Our Story

It begins with a tree - a family tree

The Xenis family tree is ripe with creativity, self-expression, dedication to hard work and big dreams. Xenis was founded in 1995 by Marlene Xenis who started her creative journey along with her daughters Tania and Jesse. Xenis prides itself on creating timeless, sustainable heirlooms which can be shared for generations to come

"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

Our Workshop

Upon entering our workshop, the rhythmic sounds of carving tools, sewing machines and sandpaper fill the air - along with the sweet scent of wood. Our incredibly talented team of artists and craftspeople work with skill and pride to bring to life our collectable wooden wonders using traditional materials and techniques which are quite rare in today's doll world. Each of our unique hand-crafted creations are a testament to those time-honoured traditions. 


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 to observe!


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!


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 to a smooth finish with no detail forgotten.


Once sanded the parts 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 which guarantees that we get the perfect colour.





Our Team

For so many years our loyal and multi-talented team of artists has worked side-by-side with Marlene in our British Columbia workshop to bring your favourite Xenis wooden collectables to life. 

Young Ho Park

Isaac Doo
Fabrication Specialist

Ross Agro

Xenis Documentary

Hope you enjoy this short film all about Xenis!

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