Friday, 17 July 2009

Wooden Dolls

Russian Dolls, originally uploaded by soja.

Matryoshka. I've always wanted a set of my own, for as long as I can remember. I don't know where my love for them came from.

In fact, this is my second set. Last year a good friend of mine bought me back a beautiful, smaller, more carefully finished family from a business trip to Russia. And now I seem to have inadvertently started a little collection of wooden dolls, a beautiful painted traditional doll picked up in Tokyo, a couple of funny fat-bellied little lucky characters given to me by students from Siberia, a modern cupcake-carrying Japanese inspired doll... and now these.

I was looking for various sewing bits and pieces in a Chinese Bazaar and came across this lonely, neglected set of nesting dolls, between a wooden zebra and a plastic budha, marked at €3.50. Even unvarnished, and perhaps a little roughly painted, it didn't seem much for the work that must be involved in making them.

I'm not sure where they are really from. Chinese Bazaars here in Spain are not so exotic as they sound, they are the equivalent of Poundland Shops in the UK, 100 Yen shops in Japan, and I guess the dollar stores in the US. There was only this one set, I haven't seen them in any of the many Chinese Bazaars before, so I don't know how they found their way to Southern Spain. Still, with a little careful painting I think that I can give the smallest babe a face and perhaps give the smaller dolls some eyelashes, a coat of varnish to protect them, and they will be a welcome addition to my little collection.

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