When the Russian artist, Michael Zajkov, completed his University degree in 2009, he developed a rather particular talent through his side-job in a puppet theatre: he creates photo-realistic dolls that look as though they could simply wake up and live. His first works was created in 2010 and since them he's been impressing people around the globe. To watch him at work is amazing!
It starts with a drawing. This will be the template for his model. The aim is to create the most lifelike expression as possible and to bring to life his drawn characters.
He pays particularly attention to the head because the face is really difficult and, at the same time, exceptionally important. Even here, everything looks like a normal doll still. Yet it is fascinating to see how a face is made out of aluminium foil. For moulding, Michael Zajkov uses "polymer clay" because it's a coloured, moulded mass, which hardens in the oven.
With each stroke of work, he conjures more details of the face. And with every brush of colour, one sees just how much an artist is at work here. The hair, which gets added later, is made from fine french mohair, from the hair of angora goats.
Then the hair, glass eyes, eyelashes and eyebrows are added, creating a hyper-realistic impression, which the viewer could believe to be a real miniature girl at first glance. The glass eyes, which Michael Zajkov uses, are sometimes made by hand in Germany.
To assemble and sew together the dolls, is now an easy thing for the artist. Clothes and shoes are also single-handedly manufactured. He makes all the clothing in keeping with the 1910s and uses valuable materials such as silk, batiste, and antique lace. The tiny shoes are produced from leather.