Patsy Cline said it so well…some days things just are NOT all together. That’s how it is right now for the purple faerie ball joint doll that I am making. First the cat stole one of her lower arms—luckily I have made a paper under-body pattern that I am testing and it was no problem to make her another one.
After gluing the under body pieces together and giving each piece a layer of paper strips and glue, I also added some bulk with Cellu-Clay. We call it “Lint in a Box”, which is what it looks like–paper fluff with the glueyness already in the mix. Add water, and its just like modeling with mashed potatoes. Yum!
I use it to add lightweight bulk to areas that I don’t want to be flat, like her chest and bottom and thighs, and the calves of her legs. It took 24 hours to dry here in our very low humidity and 95 degree days, and I would recommend a low, slow dry in a 150 degree oven in more humid environs.
Next up I’ll be drilling larger holes in all the parts for the elastic cord to go through, and then it’ll be time to give her some skin with Kato Polyclay. The rough surface of the Cellu-clay won’t be a problem, and the clay is easy to smooth out when I layer it on. The previous ball joint doll’s underbody was picked out, leaving a hollow clay form. I am going to try leaving it all intact this time. I will do another version next that has cloth or paper on the arms, legs and torso.
It’s all part of the learning curve, and the more I learn, the more I can share with my students when I teach classes on how to do this. Before I can do that, though, I need to have a set of samples to show, and it’s fun to make them too–so I have a good excuse for playing with dolls on these hot summer days. These ball jointed dolls would also make excellent puppets–so I’ll have to string up an example.
This new doll will have a dyed silk gauze dress with a beaded bodice and silk ribbon flowers in her hair with more beads–can’t have too many beads! Check back soon and see her progress. Her purple eyes are made with half-orbs of white polymer clay and acrylic paint, with a layer of Kato clear liquid clay. They’ll get another layer added to give them a realistically wet appearance after I set them into the skull.