The Story Behind Our Handmade Wooden Dolls

Xenis is the creator of some of the world's most beautiful collectible dolls. These incredible handmade dolls are so exquisite that each doll is recognized as a stunning piece of art.


The company was founded in 1995 by Marlene Xenis who, in the early years worked from the basement of her home. Marlene was later joined by her two daughters, Tania and Jesse, and a team of highly skilled artisans.


Handmade out of a variety of woods including Canadian Maple, the Xenis team have turned their love for the arts into unique, eye catching, collectible characters. Xenis dolls are dressed in individually tailored, original,  eye catching designs. An Xenis collectible doll is a real treasure that can be passed down from generation to generation.


Marlene has had an artisitc flare from childhood and was always involved in theatre and music. The need to create has always been strong in her family and the ability to create something unique and beautiful that makes a person smile and feel good is a remarkable achievement.


"By bringing together the beauty and strengths of both nature and art, Xenis creates dolls that are as magical as the moment in Tuscany when Pinocchio's feet first moved on their own." - Alexander Boldizar


It Begins With A Tree

The Workshop


There are many steps involved in the creation of Xenis designs. Each doll goes through a design process that includes sketching, sculpting and mocking up many samples.


Once a sample is completed we can begin creating the finished pieces.



Each design starts with a sketch. The sketch provides a guideline to follow and a goal to achieve. The transformation from a 2D drawing to a 3D doll can be amazing.

Ross making an original sculpt out of clay. An original sculpt is made for every design.

Depending on the design, we will sometimes need several sculpts.

These can include head, hands, feet, limbs and/or torso.

Once the sculpt is finished a resin cast is made.

Resin is much more durable than clay and is necessary for the next steps.


Once the sculpts are cast in resin they are ready to be turned into wooden dolls.


Each resin cast is mounted on blocks and becomes the master for the wood carving machine.

The wood carving machine is manually run and roughly cuts out the pieces from blocks of wood.



The model is placed under a stylus, and four blocks of wood are placed under rotating cutters. As you follow the model the same shape is cut out in blocks.


Once removed from the carving machine the pieces require an amazing amount of hand work.

Using wood carving tools, chisels and sand paper, each piece is sanded down to a smooth finish with

no detail forgotten.

Once sanded the heads are ready to be sealed and painted. We use a beautiful, high quality sealer

that imparts a very warm feeling to the wood.

All the faces are painted with very light washes to allow the beauty of the wood to show through.

All pieces are now ready for stain and any finishing touches. Many of the stains are mixed in house,

this guarantees that we get the perfect colour.

In the image above, the 3d doll, The Little Tramp is almost ready to be assembled. He is just waiting for his hands and shoes. Many

of our dolls also have music boxes hidden in their stomachs.

Tania putting the finishing touches on some pieces. Here Tania cobbles buckles onto a pair of boots.

A partially sanded pair of shoes next to a finished pair.

The Little Tramp
The Little Tramp

The finished Masterpiece. The Little Tramp.