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Author Archive for Marlaine Verhelst


doll making fun

I redid the cats and the hair of this piece. The cats were a kind of pinkish original and had hardly details. The hair of the doll was blue/grey/purple. Then I tried purple/grey for the cats and ended with orange. I am such a doubter! But he turned out much nicer.


Coming to Massachusetts again

This August I will be in Massachusetts again for teaching this 5 day fun class. My hostess there is Gail Roberge

Paris Workshop week 2020

Also this year I will organize a workshop week near Paris: April 25 through May 2. A whole week working on dolls in a wonderful venue with great food! For 2021 we are planning the week for the end of May.


Teaching in Massachusetts

I am very excited to go to Massachusetts for teaching this July. Gail Roberge is organizing a five day class there where the students will make their own fantasy doll in air dry clay.

Lots of doll fun!


Happy New Year!

Wishing everyone a wonderful New Year!


example for Athens class

This cute little doll I designed for a class that I am going to teach in Athens, Greece. The head is sculpted in air dry clay and painted with water color. The body is an old wooden yarn bobbin and the arms are lace spools. The skirt is made from separate strips of synthetic organza.
I am doubting if I liked it better without hair….


New pieces for Riga

The theme for the fifth European Doll Art Festival in Riga, Latvia is
A Tale about a Fairytale.

For me fairytales are about Princes and Princesses so I made a Prince on a horse, wearing a tutu and two Princesses. People can make up their own fairytales to my Prince and the two Princesses.


2018 Riga exhibition

This coming week the European Professional Doll Art Festival will be held for the fifth time in Riga, Latvia. The Festival is organized by Inara Liepa who does a wonderful job in bringing amazing dolls and other art forms together in the Railroad Museum of Riga.

I am very much looking forward to being there! For me it will be the fourth year.


Doll Classes in Athens

Happy to announce that I will be in Athens in October 2018 for teaching:
a five day class marionet making and a two day class facial expressions.
In both classes we will be sculpting with air dry Darwi Clay.
The organizer is Marianna Kontoe:

I am very much looking forward to being in Athens again!


How I made my new piece

Just finished my piece “I believe I can paint the Sky”.

I would like to share the process of making this piece with you. The piece is meant for an exhibition with the theme “On the Wings of the Wind” and the original title for the piece was “I believe I can fly”.

So, I came up with the idea of a box with a bird head in front and the tail in the back and the doll on top holding bridles.
And wheels.
I couldn’t find proper wheels but found the legs. So far so good. Bird legs might even be better than wheels.

Oops, do we need wings? Yes, wings will add to the composition of the piece. How to attach them took a while.

The colors. So many choices.Took me days. I was gathering piles of fabrics and throw them out again.

The painting of the face. The color of the lips changed several times.
Eyebrows. So many choices. These are the fifth pairs. A row of white dots below the eyebrows. No! Not good! Wipe it off.

The torso. The first one was too short because there need to be space for the elbows. Either put something under it or make a new torso. I made a new torso. And a third one to fit better in the box.

The clothes. The main fabric, a goldish pleated one, did not work. The blue fabric with the dots had to stay but moved from top front to lower arms. The total pile of embellishments went back in the embellishment box: too much.

The hair and the hat. This blue fringe was my original choice but then I found a dark orange mohair. And went back to the blue again. For the hat I wanted a flyer’s cap, so I made several out of leather. Blue ones and grey ones. All no good.

The collar. There was a choice out of four. This one definitively is the best.

The color of the box. It needed to be darker than the clothes of the doll. That went quite smooth.

Not the bird. The bird got all kinds of shades of blue: too dark, too pale, too bright, too flat. The colors around the eyes changed several times too.

Almost finished, but the bridles did not work at all and the hands were made to hold bridles. So what else? A brush fitted in so the title of the piece had to be changed. I made the brush dotted first but took that off again. Stripes it should be.