Junee's Fairies Reborn Magic Nursery off Monte Cristo brings dolls to life

NEW LIFE: Behind Junee's Fairies Reborn Magic Nursery is Silvia Heszterenyiova, who hopes to share her passion with others. Picture: Jess Whitty
NEW LIFE: Behind Junee's Fairies Reborn Magic Nursery is Silvia Heszterenyiova, who hopes to share her passion with others. Picture: Jess Whitty

If you thought Junee in the NSW Riverina could not get anymore spooky, you're wrong.

Just to the side of Monte Cristo Homestead is a new doll museum, featuring reborn dolls handcrafted by Silvia Heszterenyiova.

Behind Fairies Reborn Magic Nursery is a Slovakian woman, who's love of babies and a unique skill set have brought dolls to life. 

Ms Heszterenyiova said she began creating these realistic babies six years ago when her two daughters, aged in their mid-20s, gifted her first reborn baby for her 40th birthday. 

"My daughters knew how much I loved babies and I just fell in love with this baby," she said. 

"I found this woman online from the Gold Coast and I did a workshop with her and she taught me how to create my own reborn dolls." 

Since then, Ms Heszterenyiova has created more than 130 reborn dolls, which are made from vinyl and also silicone based models. 

Silvia Heszterenyiova takes us on a tour of her reborn babies.

"It takes about five days to a week to create because I have to do the skin colour and veins and the hair from using a needle one-by-one which can take up to 15 hours," she said. 

"It's a long process and requires lots of layers and baking in the oven and then waiting for the material to cool down. 

"I have to use the oven, I use a small one and standard sized one, then dry and cool down the layers and then start the process again." 

The dolls range from $200 to $1000, depending on their design, whether they have been customised and also their size. 

"Each reborn comes with a birth certificate and they are weighed to the customer's liking," Ms Heszterenyiova said. 

"Some orders can be more expensive, because they want a specially designed doll. 

"Some orders are from customers' photos and they want their reborn to look like their daughter or son, others are like me and have grown up children and some women who can't have children want a reborn to look like their child that they can take around with them." 

The doll museum opened last week and a shipping container is being transformed into a workshop area, where visitors can watch her in the process of creating a reborn. 

Ms Heszterenyiova's museum features her reborn creations, including a 'creepy' area which is home to vampire, ghost, zombie and three-faced babies.

"Yes some are very freaked out by these dolls but there are a lot of people interested in horror movies or like to have a collection of different looking dolls," she said. 

"When we had the Halloween event at Monte Cristo, I put a few of these dolls on display and people loved it and I had more orders.

"Soft silicone babies are also used by movie companies; I had one movie company, which I'm not allowed to name, borrow some of my dolls for their documentary on Monte Cristo." 

Other different babies, include ones with Down Syndrome, a cancer baby, one in a coma and conjoined twins.

The haunting of Monte Cristo 

Ms Heszterenyiova said she can feel "spirits, ghosts and energy" in her new museum and believed it was in connection to the grounds of Monte Cristo. 

"I think it would be a good idea for me to put some cameras in place for the night time when I'm not here," she said. 

"One time I was working in the museum and one of my dolls on the rocking chair, was rocking back and forth for no reason.

"I got my daughter to have a look but when we returned the movement had stopped." 

The artist said this was not the only time she felt a different kind of "energy" in the building, with majority occurring in the horror themed section. 

"It must be because I'm on Monte Cristo property and it's happened with more dolls," she said.  "One morning, I found one of my miniature dolls missing to find after searching around for it, the three-faced baby was holding her. 

"I don't know how she got there because it could've only happened if somebody pushed her." 

Ms Heszterenyiova said majority of her market is US based, but hopes more Australians will gain interest. 

"Mostly women buy my babies but when men enter the museum they ask more questions," she said. 

"I can create any baby, all year round and have an online shop."