Okay this journal will tell you everything you need to know about my selfmade doll, Sophie:Inspiration and Start
I always loved dolls, of all kind. Then I discovered BJDs and thought they were so beautiful. I always wanted to have one, but couldn't afford it. The biggest impact on my wish to create a doll, though, was the wonderful, amazing doll-artist Marina Bychkova (Marina-B
). I've been to one of her solo exhibitions at Strychnin Gallery Berlin a few years ago, and probably lost my soul to her beautiful dolls. And so it started. I planned, then forgot about making dolls, then planned again. Last winter, I finally made a very simple, small doll from polymer clay. And then, in spring, I made the decision to just start a more advanced doll. Since I've never done that before and I was afraid of fucking it up, I HEAVILY referenced the look of the body parts from Marina Bychkova's dolls. I hope she doesn't mind... Anyway, our joint work is entirely different, and so are the materials. (Also Sophie isn't looking anywhere near as enchanting as her dolls).Materials and Joint Work
I just took the most obvious thing: polymer clay. It's easy to get, easy to work with and rather cheap in comparison to other materials. I also used wire (about 0.8mm I think) to form the clay around it. Also some masking tape to make the clay stick better to the wire. Her joints are a complicated system of wire ends, wire loops and strong, but thin, rubber bands connecting it all. The rubber band I use is usually used to make jewellery, so it can be knotted and still doesn't rip or break.
For painting her body blush I used pastel chalks and for her face painting I used acrylics and clear nailpolish to make eyes and lips shine.
The wig is the only thing I didn't make myself. I bought it from here: www.dollmore.net/
(read later why I didn't make it)
- Fimo polymer clay in the color "flesh light" (maybe 5-6 packs of the 56g size)
- "modelling tools" such as a knitting needle, toothpicks, other needles
- wire (about 0.8mm)
- masking tape
- carving knives and sandpaper
- jewellery making rubber bands
- pastel chalk
- fluffy brush
- precise brush
- acrylic paints
- clear nail polishProcess
I didn't do much prior sketching but just started right off by making her hands. This was on March 14th 2012.
I'll try a short explaination: I first cut out 10 little wire pieces and sculpted the fingers around them. Then I baked those, put them together with masking tape, then molded the palm around that and baked the finished hands. After the clay is cooled I always worked on the pieces with carving knives and sand paper (which is probably unhealthy for my lungs, but oh well...) to bring out the forms better and smoothen it all. Sometimes I also put another piece of clay onto the baked part and then baked it again, which works perfectly fine. So I build all the parts step by tiny step.
half finished lower legs, you can see how rough and bumpy the surface is. Here are the legs finished:
I first finished the limbs and then worked inwards on the body and head. I did that so I could form the joints in a way that they would fit together.
Finally, I worked on the head, which I started two times, because the first try looked horrible. Here is the progress:
The last one is her already painted. I just blushed her face and body with powdered pastel chalks and a fluffy brush and painted her face with regular acrylic paints. The I put a coat of clear nail polish over the lips and eyes.
Until this point I spent over a month making her. The Wig Fail
I really really wanted to make the wig myself. I bought fake hair clip-in extensions and cut them apart and artfully sewed them onto pieces of cloth.
I did that for about a month (!!!) and didn't get much farther than on the picture above. And I still couldn't be sure that it would actually work out in the end, that it would fit, that it wouldn't be too heavy. So I finally gave up and ordered about the smallest doll wig I could find that still looked some kind of decent.
After that I started sewing her some clothes. Socks, underware, dresses. But this isn't technically a part of making her, so I'm not gonna talk about it here. What Sophie can and can't do
Sophie is not like a BJD. Her joints aren't stiff. She can't stand on her own and she can't hold her arms up on her own. But she is, in fact, able to keep her head up and sit without falling to her back.Sophies video
To show the way she moves and how I make her pose, I filmed a video, which you can watch here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_8bFe…Sophie FAQ
I will start her own FAQ here, so if you have any questions that weren't answered in the text above, feel free to ask and I'll update this journal with the answer.
Is Sophie for sale?
- No, and she'll never be. (same with Daisy.)
Will you make more dolls?
I don't know yet. I'd love to.
I have. Daisy:
Will you take doll commissions?
- No, absolutely not.