Dorimu: A doll is more than a toy

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I think meeting great people is a blessing. I consider myself blessed today, after meeting and chatting with Dorimu, a young and happy couple of artists that I want to present to you. This is their story 🙂

Hang on!

This should be your jewelry collection`s name 🙂

This was my first thought when I saw your necklaces and brooches. The idea you had for the necklaces is genious, simplicity with maximum effect. I love it !

Tell us something about yourselves. Who is behind the Dorimu brand?

Dorimu are ŽivaVoga and SašaRojak, a Slovenian couple, living and working in Austria. We are translators and handcrafters, who believe that the recipe for happiness is a mixture of good deeds, listening to your heart and desires and… believing in fairies.

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Why dolls? Tell us the story.

In 2009, Živa, wrote her first book, a fairy tale for adults, for my mother´s birthday. The Story of Little Dorimu is a story about the world of dreams. A children’s book at first glance, it harbours thought-provoking symbolism aimed at adult readers. This rainbow tale teaches us that our daydreams and wishes are not just empty words; they are a significant contribution to keeping the dream world alive. It can be a good-night-story or a book to read every day to remind us that every moment is precious, that we should sometimes forget about time, pause every now and then to make a wish and (re)learn that little things can change our lives significantly.

Since we could not find a suitable doll for the main character, we decided to make it ourselves. Because neither of us knew how to make a doll, it took us some time to learn it all, but as soon as the first (Waldorf inspired) doll was finished, we knew that this was something we would like to dedicate our time and energy to. This was when it all begun. The word about the Dorimu dolls spread quickly and soon we got first orders for customs. Very soon it became clear that we love making dolls with many details and people, who ordered them, liked that very much. They first ordered them for their children, as toys, but after a while they noticed that they are made too precise to “use” them as toys and started to describe them as “soft sculptures”. Now we only make dolls for true doll collectors. In 2012 we decided, that it was time for something big. We wanted to make an exhibit, which would imply, that dolls can be more than toys, that they are valuable soft sculptures. We made 12 dolls that represented the characters from the Story of Little Dorimu – (6 Rainbow Fairies, the Golden Fairy, the Cricket, the Butterfly, the Peacock-lady, the Ladybug and the Poppy). We had a great opening event and the responses were just beyond our expectations. We moved the exhibition to many different locations. 

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After the exhibition we needed a break from doll-making, since this was a really intense period for us – emotionally and physically. But the imagination and the creativity didn’t let us sleep, so after a while we started creating needle-felted fairies on wooden swings, then the ones in 3D frames, which we presented at many fairs and shows for handcrafters. The Dorimu fairies have a strong symbolic value and people accepted them very nicely. We already made about 350 fairies, which bring happiness and harmony to people all around the globe.

Fairy collection

A while ago we felt it was time to get back to doll-making, and…BOOOM! – it (obviously) was time for another big project. We were invited to cooperate with the most famous Slovenian fashion designer Duo DRAŽ .

The idea was to make dolls from their knitwear and the result was fantastic: VERY special and unique 12 “art dolls”. Recently we had the privilege to collaborate with the DRAŽ team again and make brooches and necklaces for their fall 2014 collection.

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 Soft dolls collection by Dorimu for Draz :

 

Brooches for DRAŽ COLLETION

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Recently we started to cooperate with Andreja P. Jezernik, who makes beautiful dreamcatchers. Together we created a special dreamcatcher with the Dorimu fairy sitting in the middle.

 Dreamcatcher collection

Can you reveal us your creation process?

We create only when we are ready to create. I sew the body parts for the dolls and Saša stuffs them. After that I sew the stuffed body parts together and then we make the head. Then it is time to make the face for the doll. Saša measures the distances between the eyes, the nose and the mouth and I start with the embroidering. For me, this is the most beautiful part of doll making – it is the moment, when your doll fist looks at you and you can already see her character. So we have naked doll, that needs hair and clothes and these are the final steps.

When we make fairies we don´t need to cooperate so much – I make the figurines and Saša makes the swings or the frames. We create the Dorimu world together and that´s the case with every Dorimu product we make.

What materials and instruments do you use to make a doll?

For the Dorimu dolls and fairies we use only the best materials. Dolls are made from the high quality Swiss tricot and stuffed with Slovenian sheep wool, treated with chamomile and lavender (so they never smell of lanoline). The hair is made of wool or Tibetan lamb skin and the clothes are sewn form high quality fabrics. For the Dorimu fairies we use the felting wool and drift wood for their swings. All the materials for the Dorimu products are chosen very carefully. We only use our hands, a sewing machine, a special stuffing tool and special needles.

The fairies are very delicate. I would gladly decorate a nursery with them 🙂

A lot of people come up with the same idea but we always suggest them to hang the fairies high enough, so that babies and small children do not reach them. The fairies are very delicate and can easily be damaged. We do not promote them as toys but as decorative objects.

What dolls do you like to create most? Why?

It may sound a bit of a cliché, but it would be very hard to decide which of the Dorimu products we like to create most. And it is quite impossible to compare the process of making a doll with a process of making a fairy. We like making dolls, where we have our creative freedom (or at least some of it). We take custom orders for dolls, so we have to consider the customer´s wishes (which sometimes are very precise). So making a Dorimu doll is always a challenge, it is never the same and it lasts at least 4-5 days. Making Dorimu fairies means a more relaxed process, where in a couple of hours you can already see the result. In a sort of a way making fairies balances the doll-making process. So it´s like life itself – sometimes you need a challenge and sometimes you just want to have it relaxed and tranquil.

Before you start crafting a doll, you have a design in mind? A pattern for a special client, maybe?

Besides custom orders we never make big plans before we start making the doll. We just open our eyes and hearts for inspiration and when the moment is right, we start with the doll. We never make our dolls if we don´t feel like making them. They have to have souls and spread good energy. And how can you pass that energy, if you don´t have it for your own?

We don´t have special patterns for different clients. There are some characteristics and some principles we always stick to when creating our dolls and these make the Dorimu dolls recognizable in the doll world.

What is the most appreciated doll by your clients?

Doll collectors like our “soft sculptures”, mostly bigger dolls, and they buy the dolls for themselves, for their collections. Fairies have different admirers – people who are looking for a special gift or jewelry that is a little bit different, and of course fairy lovers and believers. So we have two different groups of costumers and every group prefers its product. It happens relatively rarely that a doll collector buys a Dorimu fairy or vice versa. It is very nice to have a trademark with more than just one product and to give your costumers a chance to choose the best product for them.

 Živa and Saša, thank you for letting us take a peak into your lovely and happy world. With your approval I will end this interview with a photo gallery for our readers.

 Thank you so much, Rucsi!! 🙂

If you want to find out more about my activity outside Revista Atelierul, check out my website here.

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