MeadowDolls are created by mother – daughter artists Miroslava and Mjusi. The latest doll from the company is Patti. Her pre-order is open now.
Q: Can you start by telling me a little about yourself, where you live, how you became interested in dolls in general, and BJDs in particular?
A: I live in Sweden, but originally I’m from the Czech Republic. When I found Asian BJDs, I was fascinated by their posing ability, and I really liked them for photography. The joints are so flexible, and you can pose the bodies differently from just regular dolls. These remind me more of marionettes which we played with as kids. I’m from a country with a rich marionette tradition, and something there tugged me back to my childhood and all the creativity kids have when they play.
I ordered my first BJD pretty fast after I found them, and because I’m not the most patient person in the world, I began building my own before the first doll came. Without holding one, the doll didn’t turn out too successful. I used cheap clay so the edges broke all the time. I didn’t know anything about the joints and how to made them stable; my sculpting was not the best… but she still sits in a basket beside the other more pretty dolls I have now.
I bought more dolls, sewed lots of clothes for them, sculpted several heads and bodies without making anything more with them.
After a couple years in the hobby, my daughter Mjusi joined me in painting the dolls. She is an artistic soul and as I remember she could paint before she could talk properly. One day she just told me – mom I want do a head if you make the body, it’s just too much work to do everything myself – And from this idea Elleki was born. My daughter made her head; I made her body. When we worked on her my daughter was in Sweden and I was with the small kids in Thailand, so we just had a sketch of the real size to go after, and I hoped it would work when we put the parts together later. The process was slow, and it took us at least one year to finish the doll to the point that she was ready go to the factory for casting.
We did cast her in resin ourselves first, which was more trial and error than a real casting process, but we learned a lot. At the same time, I understood that it’s not possible for me to cast the dolls myself. My hands are not so young and they really don’t like the resin sanding. We found a good casting company, got the money together and sent her away to the professional doll casters.
Q: So you and your daughter are partners in doll making, then?
A: Yes, we work really close and many times the dolls are made in collaboration so you can’t even tell who made the bigger part of it. There are just two sculptors.
Some are easier to tell, I do the body and Mjusi does the head (Totti and Elleki). Some are just made by me (Makiko, Tulla, Hannah… ) The tiny girls are really close to both of us.
The best part of this system is that we both always have feedback on what we do. It’s so much easier to work with someone who understands your ideas and shares the vision than to do it by yourself all the time. The support from another artist is something we both are used to, and we know that it’s luxury not everyone has, so if I can help someone who wants to learn I always do. It’s so difficult to sit there alone with your work and not have anyone to ask. Making dolls is the most fun thing I ever found to do! So creative, so flexible, so many different things you can do, and it makes people happy. That’s the best part of it actually.
Q: What inspires your work?
A: I find inspiration in nature, my childhood and in people. The world is full with different interesting people, and their faces always tell a story. I like the variation and try to capture it in the doll faces I make. It feels like I’m gravely unsuccessful with that, but maybe if I try long enough, I can get better.
Q: So what are Mjusi’s inspirations?
A: My daughter is young and finds her inspiration in other places. She also likes fantasy and different characters. She is really good at realism, but often she just want to do something fun. This was the reason why I chose the name Meadowdolls. From beginning I was sure the dolls would not look the same, and as many flowers in a meadow are different but beautiful all together, our dolls also vary, but in the end there is some kind of harmony.
I also like to try new things and jump into a new style, so I’m sure our dolls will came in many sizes, body shapes and face expressions.
Q: Are you working on any new dolls?
Really. I think I’m addicted. When I’m stressed or life is difficult, I sculpt. When I’m happy and relaxed – I sculpt and then in between I also sculpt.
Mjusi works when she can because she is studying psychology and she has lots to do in school. For her the dolls and all her other creative activities are the way she relaxes.
Q: What are your plans for the future? Do you plan to make different types or sizes of dolls?
A: I have one big girl in the factory now and can barely wait to get her home cast. I’m not sure I will ever do dolls bigger than 1/4, But who knows.
Right now I have 3 new sizes in progress, but not one of them is very big. I really don’t count all the heads I want to make. I make many and redo them often. If I send one doll to the factory, I probably did four others and was just not happy with them. The last girl, Tulla, I was really unsure about. I sent her away, and now that I have her samples, she is growing on me. All of the imperfections which disturbed me from beginning now give her more personality and I almost like her now.
I have plans for some friends for Patti and Tella. There is a new 1/4 body in production, Elleki faun and Makiko elf are also cast and the samples are waiting to be painted.
But I don’t do big plans so much. Often I see something pretty, fun or interesting and just do a new doll because of that. Then I leave her on my table awhile to decide what to do next – send her to casting or redo again. I have so many unfinished parts and heads, so soon I will need to sort them out!
Patti’s pre-order may be found HERE. It is open until February 15th.