Monday, 13 February 2017

Calling all doll makers...

Will you take the Cult of Doll Challenge?

We are now hard at work on the 2nd Almanac and this time around we will host a doll making challenge - open to anyone who wants to take part. To enter, simply make an original, unique doll/creature/artwork inspired by the subject below and send us your best photograph of your work (email address will be supplied nearer to the closing date).

All entrants will have their work displayed together in a group exhibition to  accompany the publication of the 2nd Almanac (June 2018). The exhibition will be hosted here on our public Cult of Doll Facebook page and also on our new Website (under construction).

The Challenge

The world of Miss Araminta's Curiosity Shop loosely ties all the stories in our Almanac together, the artists being given an item from her shop as a starting point for their own unique story. Those stories can take place anywhere and need have no relationship to the Curiosity shop at all. You can read the first Araminta story, The Not-Fox, by me (Yve Hooson of Nightshade Dolls) starting on page 58 of the first Almanac (

Araminta is not the subject of this Challenge though, but we are in 1880’s London and taking a look at a disreputable Travelling Side Show which has set up stall a few streets away from her Shop in Whitechapel. You can get a flavour of them in Rhissanna’s tale “Fish on Thursday” on page 106 of The Almanac. Such travelling shows were a popular form of “Low-Brow” entertainment in Victorian times, combining all the acts we know from the regular Circus, plus illusionists and fairground rides, plus they also usually featured (for an extra entrance fee, of course!) a “Freak Show”.

So: The 1st Cult of Doll Challenge is to make an original Doll/Creature/Artwork on the subject of the Victorian Travelling Show. You can pick any kind of act to depict, in fact, the more variety of acts we get, the more interesting the exhibition will be. To help inspire you, we will publish intermittent Fact Sheets here over the Spring and Summer, and will also make available some sheets of printable ephemera available to download so that those who want to, can make some posters and backdrops for their “act” to be photographed against. The closing date for submissions (ie, photographs of what you have created) will be January 2018. Let the Challenge begin!  

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Want to join the Cult of Doll?

When we originally published The Cult of Doll Almanac back in April, we had a lot of interest from Doll Artists wanting to join in the project. We are now gearing up for the second project, but because of the book format (and the work involved in putting it all together) slots are very limited.

Happily the majority of our original members are returning, but between now and October 30th, we will be drawing up a short-list of doll artists who would like to take the challenge of making one unique art doll and accompanying story/poem. More information will be available on request.

Prospective members will be chosen to go forward by myself and the existing group on the grounds of:

(1) Originality. Too many similar offerings will make the Almanac dull for the end reader. At the same time, the artist’s work needs to not look too out of place against that of existing Cult Members

(2) Has the artist shown enough evidence that they will be up for delivering some form of written content (between a min:300 & max:2,000 words are required) to accompany their doll?

If you think you would still like to take part, please let me know (leave a comment below with a way to contact you or visit our Facebook page) before October 30th. Thanks so much for your support and interest in this unique project,

Yve :o)

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Miss Araminta WIP Pics

Here are some WIP pics of my Miss Araminta doll as she evolved. You can meet her in her finished form and brand new, never seen before work by all our talented members on Sunday when we finally publish our Almanac. Check our Facebook page on Sunday for the link to the FREE issuu publication. :)

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Juts 12 days to go!

Please come and join us on our Facebook Page on the 24th of April when we will finally publish the link to The Cult of Doll Almanac! Yayyyyy!!! :o)

Thursday, 3 March 2016

The Almanac is almost finished!!!

So proud to finally share with you the cover of our first online publication, The Cult of Doll Almanac! Its really coming together now and will be ready to finally launch on April the 24th. There will be updates, new imagery and little previews available as the countdown to the big day continues over on our Facebook page if you would like to join us there. Remember that although we will publish on the 24th (and hope to make it something of an event) this free publication will be available to view online from then on indefinitely.