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The Marriage of Dolly and Hector


Dolly and Hectors First Dance


When I am approached with a commissioning request I know I am in for as much of a treat as the client. Sharing stories is what fuels my work and being asked to create a piece with someone else’s history and story is great inspiration. Sometimes it’s a decorating a childhood toy, or creating a gift for a birthday, Valentines Day, moving jobs etc. I can include names, or favourite animals or family mementoes. Sometimes they are huge projects – like 2 biographical pieces for a transgender client, or a piece to celebrate the arrival of a surrogate baby. And sometimes it’s a wedding.

Births and weddings are so special to be involved with. To hear the story of the family and the special circumstances and details that I can include in the work is a privilege. In this wedding piece I was able to include guest names, something blue, a baby, the wedding cake, something borrowed, and the rings.


The spheres around the neck of the piece were seedpods that the pair had collected on their travels, and I used these to house the personal elements from the pair. The guests are all arriving dressed up on the decoupage base, and the couple sit on top, again with little treasures they had collected and I could adorn to the figures. The Marriage of Dolly and Hector took a couple of months to make, going back and forth, but was such a joy to create.

Their story is one of so many coincidences and near misses, and it seems like it was destined to be. So now I will introduce you to Dolly and Hector and my version of their story….

Dolly shared her first kiss with Hector.

Twenty-five years ago in St Ives, on holiday at a caravan park with her family, Dolly clocked Hector. Following a brief flirtation over a game of table tennis, they kissed. They arranged to meet the next day at the shower block. Dolly never got to see Hector trying to act cool, but checking his watch. Her parents had decided to leave at 5am to beat the traffic home. She replayed the kiss over and over in her head, in disbelief that her first holiday romance at 14, had been quashed before it even started.

They met again 3 years ago, speed dating, Dolly knew there was something about Hector, who knew there was something familiar about Dolly. They swapped stories.

Hector went to University in Manchester, and worked at the student union. Dolly’s best friend also studied in Manchester. Whenever Dolly visited they went to the Union. Hector probably served her.

Dolly conquered the Inca Trail in 2000, in fact she celebrated the millennium at Machu Picchu. So did Hector. He can be seen partying in the background of Dolly’s photos.

Years later in Leeds, Dolly was knocked off her bike by a bus. Hector had been on the bus, and lost his job for being late that day.

Hector proposed almost immediately. Dolly said yes straight away. They didn’t want to lose each other again.


Some things are just meant to be.


I love to hear your stories, please do get in touch if you would like to find out more about commissioned pieces, and creating a bespoke piece of art for a special occasion.

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Email - michaelamcmillan@hotmail.co.uk  

Image © michaela mcmillan 2020    |     Photography by Paul Lapsley 

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