were very supportive and bought a head when it wasn’t even cast.
Q: How many heads have you created? Can you tell me a little about each of them?
A: I’ve finished four 1/3 heads. First one was Merry. She represents my first doll character, which started being a Angell Studio Vera (MSD), then changed to Asleep Eidolon Yara (SD) and finally Merry. It’s fun, because as I created her for my happy and lovely freckled red hair girl, it’s very difficult to me to paint her with another style and I always love to see what other owners do with her!
Next to be finished was Fang. I started sculpting her as Ophelia, and I know this might sound weird, but then the sculpt took her own way somehow…And that’s how Fang was born!
Then Ophelia. She was sculpted almost at the same time as Fang, but decided to cast her later. Her face was inspired by my first doll, Besuga, but with a sweeter expression.
Then I had a doll hiatus for like a year… Last head I’ve finished is Olathe. I started her because I found a girl on the train that had this nose. And I really fell in love with it. So I took a sneaky picture of this girl and started sculpting her nose. At first it was supposed to be an Arabic girl, but then I got inspired by some native American portraits. This head is currently on the casting factory and will be offered soon!
Q: How did Pruna come to be made? Do you have plans to make more tiny dolls or other sizes of dolls?
A: I was trying to think about a cute portable doll. Trying to make a different size from SD, and tiny was just a perfect size to have fun.Then I started doing some sketches and finally sculpted her. No mystery here! I’m planning to giving her a brother, Pinyol, but I need to finish other projects first.
Also I’m working on an MSD doll! Still needs a lot of work before I can show her, but it’s there!
Q: Do you paint your own face-ups?
A: Always! Since I received my first doll, I’ve always painted my dolls. I learned a lot (sometimes I see my firsts face-ups and I want to cry!) and I’m happy with my work now, but there is always room for improvement! Also I would love to work with other face-ups artists, just to see what they would do with my sculpts!
Q: Will you ever release your 1/3 dolls with bodies? (Didn’t you have a body at one time?)
A: That’s exactly what I’m currently working on! I’m working on an SD girl body with interchangeable pieces. I’ve sculpted two different torsos. First one has small bust and almost no waist. I call it “straight” body. Second one is the “curvy one”. Big hips, small waist and a big bust. But you will have the option of changing these parts. You can order the doll body as straight, curvy, with the small bust and curvy hips or with the big bust and no waist.
First I’m going to release the “straight” body. The “curvy” one will come as soon as I can!
I sculpted the Walnut body, which was sold with Ophelia heads in a very limited quantity. After some time, I thought that the body needed some changes, but it was easier to sculpt a whole new one than trying to change the original…
Q: What bodies work best with your heads?
A: SD size for all of them but It depends on the sculpt, the casting factory, the batch and your own preferences. For example, Merry has a smaller head than Fang and Ophelia, so she fits better on small bodies and slim bodies. I have mine (Merry ver.2 in DollShe Fresh Skin) on an Elfdoll Rainy body in Snow Skin. And I think that Ophelia and Fang look great on any SD. As Fang has a more mature face, she looks great on a SD16 type body, like OasisDoll Chic Body. I have an old Ariadoll body (I think the sculpt now belongs to Switch) and all heads look great with this size (SD13 type I think).
And I must not forget to mention boy bodies! A lot of people made a boy with Fang mold and I love it! I truly have no idea about boy bodies (I’m starting right now) but Fang looks awesome as a boy!
Q: Are you working on anything new?
A: I’m working in a lot of things! The bodies, Pinyol (Pruna’s brother), another small doll, MSD doll…Also I’m learning to sew and make wigs, so I can offer limited full-sets. This is one of my dreams, preparing OOAK dolls with my sculpts.
Photos above from top: Merry, Pruna
Merry Doll Round Gallery