Meet Vanmayi and Vernica. No, they are not humans but are made out of 20,000 paper strips and 120 bottles (80 ml) of fabric glue. They are five feet tall, and recently entered the Indian Book of Records along with their makers Lavanya Nallamalli and Bhagyashri Deshpande.
After being certified into the book of records at the Madras Press Club, the duo chatted with us about their creations that stood tall and firm after 1,000 hours of labour. “We started working on it four months ago. The first two months we worked on them for three to four hours a day but the last two months, we worked whenever we found time!” says Lavanya and no, they did not work on the dolls together.
Bhagyashri is a Mumbaikar while Lavanya lives in Hyderabad. Get this: they have never actually met before, until the event. The duo is what we call ‘Facebook friends’. “We found each other on the quilling page on FB. Once, while chatting, she told me she wanted to enter the Book of Records which I wanted to too!” says Bhagyashri. “When she proposed the idea of creating the tallest 3D doll, distance was the problem. I couldn’t leave my family nor could she. So, we decided to make two separate five-foot dolls instead.”
They would talk to each other on the phone, share pictures, and hear suggestions and opinions to make the dolls better. Their biggest critic and inspiration, for both of them, were their sons. Smiles Lavanya and says, “He is a six-year-old. If he didn’t like something, he would say it immediately and ask me to change. Once when we were at a wedding, we loved the way the hair was done on a lady. He told me that’s the hairstyle for our doll.” Indeed Vanmayi, draped in a sari, had long plaited hair with flower decorations all over. She held a book that read ‘Education is Wealth’.
Vernica is a rainbow doll; the signature style of Lavanya’s quilling work. She loves colours and it showed on Vernica dress. She held planet Earth in her hands hoping to spread the message ‘Go Green and Make your Life Colourful’. “It was difficult for both of us to get the shape right. We would rework on them often and even last week, I removed her full sleeved hands and made it short-sleeved. Finally, we finished them, with satisfactory nods from our sons too,” laughs Lavanya.
Apart from the support by Hobby Ideas, R Prabhakar, regional manager, Pidilite Industries, also awarded a certificate for their contribution to the project. A certificate for excellence was awarded to Dr Pritesh who was Bhagyashri’s first quilling teacher.