Tuesday, August 12, 2014

And yet another...

Last in the series.  I guess you can figure it out by now.  This one will be called "The Bride That Never Was."  Another clay over cloth, this time on a 3 piece head with a flat face.  Designed this to accept a cab, added clay instead.  I also painted this head with Matte Medium after I added the skin.  Still like the plain fabric best.  Now on to designing an old body for her.

Friday, August 8, 2014


 The Reluctant Bride.  Needs a few finishing touches like felt on the bottom of the base and her head piece firmly attachedwhich means sewing through the lamb skin.  Yuck!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


  Front with head pinned in place.  Hands areAlso pinned.  Need to think of interesting bracelets for her.  Also going to give her lace mitts. 
 Back of her dress.  Those fabric  roses are from excess cut from her skirt because I made it too long originally.  Love this view.  She does look very 50s.  Don't know if I'll get to work on her today-babysitting with the grands then going to get Diva from her "sleep-over".  My dear friend Jeannie is going to take her while we are away so we are making sure Both will be OK for an extended stay.  Don't think it will be a problem-they love each other.  Just hope she will want to come home when we get back!  Diva is being very spoiled by Jeannie!  And of course we don't do that!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Skirt and underskirt on!

Front skirt and underskirt.
 Back skirt with bustle.  Needs some embellishment then on to the bustier-the only piece I need to actually make a pattern for.  The skirt and underskirt are a circle and strips.  And attaching her arms too.  Anyone guess where I am going with her???  Pretty obvious to me of course.

Monday, August 4, 2014

On to her attire!

Now that the head(s) is(are) done, I wanted to start with her boots.  Used this lovely vintage black lace I have for her stockings and the plan was to give her white leather boots but once I cut away the excess lace, I liked it!  So she got laced up sandles of sorts.  Now on to her skirt.  I am working up and out!

I also want to thank the wonderful dollmaker and author of the RHS Quarterly newsletter for writing a lovely article about me and my dolls.  Check out her website http://www.rhsartdolls.com/index.html and subscribe to her newsletter.  It is chock full of facinating art and articles.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Head Finale

I had some questions about the clay portion.  First, I use PaperClay and usually let it airdry but because it was too damp yesterday, I baked it in a clay oven at 260d for about 15 minutes.  This was long enough to dry the clay.  Slow drying is best so the clay doesn't crack or draw away from the head. Final steps in the cloth over clay over cloth head is drawing the features and adding color.  I use a Bic Mechanical pencil to draw in the features.  I usually finish the mouth first then the eyes.Next is adding shading to the side of the nose, eyelid crease and chin.  I highlighted the checks with grey then added magenta and pink.  I added purple shadows around the eyes.  Next were the eyebrows.  This is the opportunity to give her expression.  by raising, lowering them, angling them, etc.  Final step is to give her eyelashes.  I was given a box of 10 pair purchased on Ebay by a lovely friend and fellow dollmaker, Tammi in Michigan.  One eyelash is enough for both eyes.  I like them long, so I don't trim them, but it is your preference.  I also draw in fine lashes on the bottom eyelid with a Micron or Zig marker.  I wanted her to be an older grown version of the Bride as a child.  Here are the two faces together. .

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Applying Cloth Over

This is the least favorite part, but the fastest.  After sanding the head, I dry fit  the fabric. Better too large than not large enough and you can also see if there are any bumps that require more sanding.  Ask me how I know!  And once it has stuck enough, pulling it off may also pull off some clay.   I then apply a coat of Tacky Quick Dry glue to the front of the whole head making sure to get glue in all the crevices.  This glue is fairly thick but does spread easily.  Do NOT add water as this will make it seep into the fabric and that causes lots of other problems.  I also start with just laying it on the nose and then start pressing it into the face using my fingers and nails. Further burnishing can be done with something smooth and round like the end of a Hemostat or a crochet hook.  I add pins at the nostril flares top, the nostrils, eye corners and between the lips. The pins penetrate the paperclay very easily as it really isn't that thick.  The overlay takes about 3 minutes to get to the pin to dry stage.  Leave the pins in long enough to make sure the fabric is secure in these areas then carefully remove them.  Don't worry about the holes, they will self heal and be covered with color.  Then I pin the excess to the head back pulling it carefully.  Opps!  Forgot to add that pic!It is OK to stretch now to remove the wrinkles.  This keeps the fabric knit tight.  I pull it tightly under the chin to remove as much of the wrinkles as possible, then I tuck the excess into the neck opening.  You will need to trim away the excess before you sew it in place.  I use large running stitches around the head.  The hair will cover the raw edges.
For the overlay, I use a 4 way stretch cotton with about 5% Lycra.  It is about the thickness of Leotard fabric.  Not as thin as a t-shirt.  On this face, I sprayed the head with Krylon clear Matte finish to seal it.  I want to see if this will prevent pulling.  I will NOT use that again!  It actually brought up a little nap on the fabric!  GRRRR.  Will see how it takes colored pencils and fine tip markers.  Now off to draw and color.

Another face

I haven't finished the previous head though she only needs eyebrows and maybe lashes though not sure about that.  The head is pinned on the body right now but I felt like doing one with clay over.  I took a rejected Bella head, sewed the nose to flatten it a bit and gessoed it.  Then I began to add clay.  I have to say, this took me less time to do than sculpting the cloth head!  I know I know - I was told that!  It was also easier to correct errors.  Here is a mosaic of the head so far.  It is drying so I can add the cloth over.  Will probably bake it because it is very humid here, rain just stopped.  The first pic is the gessoed head, then clay added for forehead and nose.  I kept the shape and size of the head,  I didn't want to make it larger.  Third pic is adding cheek bones.  Then top lip and filtrum, bottom lip, some refining, eyelids and more defining.  Decided the nose was too long, so moved the eyelids down, opened the bottom of the eyes a bit, and moved the lips up.  Once it is dry, cloth over than color. Hopefully, once color is added, I can even out her lips if sanding doesn't do it, though I did do some correction after the last pic was taken. I'll add some pics of the cloth over process hopefully later today.  Not all the gesso is covered with clay.  A cloth head, once it is stuffed, takes me about 5 hours to sketch, sculpt and color.  So far, this took me 1 1/2 hrs.  It will probably take as long as the cloth face.  And I had already put those hours into it!  Now you know why I don't just chuck them!

Friday, August 1, 2014