Camille Allen, 28, resides in Powell River, in British Columbia, Canada. She is married with no children yet. You must be wondering about the title of this article “Camille Allen’s Babies.”
Well, Allen makes babies. No, she’s isn’t a surrogate mum. She is a very talented artist who creates miniature babies, an art form that she has perfected over the last few years. Her creations have won worldwide praise and awards, becoming highly sought after art pieces.
The beautiful marzipan babies, photos of which have been circulating online and have been featured in numerous blogs, are not made from marzipan at all. They are Allen’s creations.
You will have seen Camille Allen’s miniature baby pictures f you’ve seen the following emails:
“The Smell of Rain”
“The most expensive chocolates in the world”
“She makes babies”
“This is incredible! She makes babies…”
“Elle fait des bébés….. !!! on en mangerait!!!”
“WOW! marzipan babies”
Contrary to widespread belief, the babies are NOT made of Marzipan, icing, chocolate or soap. And they are not edible. They are also not real premature babies.
Allen molds the miniature babies from presculpt polymer clay which turns into a substance similar to silicon when it hardens. The babies’hair is fine-strand English mohair. Each sculpture measures between 2 and 5 inches from head to toe and sells for as much as $4,000.
Ms Allen makes other clay creations and has a line of dolls called Shelly Babies. The miniature babies are part of this line.
Ms Allen achieved fame after her art work and her dolls were featured on the Montel Williams show on October 25, 2005. She was also featured in an art show called The Annual Invitational Magnum Opus Show in New York, February 11, 2006. Since then, she and her babies have been featured in magazines and newspapers worldwide.
She has her own website called www.camilleallen.com. Her site goes into detail about her artwork, the babies, and how to purchase them. These unbelievably real-looking babies would make a wonderful gift.
She also offers other merchandise on her web site, including calendars, journals and postcards featuring the clay babies. She has ventured out from just Caucasian babies, to babies of other ethnicity.
There are three different tiers of dolls made in different ways. The “One of a Kind” babies stay as the original sculpture in clay that takes weeks to sculpt. This makes them the rarest of all of the kinds, as only one is available worldwide. These cost $1200 and up, due to the time required to sculpt.
Next comes the smaller Limited Artist’s Editions. Selected babies are sent to a moldmaker who casts the sculptures into resin. The resin copies are then hand finished by the artist, taking about 3 – 5 days to build up the layers of paint and apply the hair strand by strand. All the details are completed to be exactly like the original sculpture. These babies cost $300-600.
The Large edition babies are replicas of Camille Allen’s originals made by a manufacturer in China and are most affordable, with prices starting from $99.00.
Camille Allen works in a large studio in a bright and cheerful heritage building built in 1916. Her studio is filled with dolls, doll parts, dolls-in-progress and sculpting supplies. From Chinese fengshui point of view, her studio is truly a great place, with the ocean out of the window and mountains in the background.
She uses various kinds of professional doll sculptors’ clay to make the babies. The babies have soft English mohair to imitate fine baby hair and are blushed with paints for realism to enhance their tiny wrinkles and creases.
Starting from detailed photographs and a lump of clay, sculpting a life-size or miniature baby begins. It takes many, many hours of patient concentration to form a realistic baby and finish with fine details – including wrinkles and fingernails.
Allen learned the art of doll making from my husband’s grandmother just over 8 years ago. She was taught how to sculpt large life-size dolls in polymer clay.
A year later when she had some bits of leftover clay from a larger doll, she formed the bit of clay into a miniature baby. Holding the tiny baby in her hand she was overwhelmed by a feeling of protectiveness and fascination. I loved it instantly!
The first miniature baby she made was curled in a fetal position, and she even gave it an umbilical cord, as if it was still in the womb. The shape and size of the baby seemed similar to that of an egg shell. She tried this, and the baby fit perfectly inside an egg!
This was how the idea of “Egg Babies” was born. The fragile newborn baby is complimented by the egg shell, reminding us of how fragile a new life is and how gently they must be treated and cared for.
Later she tried sculpting a baby inside a seashell – thus the “Shell Babies”. The shapes of and textures of different seashells either echo the soft curves of babies, or they provide an interesting contrast to emphasize them. Some Shell Babies have pearls in their navels or are holding a pearl, like two little treasures found in one shell!