Hi, I'd like to discuss a topic that has been baffling me. I've been working on my own dolls and have been pondering how the numbering system works. Enchanted doll for example has me completely confused. Her dolls are considered one of a kind yet I often see multiples of the same dolls. I've seen at least two of her cinderella doll and she often uses the same face mold for several different dolls with different costumes. Does she number her dolls or are they considered open edition? And if they're open edition why are they marketed as one of a kind? I thought that one of a kind meant only one cast from that mold? Lutsenko dolls also market as having one of a kind dolls due to the fact that they carve their work in greenware stage, but they've been known to make up to 24 dolls from a single mold and number it as such. Forgotten Hearts uses the same mold almost indefinitely until they retire the mold at their own accord, yet they also market their dolls as one of a kind.
So I have three differing examples of how dolls are being made yet they are all marketed as the same thing- one of a kind. What exactly is classed as one of a kind and how does one go about arranging editions of dolls? Do you only number your doll as being 1/5 if you intend on using the same costume on 5 dolls? Are there any specific rules for this or is it different from artist to artist? I know with reproduction dolls it's numbered based on how many times the same face is used but it would seem that Marina breaks with this tradition?
Any light shed on the matter is greatly appreciated.
Porcelain dolls are often called ooak because it is impossible to make them exactly the same. Marina's Cinderellas are actually a great example of this. They are not all exactly the same. On her website it says (or used to say) how many would be in each edition.
Sometimes it's just the china paint that is different, sometimes it's the paint and the costume both. The doll can also be modified in the greens are stage after the mold is poured. This is the case with Cinderella.
There are absolutely no rules about this. Each artist decides for themselves how to number and market the dolls.
Thanks for your reply Allurose! So how does one decide what to include in an edition then? Using Marina's dolls as an example, would only her cinderella dolls be included in the same edition, or would every doll she made using the same face mold be in the same edition? For example, if I wanted to make 3 red riding hood dolls and 3 cinderellas, and use the same face for all of them, would they be two editions of 3 or 1 edition of 6? Or as you said, do you just make your own rules regarding this?
I believe it would be your own rules. I think there needs to be transparency though, like there has always been 3 ED Cinderellas planned.
My feelings are (but I emphasise these are feelings) are that the resin EDs can't be OOAK no matter the painting because it isn't permanent, but painting on a porcelain ED of the same mold could be OOAK because the painting is permanent and makes them unique. But again, I would expect a certain amount of effort in making them different, instead of a copy directly of one made before... The more I think about it I wonder if I contradict myself... I think I would be annoyed if I bought an OOAK and a very similar doll was then sold by the same artist, like you have to look closely to see those differences, but technically as allurose says, I think all porcelain's are OOAK and this is part of what makes them special to me and I will always prioritise them over resin.
Artists decide for themselves what makes a collection. Another good example is Vivid Dolls. All her dolls are unique, although some share face molds. They are arranged into collections according to theme of completed doll, not according to mold.
Honestly I don't think many people in this hobby care about OOAK. I sure don't. Each artist can only make a few dolls (compared to a company), so any doll you get might as well be OOAK. Usually porcelain doll artists use that phrase to refer to a dolls complete look. For example, there will only be 3 costumed Cinderellas made. There might be other porcelain EDs with similar face shape, but without the costume they are not "Cinderella."
So an artist might say something is OOAK if they only intend to make the costume or accessories once.
Oh darn .. I wrote a big long reply and it didnt save. So here is a quicker version!
I collect both OOAK and limited edition art well as dolls. I see OOAK as the original concept piece, and limited edition is when there is an extension of the original concept, not necessarily identical, they can be released simultaneously.
For example Enchanted Doll porcelain 'Echo' limited edition of 5 dolls. Same concept, same sculpt, same printed fabric, hand painted face of course and with unique headdresses and beading. Vivid Dolls, Frida is OOAK, there was only one. Celestial series as Limited edition, 3 variations and 2 of each. Enchanted Doll resin - limited edition, they are were a limited to a once only short run. Popovy Sisters resin - production, they are unlimited and un-numbered. My lovely porcelain Talarah from Maryna Skubenko, limited edition. She and her sisters are from the same mold, but the mold has a limited production time. The concept was once only when she released her OOAK version Angel Eyes. Hmm I need to check my CoA if it was numbered .. good tip number them! Olga Good dolls, OOAK, same mold but every face is hand carved to be a unique original concept.
It is up to the artist, but as mentioned by allurose transparency and honesty are critical, limited editions should be clearly numbered also.
Thanks so much for all your thoughts. Coming from a background of polymer clay it was really confusing because I had never used molds before so everything was ooak. Made it easy. I'm still saving up for my first porcelain doll so I don't even have an example to refer to. All your help is greatly appreciated