Tuesday, August 3, 2010


I do a little work on my BJD every day. Not every day is as productive as another. Today I didn't do enough to warrant a photograph because the changes were so small, they probably wouldn't even show up in a photograph. I'm mainly working around the knees and the ankles. As I'm filling-in small holes and smoothing out rough spots, I'm always thinking about what needs to be done, and how to do it. Filling-in is a good way to think about the BJD.

Modeling wax over cereal box cardboard armatures isn't the only way to go about making a BJD. One very fine doll artist is currently modeling Air-Dry clay over a styrofoam core. She cut the styrofoam outline of the figure with a hot wire foam cutter, then filed and sanded it. Then she rolled out slabs of Air-Dry clay to cover the styrofoam core. Before the Air-Dry clay had completely hardened, she cut the joints.

I happen to have a jig-saw type hot wire foam cutter in my studio, so I thought that I'd show a couple of pix of it here. It cost about five dollars (for the transformer), and the rest of the materials were in my studio. I used an old chess board for the table. 1x4s were nailed together for the base. A turnbuckle tensions the hot wire. The wire is regular wire, not nichrome wire. It has an ON/OFF switch and a fuse.

Use adequate ventilation when using a hot wire foam cutter. The wire gets hot enough to melt through the styrofoam, and the fumes of melting styrofoam aren't good for you!

I can't put my hands on the plans I used to build mine, but I googled for hot wire foam cutter and found this nice web page which covers the basics, and has some links to other hot wire foam cutter sites as well.

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