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Irina Deineko

Irina Deineko

Russia, Saint-Petersburg


What was in the beginning of my doll story? My birth. I was born in the same year when the Barbie doll was created. Maybe it was a sign for me. From the early childhood, I restored and changed my dolls starting from faces and finishing with hairstyles and dresses. I cut my grannie’s Chinese silk threads to small tails to make grass pads for my dolls. I made paper dolls for almost all my friends. I draw faces and costumes and never used ready patterns. Later I became a mom for two boys but I continued to play dolls.  I do play dolls till present moment.


In 1998 I was invited to join the group of artists and made a collection of dolls for an exhibition in honor of Pushkin. These creatures were the first dolls for everyone in the group. We made them with a great pleasure from the beginning to finishing. At this very moment, I understood that dolls took my heart forever. In 90’s we mostly used porcelain, as other materials we couldn’t buy in Saint Petersburg. So, I created my dolls from porcelain, made from 4 to 7 molds in one batch. I actually didn’t love to make series of dolls, even a small one. Now I use different materials, such as cured polymer clay, air dry clay or papier-mache.


The process of image creation is fully going inside; I do not draw full sketches and never make precise measurements. My mind creates realistic images, full-sized and detailed. It’s quite enough to start the process which is initiated with something inspiring, from a bead color to clouds in the sky. Sometimes I find myself making a scheme or scrapping dresses details. My best working place is my favorite chair. Other details aren’t important. I can work in silence or switch on TV, or use a playlist on my laptop; it doesn’t matter too much for me.


I cannot comment my dollmaking style. The only thing I know exactly is that minimalistic approach is not for me, I prefer rather a chaos harmony.  I can say nothing about my style evolution. My creations do change because the World is changing every second and I’m following these changes. 


I try to attend doll exhibitions; I love the opportunity to share emotions with colleagues and doll lovers, which you can get only offline in a place where many authors and artworks are gathered together.  There are many dolls exhibitions in Russia and European countries, but I choose for myself the Autumn Salon and the Spring Ball organized by Svetlana Pchelnikova. I love her competent manner and heartiness. I’m delighted with her energy and a friendly smile!