I developed a love for the ballet at a very young age during a school outing to see ‘La Fille Mal Gardee’ which translates into ‘wayward daughter’. However I hadn’t thought of creating ballerinas in miniature until a discussion with the editor of The Dolls’ House Magazine Christiane, so you will find many of these in the magazine from time to time. They are also featured in the main brochure. The July ‘06 issue of the magazine features my ‘Queen of the Sea’ mermaid and I have just begun my new miniature faerie glen including Titania below and her cousin Amourette is featured in the Bridal Suite Brochure on her wedding day. So much more still to do: Swan Lake, Snowflake from ‘The Nutcracker Suite’, Giselle, Sleeping Beauty and Firebird.....................
Midsummer’s Eve by Edward Robert Hughes (1851 - 1914)
I chose this ballet in memory of Anna Pavlova, one of the greatest classical ballerinas of her time. She was born in St Petersburg, Russia in 1881 and trained at The Imperial Theatre School in St. Petersburg. She worked her craft with great passion and gusto and joined the Ballet Russes which was run by Russian Impresario Sergei Diaghilev. By 1911 she had formed her own company and toured the world and was most well known for her role in Swan Lake. She retired in 1925 and died on January 23rd 1931 from pneumonia, exactly 24 years to the day before I was born.
‘Dragonfly was one of the short ballet pieces Anna performed to display a particular technique. She called these dances ‘divertissements’. I love the beautiful costume and I hand dyed some ivory silk tulle for my miniature ballerina. Her wings are made from silk organza dusted with ultrafine glitter dust.
Coppelia has enchanted ballet enthusiasts since Victorian times. It tells the story of Swanhilda who sees a beautiful ‘girl’ reading a book on the balcony of a shop owned by Dr Coppelius the local doll maker. When she sees her fiancee blow a kiss to this beautiful ‘girl’ she becomes jealous and sets out to confront her while the doctor is away, only to find that she is really a doll. The doctor returns to her house and Swanhilda quickly changes costumes with Coppelia and pretends to be her. The doctor is amazed and surprised to find his ‘doll’ is so lifelike. He is delighted with his success until the mischievous Swanhilda tires of the charade and causes mayhem as she tries to escape......................
Coppelia wears a pretty interfaced silk skirt with lace trimmed apron. A silk moss green waistcoat over her peasant style blouse is tied with silk ribbons. She also wears a trim bow in her hair and silk ribbon choker.
Katy Sue Designs created my very first fairies for me. I received six altogether each with long floor length curly hair in six different colours. My first fairy I named Titania. She wears a silk gown in pale green trimmed with Katy Sue Flower soft. Her elongated silk chiffon sleeves are reminiscent of the Renaissance period. Her wings were shaped using silk organza with a light dusting of glitter dust and her headdress is formed from a circlet of miniature ivy and flower soft.
Be wary young sailor, Of wind and high water, The sea has a secret, The sea has a daughter, She’ll swim along starboard, And capture your heart, With a flip of her tail fin, Underwater depart.
From Mermaids, Dann & Dozois, eds. (ACE; 1986)
I just had to name my first mermaid after the character in one of my favourite movies by Disney, ‘The Little Mermaid’. I used the finest silver mesh tulle over some azure silk for the tail. You can find out how to make Ariel in the July 2006 issue of The Dolls House Magazine by The Guild of Master Craftsman.