- Released By = Monika Viktoria and ‘Moss Dolls’ (Australia)
- Figure Name = Singing Bryophyte (Moss Edition)
- Edition Size = 100 total Singing Bryophyte’s made and then broken down into editions: 50 Moss versions, 10 Spring, 10 Summer, 10 Autumn, 10 Winter, and 10 One offs.
- Material = Resin (very hard plastic that feels like stone) figure with cardboard box and wooden stand.
- Country of Production = UK (Manufactured by Made by Cooper)
- Height = 9.5 cm (head to feet)
- Depth = 4 cm (belly to tail)
- Width = 3.5 cm (hip to hip)
- No. of Parts = 1
- No. of Extras = 1 (wooden base w/magnets)
- Released = Kickstarter Successfully Funded on March 2017.
- Sculpt Debut = December 2016.
- Release Price = $100 AU.
- Genre = Resin Art Toy
Read the full review and pics below…
Living in the Blue Mountains region of NSW, Australia; Monika Viktoria draws upon the region’s lush mountain and bush surroundings to inspire her work, along with the name of her art brand ‘Moss Dolls’.
With ‘Moss Dolls’ Monika creates custom figures, unique art toys, art, as well as intricately crafted doll haute couture. Which Monika releases to her international fanbase to much acclaim.
After many years producing custom toys and one-off pieces, the Singing Bryophyte is the first large run release from Monika. With the Singing Bryophyte being designed by Monika in Australia; and sculpted and produced in the UK by art company ‘Made by Cooper‘.
The accompanying cardboard box for the figure was designed by Monika with valuable assistance provided by Amanda Hodder of ‘Kuz and Hodsy Design’.
The wooden base was made by jeweller Larna Cooper and her father.
Finally – the beautiful hand done calligraphy on the wooden base, was done by Monika herself.
You walk slowly through a winding forest path, your head lost in thought, when suddenly you are distracted by a soft, quiet and enchanting song.
Intrigued, you depart your well-trodden path and walk towards the song’s location. As the song grows slightly louder and louder with each passing step.
Suddenly, you enter the middle of a small clearing, and look down at a small circle of liverwort, moss, and hornwort on the ground. Seemingly the location of the enchanting song…
With a look of confusion and befuddlement, you slowly press your finger into the ground… Into the greeny-brown liverwort, moss and hornwort….
Upon receiving your delicate touch, the small patch of dirt begins to crack, and a small well camouflaged creature slowly rises from within it. Shaking off the dirt that covers its green, fleshy body, as it’s four arms wipe away the grime from its eyes, and its small stubby tail sways rhythmically.
As it finishes cleaning itself, the strange creature turns on its two legs, and looks upwards to stare at you. Gazing in your direction with what appears to be a hint of annoyance.
Suddenly it dawns on you that what you thought was a mass of liverwort, moss, mushrooms and hornwort; was actually the strange creature’s head! And you feel terribly sorry for disturbing such a magical creature by rudely poking it.
Remembering how much you dislike being forcibly woken by mother in the mornings, you bow and apologise profusely to the creature, unsure if it understands.
After you finish apologising, you turn away from the creature, cheeks flushed red with a combination of embarrassment and awe.
You decide it is probably best to leave the magical creature alone and not disturb it any further.
As you tun to walk away, you notice that the song has begun anew, as a smile forms on your face…
In honour of the whimsical creature’s song, and its mossy, mushroom covered head you feel it would be appropriate to name it a Singing Bryophyte. So you do.
The Singing Bryophyte has a beautiful, sensual and ethereal sculpt – a head topped with intricately detailed mushrooms and moss, small downwards curves for eyes, an oval shaped mouth, Kewpie like body, four tentacle arms, a short tale and two stumpy legs.
The Singing Bryophyte is also stamped at the base of its neck with a “MD” / ‘Moss Dolls’ makers mark. A great addition to the figure that further cements its status as an art object.
Overall sculpt wise, the Singing Bryophyte is a mixture of design simplicity, and fine art detail. Combining perfectly to create a beautiful, impeccably crafted whole.
The Singing Bryophyte figure is made in the UK by art company Made by Cooper. Produced in a hard, light green resin. It is very dense and solid, almost like stone; and in that way unlike any other resin toys we have handled.
Further, small magnets have been inserted into the feet of the figure, and it’s corresponding wooden stand to provide extra support when the figure is placed upon it.
Our Singing Bryophyte figure has no real discernible smell at all – which is odd.
We can only assume this is due to it being made out of a very hard resin, instead of the usual lighter resin or soft plastic used in most art toys.
The Custom Work
Light green undercoat, with dark green highlights, and black detailing.
A simple paint job that evokes moss, mushrooms and lichens perfectly.
* Can it Stand = Yes
* Can it Sit = No
* Is it Easily Breakable = Sort of – it is very hard resin, but it could be shattered or chipped if thrown against a hard object with force.
* Accessories = None
With no moving parts, small size, and solid weight, the Singing Bryophyte is more portable sculpture than toy – placing it in a very unique category of objects. Think classic toys such as ‘Monster in My Pocket’ and ‘M.U.S.C.L.E’, only larger and heavier like a very well manufactured stone chess piece.
The Singing Bryophyte comes packaged in an illustrated cardboard box with clear plastic window – which, just like the Singing Bryophyte itself, is simple, elegant, and beautiful.
Whilst we are usually not fans of boxes or intricate packaging when it comes to standard art toys, as the Singing Bryophyte is a portable sculpture, the packaging is understandable; and acceptable. Providing both practical casing, as well as an interesting frame for the figure – a worthy addition overall.
Whilst the figure, packaging and wooden stand are flawless – there is a major issue with the Singing Bryophyte. Namely it’s poor balance and the difficulty involved in getting it to stand upright when placed upon a flat surface.
The addition of the wooden base, and the use of corresponding magnets on both the figure and base are meant to provide further support, which they do. However, the magnets used are very weak, and thus don’t really increase the figure’s balance much at all. Indeed, when placed upon it’s stand, the Singing Bryophyte will fall with only a slight touch.
Which leads us to wonder just why stronger magnets weren’t used, and also why the figure itself wasn’t made to balance better standalone?
Both are sadly rather large oversights – and ones that could easily have been corrected with further product development and testing prior to release.
A beautiful, ethereal portable sculpture; imbued with boundless personality; but cursed with slight balance issues.
Despite it’s flaws, the Singing Bryophyte is a brilliant designer toy (or portable sculpture) for toy fans and art fans alike!
And importantly it’s further proof of just how vibrant the Australian art toy scene is.
We can’t wait to see what Monika has planned next for her second release!
- ‘Moss Dolls’ – Instagram
- ‘Moss Dolls’ – Facebook
- ‘Moss Dolls’ – Online Store
- Monika Viktoria – Instagram
- Monika Viktoria – Facebook
- Monika Viktoria – tumblr
- ‘Orchids Designs’ (Monika’s Etsy Name) – Online Store
- ‘Kuz and Hodsy Design’ – Website
- Larna Cooper Jeweller – Website
- ‘Made by Cooper’ – Website