Monday, February 16, 2009

body parts......

Monday..... photo a week day! And... bet that title drew you in right? .... well, it isn't what you think....

Every doll maker has one of these.....a box of body parts..... and most have a lot bigger box than this. I am not very prolific in the doll making department...not prolific in any department when it comes right down to it, so it is a tiny box, but I do have one. (I have a separate one for bear, dog and other animal parts) ... It's kind of gruesome. We save all the experiments.. or half done things. I do it so that I can refer to them later...or try to do something with them at a later date if I stump myself midstream or if I get totally disillusioned while trying to accomplish some technique.

heads, legs ...arms..

I have been trying to sculpt a face that is sort of flat with not too much detail so that I can glue cloth over it and then do a face with watercolour pencils. I have not tried painting a face with brushes and paints, but want to try that some day too....just too much fun stuff to try and not nearly enough hours in a day..or motivation to get started any earlier in my days...

anyway.... too much detail and it is verrrry difficult to get a piece of fabric glued onto it ... I want to figure out a way to be able to get fabric onto a face... with no wrinkles evident at the chin or neck area.... so that I can get a great head onto a nice body...with a long neck in the body of the doll. That darn chin area. Unless you have a monstrous chin and a neck that goes straight down from it... it is tough. But... I persevere..., after listening to my complaints and a bit of cursing..... Mr. BumbleVee said... "why don't you try a sculpted cloth face like I know you have done... and put a nylon over it like that other doll maker does"? HuH?... this guy. Honestly, he knows more about doll and bear making than I do...because he remembers every word I ever say to him about it. Whereas, I generally forget what I say the moment I say it. But, does he mean like Lisa Lichtenfels? .... geeez...he sure has a lot of faith in my doll making abilities. She is a legend for heaven's sake!

this is the picture on the cover of her book. She is amazing. Needless to say I will never be in her class...but, the idea was a good suggestion.

I just used one of the old poorly sculpted heads for practice. Stretched a nylon over it and needle sculpted it along the nose and enough to hold it in position. Used a twist tie at the back to hold it tight. It's just a practice head....... then, put on three coats of gesso so that I could get a smooth stable face to draw on. I didn't think the nylon would even soak up anything..nor did I think it would stay in position.

If I do one later as a "real thing"...I would definitely be doing a lot more stitching on more areas to define them and also to make it hold in perfect position. I didn't really like the roughness that was still present after the tried lightly sanding the surface... but, was afraid to wreck the nylon...and it did rough it up in a few just decided to go ahead and draw on a face. I still had a bit of roughness...and I just don't really like the feel of the stiff surface.

It is a bit difficult to make the dry pencils look as nice or as soft as I want...and wetting it down.. sometimes I got some I was tentative ... didn't want to wreck it even if it was only an experiment... maybe I'll try a bit more colouring and use a Q-tip to smudge it a bit more..... to soften some of the hard lines I still see.

Hahahha...this chunk of blue Tibetan lamb fur gets a lot of use... it is used for modeling on many a face... and it looks good on all of them. who knew blue hair could look this good?

...on this close up you can see a bit of what I mean about the surface being a bit rough still. I think... maybe more sanding...then add another coat or two of gesso and the surface would be smoother. But... it still is difficult to get good results with pencil crayons. However.... maybe painting ....if I could figure out how to do that.... might be the answer. However, for the doll I want to get done within the next few months.... I might have to go back to methods taught by a couple of dollmakers..... gluing a tight weave fabric over sculpted faces.

Like this one...

.. again with the wrinkles..... still have some tweaking to do with the tecnique and the shapes in order to get the desired result.


HElen said...

What've got in the basket, gorgeous ? (red riding hood old cartoon) Some spare heads and parts :) You have some very nice heads there, seriusly.

Anonymous said...

I have done cloth over faces before and it is hard not to get those wrinkles at the neck. I have one of those blue skins too and your right it does look good on almost all the dolls. Good luck with your trials and errors!!

Shashi Nayagam said...

Your faces are lovely and your experiment head seems to be lovely.
I have done cloth over clay but I don't like the process so I don't do it much.

Jennifer Rose said...

dolls scared me as a kid lol this would have freaked me right out :p

nice to see the experiment, interesting to see how the faces can be made :)

Draffin Bears said...

I enjoyed reading about the experimenting with your dolls face.
Best of luck and it is looking really good and must be fun to see her take shape.


Cheryl said...

You make the greatest faces. Course, you've heard that a time or two. I see a Harpy head in there too!!

Carla said...

Such beautiful faces! I really like the one bottom left in the box and the one next to it.

MaryO said...

Vee, you're doing a great job already. Getting those wrinkles out is not an easy task, but I'm sure you'll solve that problem Actually a good head of hair and some clever costuming will cover up some of those for you. Your faces are lovely.

sandy said...

This is amazing, and reading how difficult you found it you did a wonderful job!!! I love seeing your creations.

Sue said...

So interesting to read your trials and tribulations on
getting rid of those darn
wrinkles! I'd say that you
are almost there! Your faces are beautiful!

S. Nicolas Originals said...

Hi. I love your sculpted dolls. I've sewn since I was six yrs old..about 60 yrs now, but have never really tried to master the art of needle sculpting. I'm amazed at the wonderful pieces you and others do. Check out this artist. She does wonderful Santas. I know she uses felting needles to achieve her wonderful features, but I've never tried that. Poked myself pretty badly so I quit. Ha!

Linda Fleming said...

I have a drawer of odd clth and clay sculpted body parts- but haven't a clue what I will ever do with them.

I love how your faces turned out.You really do great faces, Vee.

Susan said...

Not only is Mr. B Vee the Handiest of All Handy Men, he rents a chick flick for you both to watch on V Day, supplies chocolates (and I bet flowers too) "and" he listens in a very attentive matter. Let's get some of his DNA Vee your sittin' on a gold mine.

Lots of love from all of us!
xo S, Missy D, Bleet, Oliver & Gus

ps. Did you try the wheat bread recipe

Norma Soulet (AZArtist) said...

Your faces turned out great! Thanks for showing us your experiments. :)
I wish my experiments turned out that great!

Mrs Mac said...

Whilst blog-hopping last night, I came across a crafter who makes dolls from Martini glasses! She turns the glass upside-down, puts a head at the top and the wider part of the glass, where the drink would have gone, becomes the body, like a large skirt. This she fills with findings.

Dang! I wish I could find the blog address again! I think I bookmarked it on my pc. I've pinched K's laptop for the moment :) when I find the link again I'll pass it on to you. You'll love the pictures!


Creations by Marie Antoinette and Edie Marie said...

Hi Sweetie,I think you are in your own class and that you also do some awesome dolls and bears.I have every faith in you that you will find the solution you need to get your doll face just how you want it to be.I already think think its a lovely face and I love the blue hair.BTW,When you get the link to the martini glass doll let me know,I want to see that.Hugs Marie Antionette

Natalie said...

Absolutely Gorgeous!!!
So soft looking, but as you mentioned, rough on the surface. That's the only thing I do not like about having to prime (gesso) a cloth doll. It becomes hard.
OH well, what can we do?

I think your dolls are Stunning and trust me, no one would mind a pucker here and there... LOL!!!



Lisa Lectura Creations said...

You are amazing! I love your sculpted faces! Thanks for sharing your creative world with us!

Lisa :)