NM Artistic Dolls – Starting Something Anew
Rugged cliffs and rolling hills, spruce forests and wide valleys. Thuringia – with its picturesque landscape. Numerous towns, with their half-fimbered houses and slate roofs, Conjure up visions of eras long gone. The towns – Lauscha, Rauenstein, Sonneberg – are closely associated with the historyof culture, with long-established and perhaps, therefore, so lovingly pursued arts, crafts and industry.
In response to the question wheter the cultural-historical background of her home region had anything to do with her work, the designer, Nicole Marschollek Menzner said, “So many things began here! Now almost everything seems to have disappeared. This also has an effect on me. So why shouldn’t I try to start something anew here?”
Her encounter with toys is by no means a chance one-something which is so often the case in this profession. She is one of those natural talents who is at home in this landscape. From the very outset she charted her course resolutely and consistently. On completion of her studies in Sonneberg, Nicole Marschollek Menzner put the finishing touches to her skills by working with a reputed doll manufactorer in Upper Franconia. Only recently has she been able to fulfil her dream of making her own dolls. The young company “Zwergnase” was founded in 1994 and since January 1996 it has been based in Schalkau near Sonneberg. With the product lines ARTline, TeddybearART, she produces the NM collections: artistic dolls and teddybears.
The success of her most recent presentations at home and abroad is awakening curiosity. What makes Nicole Marschollek Menzner’s creations so attractive? Despite the crowded but albeit diverse network on the international doll scene, she clearly knows how to attract the attention of the professional public to her work.
It goes without saying for her that her dolls must meet anatomical requirements. Her crafts skills are as professional as her grasp of the technical side. For her, satisfying the critical eye of the customer means ensuring top quality in all forms of material. This is an absolute must for her. The detail are also winners in themselves: glass eyes from Lauscha, leather shoes from a company in the Erzgebirge mountains, rich textile materials for the clothes. But all these things do not suffice to fully explain the magic of her dolls. The special quality of their life-like appearance is drawn from the attitude of the artist. She was quick to realise that the never ending search for innovation, as the seeming key to success, is by nature superficial. It inevitably leads to the same old pretty photograph smiles even if they are dressed up in exotic clothes. She is looking for something different. She is endeavouring to capture the child in the doll, to give expression to the special feeling of a situation. This is what leads to subtle mimicry, to sensitive, scarcely perceptible nuances in posture and gestures. The uniqueness of each one of them is also reflected in their appearance: clothes, hairstyle, accessories are all part of an overall statement. In order to achieve synthesis on this level, an unfailing artistic feeling for style is required. Nicole Marschollek Menzner draws onpast times, from “fairytale” eras for the richness of textile expressions. Never primarily historical, never lusciously baraoque, she unerringly shapes colours, structures and designs, cuts patterns and adds details. With admirable insight, she can take up moods and imitate the most recent fahions.
Following her intensive, highly disciplined work phase on creating a new doll, Nicole Marschollek Menzner is “ready for the teddybear”. Somewhat awkwardly, ungainly and cheekily TeddybearART arrives on the scene. Lovely, cuddy copmpanions, in some cases extravagant characters with irresistible faces. They reflect the other side of their creator and give her an opportunity to live out her tendency towards the grotesquely humorous and to draw inspiration for her next ideas. Ech new creation carries in it the seeds of the next. For instance, the attractiveness of the material, porcelain, which she wants to fully explore after working with vinyl. Her goal is to discover the scorpe for expression ant to experience this in a completely new way – in the form of a very limited number of creations. She also has plans for completely, new and different things. Lovers of beautiful dolls can look forward to this development and certainly won’t be disappointed.