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Category: Fantasy & Popular Culture

Cast of Characters: Esther Manso Sculpts Heroes, Villains of Time-Honored Tales

A catastrophic illness — one that kept her in a medical facility on a respirator for four months — changed Esther Manso’s life and career path in 2010. At the time, she was married, raising a large family, and had been working as a comptroller for a large Miami car dealership — a job she described as rewarding but stressful. Her 30-year career came to an end with her illness.
“It is hard to believe that because of that, I am now able to enjoy my later years in complete happiness and bliss, doing what I was meant to do and what I love the most,” Manso said. “When I became disabled, I taught myself how to sew and make cloth dolls, until I found polymer clay and fell in love. I love how the clay allows me to express myself easier.”

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Enchanted Kreature Kits Specializes in Fantasy Reborns

The idea of Enchanted Kreature Kits (EKK) started at the very beginning of my reborning days. I started reborning in March 2011 under the name Enchanted Moments Nursery. As a “noob,” I had no idea where to find blank doll kits. I didn’t know that there were reborn doll supplies and kit dealers out there, so I found everything I started with on eBay. I was so excited to buy a lot of reborn dollmaking supplies for a hefty (to me) $100. It included three blank kits, a set of used paints, and a Bountiful Baby DVD tutorial on how to reborn. I watched the video three times before I was brave enough to paint my first one. My first attempt was on a Berenger play doll, and my son instantly fell in love with him.

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Rhonda Ingram Forgoes Factories, Creates Her Own BJDs

In the complex world of doll design, ball-jointed doll (BJD) artist Rhonda Ingram never faced a challenge she couldn’t conquer. Every potential obstacle is an opportunity for professional growth and creative freedom. She’s also not afraid to reinvent herself or pursue a fresh start by figuratively wiping the slate clean and starting over.

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Runway Ready, Set, Glow! Former model Pasha Setrova Creates Bold, Beautiful BJDs

Although she retired from a successful modeling career years ago, Pasha Setrova is still representing on the runway. These days, however, it’s in scaled-down proportions, via the popular PashaPasha line of fashion ball-jointed dolls (BJDs) that the Russian-born artist designs and delivers. With names such as Giddy Heights, Lollipop, Pink Panther, and Glam Rock, each of these highly articulated, fashion-forward catwalkers is imbued with the elusive “it” factor and represents an intriguing dichotomy between fantasy and reality.

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Curious Collector: Ideal 1957 Shirley Temple doll

My mother, when downsizing, came across a doll she had bought years ago, a 17-inch Ideal Shirley Temple. She was still strapped in the original box, which I believe is the first box with the gold lid and white stars with Shirley Temple’s picture on the end. The doll is flawless — I am amazed at the condition of the vinyl, plus the hair has never been disturbed.

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