From the early days of rending my Barbies limb from limb in order to figure out how the shoulders, hips (and necks) worked, I have long wanted to make a pose-able doll. I’ve pored over many a beautiful example in DOLLS magazine or online.
Over the years I’ve read quite a few books on how to make dolls, and several specifically on porcelain ball socket dolls. Now there is also a wealth of information on line.
I decided that my treat for being a dedicated student at community college would be giving myself time over the summer break to make my first jointed doll in polymer clay.
Though I’ve made hundreds of dolls, joints are a whole other realm of persnickety. I did it, though it required a lot of little changes on the way, I learned a great deal doing so that will inform how the next one is done, and I’m looking forward to making her soon!
I can see marionettes in my future as well, as these are very lightweight and sturdy when made with Kato Polyclay. I used a foil and paper-mache armature that I removed after baking the clay “skin” and it would be easy enough to make them with paper mache as a final layer.
So much to try this summer during the warm weather months when its great to make a mess outside. I’m also developing great techniques for NOT making such a mess with paper mache while working indoors!
I‘ll be putting step-by-step information and photos on the upcoming dolls into the book I’m currently working on called Making Faces, Molds & Forms that will be out in the Fall of next year through PolyMarket Press. More books featuring instructions on how to make furnishings and settings for the dolls will be be in the offing as well; beginning with this first doll’s room. She’ll have an armoire, (seen at left) a bed, bookshelves and a trunk, a table and chair, and lots of accessories to fill them up.
Look for a brand new series of tutorials entitled Think Inside the Box. I started with a sketch for several different scales of dolls, and then used the sketch to size the furniture, which I started making at the same time I made the doll. She was meant to be 14 inches, but turned out an inch shorter when all was done.
Thats OK, I like her fine the way she is, and she fit just right onto the size 13 shoebox that has been transformed into her bed. I used acrylic paint that I mixed for the furnishings, specifically the armoire, when I made the polymer clay eyeballs for the doll, and I’ve been pulling out fabrics and fibers and beads as I work that will eventually become clothing, a quilt, a rug, and other bits to make the setting “comfy”. Since this first doll, Aurora Rose was my learning curve, I thought I’d share some pictures of the process here.
The next one will be MUCH better, and I’ll use those photos for the book. I thought others might like a peek at the process though! Click on the thumbnail to view the larger image or the slideshow. When I finish each setting, I’ll release the how-to that goes along with it, and then make a different style and scale, and another doll to be the model for the room! This is a lot of fun for me, and I’m hoping that it will be for readers and viewers also.