Seeing a little girl with radiant eyes in a skullcap, playing with a motley butterfly under a tree, you do not immediately understand that this charming little creature is a doll, whose sweet smile introduces some confusion. She is so realistic with a pink blush on her cheeks that you want to touch and make sure whether this little girl in miniature was really created by the hands of a master.
Maral Garayeva is the author of this amazing composition "Tree of Life". All her characters are made by hand and “dressed” in national Turkmen costumes - mischievous brothers in embroidered shirts and tahya, a young girl with black braids and a beautiful gul-yak brooch, a young mother in a red dress and silver jewelry puts her son to bed and it seems that you can hear lullaby melodies.
Each doll – whether it be a child, a boy, a girl, a woman or a grandmother with a grandfather - has its own character and unique emotions. And national outfits add color to their image.
The craftswoman studies the history of the Turkmen costume, the direction of folk arts and crafts, in order to recreate the smallest details of the cut of the dress and outerwear, the color and design of the headdress and silver jewelry.
Maral has been making dolls since childhood and, at first, they looked clumsy, albeit funny. But she grew up, and her skills "grew" with her. She began to work in the paper glue technique, better known as papier-mâché, and the products became more flexible and mobile.
The works of the needlewoman participated in many vernissages both in Turkmenistan and in other countries of the world. Her composition "Caravan of Love", presented at an exhibition in Istanbul, made a splash among guests and professional artists. A colorful staging of the Turkmen toy and gelinaldzhy - a wedding cortege, as if by a time machine, took the audience to the village of the 19th century, spread out among the Karakum sands. A caravan of decorated camels with a tent for the bride, daring jigits on frisky horses, and nearby children on donkeys recreated a real picture of the holiday from the last century.
Maral Garayeva's dolls, like herself, radiate kindness and light. And the secret is simple - she creates almost all her works with children, from whom she draws creative energy. Behind her more than 30 years of teaching experience in creative circles and groups. Over the years, hundreds of children have learned the art of applied art and puppetry, and it is very possible that one of them will continue the amazing work of their mentor.