Forest Dwellers by Whispering Grass

It’s time to reveal to you my recent obsession with ball jointed dolls (BDJ). These dolls are articulated with ball and socket joints and can bend their limbs and torso just like real human beings.  

Usually bjd doll makers create anthropomorphic dolls from various polymer clays, porcelain or polyurethane, but in this post I would like to share the works of a great local artist, who also makes bdj animals – mice and toads, to be more specific.

Please, meet Iryna Ivakhnenko from Whispering GrassHer latest animals set is called Forest Dwellers and so far consists of Manuna Mouse and Mr. Ropuha.

Forest Dwellers by Whispering Grass

Manuna Mouse by Whispering Grass

 Manuna Mouse by Whispering Grass


I met Iryna at one of the doll trade shows, where she was exhibiting her Forest Dwellers. It was fascinating how small and well-crafted these charming creatures were. One could easily see love to details and a lot of work put in every doll: hand sewn garment, tiny accessories, well-balanced and beautifully sculpted bodies, that can pose very well.

I had a great opportunity to photograph Iryna’s dolls in the park and ask a few questions in the process:

– Tell a few words about yourself.

Iryna: – I’m a doll artist from Ukraine. I chose BJD dollmaking as a synthetic form of art where I can express myself and put my skills and abilities to a good use. Occasionally I do other projects but most of my time is dedicated to a doll-related stuff. I’m a self-taught person – all I know came out of trial and error and from different open sources like books and especially from the net.

When did you start making BJD dolls?

Iryna: – I started to take interest in the BJD hobby in 2008, and after a year of research I sculpted my first BJD head. I had some experience in static dolls though but not too much.

What inspired you to create Forest Dwellers set?

Iryna: – I loved mice since childhood and even kept them as pets for some time so I know a lot about these cute critters. I decided to make a mouse who would capture the look and feel of a real mouse, and also would remind people of the old fairy tales. That’s how Manuna, the first Forest Dweller, was created. A toad followed her, because I like toads too, and toads (or frogs) and mice are neighbours or pals in many tales.

Do you plan to introduce a new member of Forest Dwellers? Which animal this could be?

Iryna: – Yes, I’d like to make the whole series with different animals of various sizes and looks. There are a lot of options: hamsters, raccoons, lizards – every creature is unique and interesting to sculpt. Though I can’t tell for sure who will be the next one.

Do you sell your dolls? Where can you buy them?

Iryna: – I have an agreement with JPopDolls (, and the series are sold through their site exclusively. The dolls could be purchased during the preorder and later during the order periods.

 Thank you, Iryna, for the interview!

Manuna Mouse and Mr. Ropuha by Whispering Grass


Manuna Mouse by Whispering Grass

Forest Dwellers by Whispering Grass



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