I have no idea how I first found her websites, but Elsa Mora is now a regular in my list of “places” to visit online. Her work is prolific, unbelievably intricate, sometimes haunting, and, very beautiful. She has several blogs, each dedicated to the media in which she works. These media include doll making, papercutting, and painting. I have a fantasy that she might one day illustrate a Neil Gaiman novel or short story. What a pairing that would be!
My grandmother used to collect dolls. I did not understand some of the dolls she owned–many of them more mass market than unique. I often wondered if her collection was the result of a loving family trying to grasp the interests of a person who really didn’t need anything. Were my grandmother still alive, I would buy her one of Elsa’s dolls. These dolls I understand. They are adoringly handcrafted. While the artist works, she invents the doll’s lives and interests and I think it is visible in them. Maybe that is why my grandmother collected dolls. She was imagining the lives and interests of other people in other worlds. The imaginings of a woman born too soon to realize all of her own fantasies.
Elsa Mora sells her work on Etsy.