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!  


  1. I am working on "Bird in a gilded cage" called Cora who is a high flyer :D XXX

  2. I am in awe of this whole concept! I am seriously thinking I would love to participate, everyone skill level is very high indeed! How long is the story attached to the doll to be? if I may ask. Thank you for opening this challenge to everyone! xoDebi

  3. Hi Debi :o) The Circus Challenge is going to run alongside The Almanac itself, the exhibition will be up the week we publish Almanac number 2. So the challenge requires no story at all, just make a doll on the theme, you can choose any kind of Victorian circus/Freak show/Carni act at all :o) Hope that makes sense

  4. Oh thank you 😊. I will start to " imagine" & research this amazing time & subject! xoDebi🙋🇨🇦

  5. eu quero participar -
    I want to participate
    I'm Brazilian
    Instagram - @outromundobonecas

    Play dolls.


This blog is no longer active

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.