Dan Baines

Fairy Rings and Monstrous Things

She's Alive!!!

Here's the long awaited Dolly Darko update you've all been waiting for. I know that I said that this would be Dolly Darko MkII week, however I totally forgot about the bank holiday and that we had family visiting. This means my usual studio time has been spent entertaining the troops, although even given the limited time I have made great leaps forward in the design process.

Dolly's new cracked ceramic finish still retains the nasty pallor of the original but gives it a new look that I think is an improvement. The previous painting method could not be used as it would melt the 3D printed doll parts, this method also produced inconsistent finishes. Once painted there's no way of telling she's a 3D printed model, in fact she feels a cross between delicate porcelain and traditional paper mache.  The original Dolly weighed a ton, this new one is a fifth of the weight. In true Wurzel Gummidge fashion the heads are also swappable allowing users to tailor performances and it also gives me the opportunity to exploit a marketing opening and produce a collection of heads!

Without giving too much away technically the chips I use inside Dolly can be programmed very easily, by simply plugging in a USB cable you can define -

  • The angle the head turns

  • The delay from pressing the button to the head turning.

  • The time it waits looking left or right before returning to centre

  • The speed in which her head turns and much more

I'm also working on making her arms raise as is she is begging to be picked up. Space inside the doll is limited but theoretically the triggers that make dolly move can be either manual, remote control or by sensor .i.e movement or light. The programmable chips also mean that future updates, new features and custom performance programs can be installed by the user with ease.

The floating version of Dolly Darko will be a separate product. The prototype at this stage can lift her head, stand, walk and then float seemingly unassisted. Some clients have contacted me worried that this turns bizarre performance into some form of strange puppetry. I have reassured them that the story that accompanies Dolly Darko MkII gives a certain validity and reason for the 'puppet show' whilst still maintaining a visually disturbing yet entertaining performance.

Those attending Doomsday VII in Whitby in two weeks will hopefully be able to see Dolly Darko MkII on display. You never know, she may even look at you and wave...

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