Tuesday, November 30, 2010

New Lower Arms



New lower arms have been roughed-out with wax over a slotted cardboard armature. I've also started modeling the right hand to match the left hand.






Show here is a comparison of the new arms and the old arms. The new torso is about 1.5 inches longer, overall (3/4 inches added to each of the upper and lower torso parts). The new arms are about one inch longer overall. Now the hands are about the right proportion to the arms and torso.







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Monday, November 29, 2010

New Upper Arms




The newly cast wax balls were attached to the new upper arms, wax modeled over cereal box cardboard armatures.







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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Wax Balls For Shoulder Joints




Today I soaked the plaster molds in water until they were saturated. I removed the molds from the water and dabbed out the excess water inside the mold. Next, I put the mold halves together and put a rubber band around them. I had melted some brown microcrystalline wax in a pot, then poured some into a pouring can with a lip on it. Holding the mold over the wax pot, I poured molten wax into the mold in a steady stream. When the wax had thickened enough, but not enough to block the hole in the spare, I emptied the excess back into the wax pot. I submerged the mold with the wax casting into water, then removed the rubber band, opened the mold, and removed the wax casting. Leaving the wax casting in the water, I took the mold and dabbed out the excess water inside the mold, then repeated the process to make a second ball. In the following photo, one wax ball has been trimmed, and the other one is waiting to be trimmed. These balls will be incorporated onto a cardboard armature for the new arms.






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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Ball Mold For Shoulder Joint




Today I made a ball mold for the shoulder joints of the new upper torso. This is a photo of the second half of the mold being prepared for pouring. The mold has been sealed with clay. Registration keys have been carved into the first plaster half of the mold with a spoon. The mold has been soaped.



I will mix the same 2:3 ratio of water to plaster as I did for the first half of the mold. For this small mold I'm using one half pound of water to three quarters pound of plaster. The plaster has been sifted into a bowl. The water has been weighed. I will put a bowl on the scale, and adjust the scale to zero. Then I will add the water. The scale will read one half pound. Then I will add plaster evenly to the bowl of water until the scale reads one and one quarter pounds. I will let the plaster sit without disturbing it until all the plaster has absorbed water. This is called slacking. Then I will stir the plaster for about a minute with my fingers, making sure all lumps have been mashed. I will turn on the vibrator, then pour the plaster into the mold. I already know that there will be some extra plaster left over. I have a bucket of water ready to clean out the plaster mixing bowl. Then I will let the plaster sit for one hour to set up. Finally, I will split the mold open, and clean it up. It will be ready to cast carving wax balls into.




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Friday, November 26, 2010

Making Doll Shoes










Today I discovered the Fashion Doll Shoes weblog of Tarja Simpanen from Finland. For example, here are some posts for making some silver sandals for a Sybarite BJD.

Tarja also has some videos up at YouTube for making some shoes for a Sybarite BJD.
Part 1 Making Shoes for a Sybarite.
Part 2 Making Shoes for a Sybarite.
Part 3 Making Shoes for a Sybarite.

There is a lot of information to be discovered about making shoes for dolls at her weblog, as well as her YouTube channel. Even though I am not quite ready to make shoes for my BJD, I am very happy to find this information now, and I will refer back to it when I'm ready to make some shoes for Aalish.




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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Feast Day

Today is a traditional Feast Day in the USA, called Thanksgiving. I am a vegetarian, so no turkeys were harmed in this household. Instead, a feast of Rajma, Kashmiri Greens, Cranberry Sauce, Basmati Rice, Raita, Chai, and Mango Lassi was enjoyed. Afterwards, we watched Tim Burton's Corpse Bride stop-motion animation on DVD. Since the entire day was spent preparing for the feast, no work was done on my doll today.



Don't you just adore Wednesday Addams?

Monday's child is fair of face,
Tuesday's child is full of grace,
Wednesday's child is full of woe,
Thursday's child has far to go.
Friday's child is loving and giving,
Saturday's child works hard for a living,
But the child born on the Sabbath Day,
Is fair and wise and good and gay.

Mother Goose




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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Prop Builder's Handbook




This book has a section on using alginate and moulage for mold making.



The Prop Builder's Molding & Casting Handbook.
Thurston James.
Betterway Books, 1989.
ISBN: 1558701281




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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Life Cast Reference




Many years ago I made life casts of various body parts of artist's models. These are photos of a young model's left breast. It was molded using moulage, with a plaster bandage mother mold, and cast in brown microcrystalline wax. It is still just as good as the day I made it, except for a layer of dust. I also have a foot, an ear, and a couple of faces. I sure wish I'd made a hand!

















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Monday, November 22, 2010

Moulage Molds










Many years ago I purchased some moulage. Moulage is a hot molding compound that is reusable. Heat it up in a double boiler and pour it or brush it onto your model to make the mold. A mother mold can be made with plaster bandages. These moulage molds are suitable for casting plaster or wax. When finished with the mold, cut it into pieces and store it in a tightly sealed container, so that it does not dry out. I use a glass jar that has a rubber gasket, and a wire catch to store my moulage. Even though I have not used my moulage in several years, it was good when I took it out last night and melted it in a double boiler. I just added a little bit of water to it. After melting it, I poured it into a large plastic bowl and let it cool. Then I cut it up and put it back in the glass jar. This is an amazing mold making material, and it is inexpensive because it is reusable. I am going to try and incorporate it into my doll making process.

One of the nicest things about moulage is that it doesn't stick to anything, not even itself.
One of the most annoying things about moulage is that it must be heated and melted to use it.
It is great for casting plaster and wax, and it can be reused. It is relatively inexpensive.

Moulage can be purchased at Dick Blick.

Douglas and Sturges makes the moulage.

Moulage instructions PDF 6.3K.




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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Having Some Fun With A Wig



Aalish has been wearing some 14mm plastic eyes that I removed from a Chinese porcelain doll that I bought for $2.50 at the Thrift store awhile back.

Today I remembered that the doll is wearing a wig that is very close to Aalish's head size. So, in the spirit of fun, here are a couple of photos of Aalish wearing a wig.

This photo was taken without the camera flash.






This photo was taken with the camera flash.






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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Cardboard Ball Joint Armature




Previously, I have made wax ball joints with a two piece, slotted, cardboard armature. Now I'm thinking of adding an extra piece for making more precise sphere forms for the balls. These armatures are created with cereal box carboard, a compass to draw the circles, and scissors or X-Acto razor knife to cut out the cardboard shapes and slots. The yellow and blue circles are slotted together first, and fastened with wax pellets. Then the red and green pieces are added, and carefully fastened with wax pellets. The important thing is to get all the planes at right angles to each other. Once fastened together, wax may be heated in the wax pot, and the quadrants in each hemisphere can be filled with warm, soft wax. Finally, the surface is smoothed, and a two-piece plaster mold can be made for casting carving wax of ball joints.


This idea should work for any doll maker, using simple, readily available tools and materials. A fancy box turner is not needed.




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Friday, November 19, 2010

Martha Armstrong-Hand's Method at WES

The Table Of Contents (so far) for the Martha's Method Thread at Woodland Earth Studio.

Woodland Earth Studio

I will update the first post as I add new material.




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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Comparison of Shoulder Ball Joints




The difference between the old ball joint and the new ball joint. I will be making new cereal box cardboard armatures for the new arms.






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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Carving Arm Sockets




The arm sockets on the new doll are larger. I was using a one inch diameter ball on the old doll's working drawing. The ball for the arm sockets on the new doll's working drawing are one and one quarter inch in diameter. I am using a rounded furniture hinge to carve the new arm sockets. The sharp edge of the hinge scrapes the wax away.












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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

More Modeling




Both of the following photos are of the same torso, taken at the same time, one with and the other without the camera flash. Perhaps between the two of them it is possible to see some of the modeling that was done on the upper torso today.















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Monday, November 15, 2010

Modeling The Torso 3



Today I did a lot of work on the upper torso, and a little work on the lower torso. I worked on the shoulder blades and back of the upper torso. I cut off the neck at the shoulders, and repositioned it (the cardboard armature makes it easy to reposition parts). Doing this, automatically made some collarbones. Otherwise, I just did some scraping and adding of wax on the lower torso in order to smooth the surface planes.










I did most of the work on the back today, shaping the shoulder blades (scapula). I'm not sure if you can see where I cut off the neck and repositioned it, or not?











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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Modeling The Torso 2

The upper and lower torso are joined with wax pellets, one in the front, and one in the back, in these photos. Progress is being made.



Front view.





Left side view.






Back view.






Right side view.






Front view with head and upper legs.







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Saturday, November 13, 2010

BJD Videos on YouTube




I don't have much free time to weblog today, so here are some BJD videos.
Most of them are overviews of the whole process. I hope you see something new here.

howons - YouTube
Ball Joint Doll - First Body
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAnXNhFUc6s
Ball Joint Doll - First Body - Take 2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXKHRPHz9bA
Ball Joint Doll - 2nd Head
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQE12laRsAQ

hanano001 - YouTube
Making of my 12 inches BJD
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5uKJUNzwgQ

claudineroelens - YouTube
Sculpting a BallJointed Doll
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHwAErCnSPA

kitebabe05 - YouTube
Sculpting a BJD
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLsaCnlZrAE




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Friday, November 12, 2010

A Little Bit Of Work

I wish I could come up with something fantastic every day, but today is not one of them. I try to do a little bit of work on my doll every day, and some days it is very little indeed. Today was one of those days. When I do not feel inspired, I go and clean up my studio. I empty the trash, and vacuum the floor, and dust. I put tools back in their place. I'm hoping that tomorrow will be better.




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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Looking At Faces



Sometimes, just adding a small feature, such as an eyelid can change things enough to see something new. This is one of my practice faces, and she is the closest to what I want Aalish to look like, from all the practice faces I've made so far
.





This is a side view...






And this is another side view. None of these photos look like the wax I see when I'm holding it in my hand. The camera is wicked like that.






However, after looking at the photos, I can now see that one of the things that the full-size face needs is more roundness to the cheeks. Also, the eyes and nose need to come down a little bit. Where are her ears? She has ears, but they need to come forward! The camera is monocular, and I am binocular, so while the camera can't see the ears, I can!





It is very difficult to be critical with one's own work.






Nevertheless, it is a skill that must be developed. There is also something about the mouth that is not quite right, yet. Obviously, a lot of work still needs to be done for the face. I'm thinking that maybe I need to make a mold of the face, and cast her, to get rid of the armature? I'll think about it.







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