Thursday, February 25, 2010

There's a reason I'm called Sandy.............

Sanding,  sanding, sanding and more sanding.................

Here are a few of my favourite tools for sanding.
I realised that the little pedicure tool (far left) has just the right sized sanding heads for getting into the fingers and hard to reach areas. 


What an improvement!  You see you can get past the ugly stage!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The ugly stage.....

Oh my Gosh!!     The camera does not lie!!     What's the ugly stage!! 
Now this is somehow true for my creations.  They all have an ugly stage.  This is a warning to all you inexperienced doll makers, if it happens to you - there is a solution - I have been here many times and the solution just have to push through it!  Trust me. 
There is a stage of doll making, where you look at what you are doing, and you can easily be put off.  How is this mess ever going to be what you have visualised in your mind's eye?  Even with cloth dolls, there is a moment where you think - "How can I make this look............"
So here I am, in the middle of my "creation"  
I excitedly take a picture  -  and I have this ..................
As you can see, I enthusiastically added a possibe hair style.
I thought she would look like Rapunzel - obviously not quite!
Now there is a lot more sanding, painting, finishing and adding of body parts to improve this situation.  A lot more work to be done!
So I am not disheartened - yet.  I have faith I am on the right track.
We are all going to be surprised by what this doll is going to be!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Doll Making Frenzy

So as you can see I have gone mad.  I have heads, hands, legs - it's all happening at the moment.  This is very strange, I have just moved from one part to the next and thankfully with it still being Summer the warm weather is helping the clay dry quite effectively.  While I'm waiting for one thing to cure, I move to the next bit - see there is a reason why I make more than one thing at a time. 
Head in progress, I'm still working on the eyes as you can see.    The second head is also waiting to be finished and sanded.
And then there are the hands.   I actually found these to be not as daunting as in the past.  The small stick on the left is a paper wrapped floral wire with a coating of clay.  I made 20 of these and then made them into 4 hands.  Bending the fingers to a pose and adding more clay is just the start.  There has to be a lot more sanding and adding of clay and shaping.............................

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Finally some inspiration!

Two years ago I made a doll with Ankie Daanen.  I don't know what happened, but after that doll, I did not sculpt another since then.  I have been working on clay over cloth.............which is similar - but not...........  I just did not want to go near a full sculpt since that workshop!  Admittedly it was an intensive 2 days which are usually a 5 day workshop.  I was so excited to meet Ankie, and she was so supportive and encouraging, and yet for some reason I was totally put off this style of doll.   There is something about this doll which I am not happy with.  To be quite honest, I think it is because there is a lot of Ankie in the doll and not much of me.   That is all I can put it down to.
But this week I met a lady who is a textile artist, she was doing beautiful work with beads and embroidery and papers.  She showed me a small journal she had made and we talked about art and self expression.  I have been complaining for months about my lack of inspiration, my lack of time management and my inability to be creative...............well after our talk, I suddenly got excited about making a doll - my own way.  From what I have learned so far..........
So I rummaged through my cupboard and found these heads!The little one peeking around the bottle on the right is one I have started to work with.  She needed her eyes fixed, but other than that she was pretty good.  When I did the original sculpt,  I started with a styrofoam egg and applied Darwi air dry clay - it is a little heavier than paperclay, but she will do.  She is the right size.  My plan is to make a doll which is about 17".  However, I know that for some reason, I need to be working on more than one thing at a time, so I decided to start another head, this time with paperclay.  I am amazed that I am so focused at the moment.  I actually can't wait to finish the dolls to see what I make!  What a surprise!

Monday, February 8, 2010

This time I'll try this........

So in an effort to try to get something creative done, I thought one of the easy mask face dolls would not take too long, and I would have a new little doll.  I decided to experiment with a method using buckram - a stiff pre-glued mesh used in milinery.  Now, the buckram I have comes in 6" strips - not quite big enough to cover the doll head I chose.  Because this is the base of the mask, it would be necessary to make 2 layers crossed so that the main part of the face was covered.  It should work.  We'll see.......................
2nd layer of buckram - dryingNow the buckram has dried, a first layer of cotton knit fabric needs to be applied.  Using the doll head to keep the shape, an application of PVA glue to the buckram mask, and then gently pressing the fabric into place..................
And another layer..............
Now making a smooth edge, pressing out the folds
 to the edge of the mask.  Making a ball for the back of the head from a cut off sock and glued into the back of the head, then stretching the cotton knit over.  I then had to wait 24 hours for the glue to dry!!   The mask was softened until all the glue dried, then it went hard again.   Very interesting..................