by Paul Armstrong
It's not out of the question that you'd find something familiar about Ruby Ruth Dolls; the reality is you might have already owned one (or part of one) and not even known it. Created in Cornwall, England by Jenny Mustill—a former Damian Hirst studio assistant—using recycled luxury fabrics, the handmade dolls seem part Dr Parnassus’ Imaginarium and part Tim Burton dream character, with an additional aesthetic influence from her time working with Hirst.
Mustill started making dolls over a decade ago, selling them on East London's Brick Lane after she finished her degree in fine arts. The idea that governs Ruby Ruth Dolls is simple, "I really like the idea of bringing a second life to an old favorite jumper,” she says. While considerably smaller and more primitive, the earlier designs were still popular. "The original versions were significantly weirder,” Mustill admits. “People really liked our strange creatures and I used the stall to figure out the popular versions and the fabrics that worked." Whether she's found a vintage dress, silk scarf, wooly sweater or T-shirt, Mustill doesn't discriminate; everything can be—and is—used to create her cute and curious critters.
Mustill is currently working on new designs in conjunction with an imminent online animation project, but her characters promise to be just as charmingly odd and adorable as ever. Visit Ruby Ruth Dolls online where they are available for purchase, starting at £25.
Images courtesy of Ruby Ruth