so it is not a recent thing that i have taken up sculpting dolls. I have been doing so for many years but I have never realized that I could actually make a moving doll! I have been fascinated by ball jointed dolls and with being a poor university student, and an art major, I have taken up doll making once again. My first attempt was last winter/spring. She is a creature I had come up with in 4th grade and mostly forgot about. I came across some old drawings and decided it would be fun to redesign her. I tried crocheting and that failed. I could not get the detail I wanted. I had other projects I had wanted for bjd making, but I needed a simple design to test out how the joints work, since I don't have one in my hands as a reference point.
She came out a little frightning. The white polymer clay was sticky beyond belief and the only tools I had were a toothpick and my fingers. none the less... she's scary. I found out that I could carve the polymer clay easily and I loved it! (always loved carving). So I ended up frustrated then realized this was a test piece, and it didn't matter, so I had a blast and failed at joints, gluing them together in places so that things wouldn't fall apart (ie her knees) but even though she is frightening, I still love her!
This summer, before going to Japan, I was messing around with some polymer clay while watching tv and made a face. The skin tone is waaay less sticky. So this poor head was just sitting there looking forlorn, so I decided to attempt another doll. This one worked out a lot better. I had done much much more research, and had it pretty well under control... till I had to get the styrofoam out.... I forgot polymer clay is plastic... so I melted the styrofoam out from her innards with fingernail polish remover. This works great for stone based and paper based clays, but not for polymer. She still has a strange odor. It made her very brittle. if the clay was thicker it wouldn't have been such a problem, but after 4 months can tell the chemical reaction is still going on. She gets brittler every day. So I tried to make her fast. which was fine, but the clay kept chipping, so I'd fix it and bake it again... that doesn't work well for small extremely brittle dolls. her crotch has broken out in about 6 different pieces at least a dozen times, and her knees are shot.
she only needs her arms and hands, minus elbows and she'd be finished, but for her protection, especially over my Japan trip, I had to pack her safely away hoping to make a mold and cast her in resin ( a kind of hard plastic) and work from that piece to finish her.
In coming home from Japan I find out the house is on the market and my parents had packed everything up... ok not everything... but most everything but what i had taken with me. So being bored and such I ended up grabbing some paperclay at Pat Catan's. I also decided I had nothing better to do than try again! so I again redesigned my Mom-Tom, as I had none of the originals because they were packed, and set to work!
I am having a much better time with the airdrying paperclay as i can let things dry and add things on top and carve and all kinds of fun things! so it's my new fav clay! She is turning out much better than my past attempts!
Check out more pics on my flicker! http://www.flickr.com/photos/hlbmlp/