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Madhuri Guin - Doll Maker and Entreprenuer

Madhuri Guin
Madhuri Guin (born June 6, 1952) is the founding director of DollsofIndia Ecommerce Private Limited and an erstwhile award winning cloth doll artist, now based in Gurgaon, India.

Madhuri was born in Hooghly, near Kolkata, India and completed her education from Jamshedpur (then in Bihar, now in Jharkhand, India) and Rourkela, in Odisha, India. Interested in fine art, right from childhood, she took up doll making at the age of 21 in 1973, when she felt inspired by the Shankar's International Doll's Museum in New Delhi, India.

Without any formal training in doll making or any other form of fine art, she began making simple cloth dolls with porcelain heads. Far from being perfect, they were the medium through which Madhuri taught herself and refined her doll making skills, to finally evolve a form unique to her.

Unlike most other cloth dolls made elsewhere in India, Madhuri's dolls were made to be more realistic. This was brought out by her unique doll making style. She made the face for the doll out of cloth, and used precise cloth patterns for limbs, fingers and the torso of the doll. These cloth patterns were sewed, stuffed with cotton and were provided with an iron wire frame. The fingers were sewed to the limbs, which then were sewed to the torso. The body was then provided accurate shapes, based on the kind of doll being made. The accuracy in gestures of the hand and body was provided because of the accurate cloth patterns used for the doll body parts and the special way the wire frame was assembled. However, the most striking feature of the doll remains the face of the doll.

Madhuri Making Dolls
The face was created using a unique process she developed for herself. A piece of cloth of the same color being used for the body was taken along with a stretchable cloth piece underneath it. Glue was applied to the outer side of the stretchable piece of cloth and the two pieces were together stuck on to a porcelain face. Once the glue dried, the two pieces of cloth got stuck to each other and was then slid off the porcelain face and a semi-hardened cloth face came off with features similar to the porcelain face being used. Madhuri then painstakingly painted the eyes and lips on the cloth face. It is here that her fine skills came out the best. She was able to portray accurately, the facial expressions of an Indian dancer, so very necessary to make realistic dolls portraying Indian dancers.

The face was then sewed on to the rest of the body, following which she sewed appropriate clothing and jewelry on to the doll. Almost everything used on Madhuri's dolls was sewed or made by Madhuri herself, which was probably why her dolls had a flavor not available elsewhere. Her dolls depicted Indian classical dances, Indian folk dances, Hindu Gods and Goddesses and costumes from India as well as other nations.
Bharatnatyam Dancer - State Award Winner

Awards and Exhibitions

In 1987, Madhuri was awarded the prestigious Delhi State Award for Master Craftsmen, instituted by the Department of Industries, Delhi Administration. She was given this award based on her work on a doll depicting a Bharatnatyam Dancer, in the pose of Radha waiting for Krishna.

The Dolls Museum in Rourkela (established in 1982) exhibits a large number of dolls made by Madhuri. She has given exhibitions of her dolls in various places:
  • 1987, YWCA in New Delhi, India

  • 1980, Calcutta Information Center in Kolkata, West Bengal

  • 1977, Birmitrapur, Odisha

  • 1976, German Club in Rourkela, Odisha

As an entreprenuer

DollsofIndia Ecommerce Pvt Ltd was incorporated in January 2013, after being led by Madhuri, as a single-owned proprietorship for almost 12 years, from a small e-store exporting dolls made by her, into one of the foremost art stores representing all facets of Indian art, fashion and culture.

This enterprise was started in April 2000 to showcase the cloth dolls made by Madhuri. It was then expanded, bit by bit to include the various forms of art that the people of India can offer to the world.

Over time, as age overtook Madhuri's health, she has had to quit this art. She says however, that her heart will remain with the craft.

Dolls Collection

We present a sample of the collection of dolls that Madhuri made over the years.
These dolls are no longer available for sale
Radha Krishna
Radha Krishna
Goddess Durga
Goddess Durga
Radha Krishna
Radha Krishna
Goddess Lakshmi
Goddess Lakshmi
Goddess Lakshmi
Goddess Lakshmi
Radha Krishna
Radha Krishna
Lord Krishna
Lord Krishna
Nitai Gaur with Radha Krishna
Nitai Gaur with Radha Krishna
Goddess Lakshmi
Goddess Lakshmi
Bharatnatyam Dancer
Bharatnatyam Dancer
Kathakali Dancer
Kathakali Dancer
Bharatnatyam Dancer
Bharatnatyam Dancer
Bharatnatyam Dancer
Bharatnatyam Dancer
Bharatnatyam Dancer
Bharatnatyam Dancer
Bharatnatyam Dancer
Bharatnatyam Dancer
Bharatnatyam Dancer
Bharatnatyam Dancer
Cobbler
Cobbler
Kashmiri Shawl Maker
Kashmiri Shawl Maker
Snake Charmer
Snake Charmer
Curd Seller
Curd Seller
Odissi Dancer
Odissi Dancer
Baul Singer
Baul Singer
Baul Singer
Baul Singer
Baul Singer
Baul Singer
Odissi Dancer
Odissi Dancer
Odissi Dancer
Odissi Dancer
Gita Updesh
Gita Updesh
Radha Krishna
Radha Krishna
Krishna and Arjuna
Krishna and Arjuna
Bengali Pujarini - Customised Barbie Doll
Bengali Pujarini - Customised Barbie Doll
Paro from Movie Devdas - Customised Barbie Doll
Paro from Movie Devdas - Customised Barbie Doll
Bengali Bride - Customised Barbie Doll
Bengali Bride - Customised Barbie Doll
Chandramukhi from Movie Devdas - Customised Barbie Doll
Chandramukhi from Movie Devdas - Customised Barbie Doll
Chandramukhi from Movie Devdas - Customised Barbie Doll
Chandramukhi from Movie Devdas - Customised Barbie Doll
Chandramukhi from Movie Devdas - Customised Barbie Doll
Chandramukhi from Movie Devdas - Customised Barbie Doll
Chandramukhi from Movie Devdas - Customised Barbie Doll
Chandramukhi from Movie Devdas - Customised Barbie Doll
Modern Indian Doll - Customised Barbie Doll
Modern Indian Doll - Customised Barbie Doll
Devdas from Movie Devdas - Customised Barbie Doll
Devdas from Movie Devdas - Customised Barbie Doll
Rajasthani Bride - Customised Barbie Doll
Rajasthani Bride - Customised Barbie Doll
Bengali Pujarini
Bengali Pujarini
Bengali Lady
Bengali Lady
Radha krishna
Radha krishna
Bengali Lady in Traditional Attire
Bengali Lady in Traditional Attire
Bengali Lady
Bengali Lady
Bengali Bride
Bengali Bride
Rajput Couple
Rajput Couple
Lady in Bengali Bridal Dress
Lady in Bengali Bridal Dress
Bharatnatyam Dancer
Bharatnatyam Dancer
Kathak Dancer
Kathak Dancer
Bharatnatyam Dancer
Bharatnatyam Dancer
Goddess Durga
Goddess Durga
Lord Krishna
Lord Krishna
Radha Krishna
Radha Krishna
Bengali Pujarini
Bengali Pujarini
Farmer Woman
Farmer Woman
Vegetable Seller
Vegetable Seller
Woman From Vietnam
Woman From Vietnam
Spanish Dancer
Spanish Dancer
German Lady
German Lady
Polish Dancer
Polish Dancer
Bulgarian Dancer
Bulgarian Dancer
French Lady
French Lady
Dancer from Uzbekistan
Dancer from Uzbekistan
Sioux Indian Girl
Sioux Indian Girl
German Lady
German Lady
British Count
British Count
Vegetable Seller from Cyprus
Vegetable Seller from Cyprus
Japanese Doll
Japanese Doll
Victorian Lady
Victorian Lady
Victorian Lady
Victorian Lady
Ethiopian Couple
Ethiopian Couple
Xosa Warrior
Xosa Warrior
Bedouin
Bedouin
Omar Khayyam and Saqui
Omar Khayyam and Saqui
Bison Dancers from Madhya Pradesh
Bison Dancers from Madhya Pradesh
Bihu Dancers from Assam
Bihu Dancers from Assam
Tamasha Dancers from Maharashtra
Tamasha Dancers from Maharashtra
Dandiya Raas
Dandiya Raas
Dandiya Raas
Dandiya Raas
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