About me

Elena Kunin is a Master of art history and theory (Moscow State University), an artist (a member of the Russian Artists Union), a lecturer. She has worked in Moscow museums, specializing in applied art and the history of costume. Elena has been also engaged in classical painting and icon restoration.

Elena made her first  clay dolls in 1987 and has developed on her own many techniques for working with polymer clay. The range of her work is very wide: from metaphorical creations to illustrations and portraits. Essentially what unites them all is the material from which they are made, Living Doll polymer clay. In recent years Elena has used Genesis heat set paint, which makes the painting more exquisite and at the same time more durable.

Over the years she has taken part in many exhibitions in Europe, the United States, and Russia, and she has also held several personal exhibitions. Elena’s work can be found in museums and the finest private collections around the world, and they have often been recognized with prestigious professional awards. A large number of collectors value original and sophisticated artistic solutions in Elena’s work, its richness and its great technical quality.

In addition, for nearly 20 years now Elena has taught the art of dollmaking in various countries. She has led both academic courses (170 hours) and short courses (30 hours), as well as a variety of master classes. In 2006 Elena released the how-to book Character Dolls from Polymer Clay, which has become very popular among Russian-speaking doll makers and artists.

About the books

I have been making dolls for almost 30 years, and I have taught the art for 20 years now. In this doll making tutorial I have gathered all the experience I’ve accumulated over these years. It is not just a master class on making one Polymer Clay doll but an entire course of private lessons, over 200 hours in length. I have tried to make a doll making tutorial that would teach people to create their own Clay dolls and not just mechanically copy one of my preexisting dolls. The book covers all stages of creating a doll: polymer clay sculpture and painting, framework and body, wigs and clothes, accessories and supports. In the tutorials I also talk about initial ideas, design, color solutions, the relationship between the textures, and stylistic cohesion, i.e. all aspects that make a doll a work of art. Each of the six parts of the doll making ebook has a large number of photos, which show in great detail each and every stage of creating a doll. All videos were made in real time, without any editing. Virtually all the techniques presented in the ebook are my own and you won’t find them in the works of other authors. I reveal all my technical secrets, enabling you to easily do what might have seemed complicated or even impossible. In many years of teaching I have gathered a vast collection of common mistakes that beginning dollmakers make. That is why at the end of each part, you’ll find a chapter devoted to these mistakes, so that you can check your work. The ebook also has some entertaining asides in the form of short chapters where I share my thoughts on dollmaking and some amusing anecdotes about dolls.
I think the ebook will be interesting and useful not only for beginning dollmakers but also for those who want to perfect their craft.