Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Upper Eyelids




I worked some on the eyes today. I put some upper eyelids on. Then I saw that the eyeballs were bugging out too much, so I pushed them back a little bit. They look better now. I also saw that I need to add some wax around the eyes, especially in the cheeks and the outer brows. Not much, but a little. Well, at least the head isn't looking at me all google-eyed anymore.



The head shape, looking at it from the top is still wrong. I am going to have to do some radical changes to the head, from that point of view. Then I can add some ears.




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Monday, May 30, 2011

A BJD Head Tutorial




I would like to point to this wonderful BJD Head Tutorial at the BJD Magazine site. It is by Linda Macario, a doll maker in Italy. Since I am currently working on the head, I am studying many head modeling tutorials, and this is one of the best.

BJD Magazine also did an interview with Linda in two parts: Part 1 and Part 2.

Linda's blog is at: http://lindamacariodolls.blogspot.com/

Her web site is here: http://www.lindamacariodolls.com/




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Sunday, May 29, 2011

More Head




The widest part of the head is right in front of the ears, at the zygomatic arch.






I am not sure if the head of Aalish is the correct shape?



I need to put some new ears on Aalish !!!




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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Modelling Heads and Faces in Clay




I got this book in the mail. It was recommended by a member of The Joint, a BJD making forum.



Modelling Heads and Faces in Clay.
Berit Hildre.
London: A & C Black, 2008.
80 pages. Illustrated in color.
ISBN: 978-1408102671

This is a how-to book with step-by-step photographs of how to model the head and face in clay. There are also anatomical illustrations with explanations of the underlying muscles and bones. The proportions of the head are covered, as well as all the details, such as the nose, the mouth, the eyes and the ears. Head poses and facial expressions are also discussed. Although the book is not specifically about modeling a head for a ball-jointed doll, I believe the information in this book will be useful for a beginning doll maker. Since it only has 80 pages, it can be read in a relatively short period of time, however it will also be a good reference book for modeling a doll head.




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Friday, May 27, 2011

Knee Ball Joint

Compared to my own, hand-made brown wax ball joint, the plastic knob is much smoother and more round. I found this plastic ball in a box of miscellaneous things at a yard sale, and bought it along with several other similar plastic knobs. I am planning on making a moulage mold of the plastic knob, and casting some wax into the mold for use as knee joints for Aalish.






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Thursday, May 26, 2011

More Hip Joints




Today I got a chance to work some more on the hip joints.



I used the white cue ball to make the adjustments to the hip sockets. Also, I removed the existing ball joints from the upper legs, did some heavy modifications on the top of the legs, and replaced the old balls with the new balls that I cast from the cue ball moulage mold.

I can see that now I need to make a moulage mold for the knee joint balls. I have a plastic knob that I am going to use for the knee joints. It is a little bit bigger than the old ball joints. It seems that all of my ball joints have gotten bigger with this second work-in-progress BJD.




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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Hip Joints

I have been working on the hip joints. I trimmed one of the brown wax castings, and have been carving out the socket in the lower torso to fit the cue ball.






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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Learning To Be A Doll Artist No Longer Available






The latest news is that Reverie Publishing is no longer going to publish Learning To Be A Doll Artist by Martha Armstrong-Hand. They found out that Jones Publishing never owed the rights to the book, so the agreement they had made with Jones, was completely invalid. It only took them eight months to find this out. They say they are going to try and get the rights to publish the book from the family, but I do not see that happening any time real soon.




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Monday, May 23, 2011

New Hip Joint Castings




Today I melted and poured some wax into the moulage mold I made yesterday. This is the first casting, finished.






I ended up making two castings from brown microcrystalline wax, and two castings with carving wax. I think they came out pretty good.






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Sunday, May 22, 2011

New Hip Joint Mold




Today I made a moulage mold of the cue ball that I had found at the Thrift store. This is the oil-clay build-up, and a strip of cereal box cardboard for the mold box.






The oil-clay spare is tapered so I can remove the casting. The cardboard strip for the mold box is fastened with masking tape.






I placed three oil-clay registration keys around the edge of the clay build-up of the first half of the mold.






After melting and pouring the first half of the moulage mold, then letting it set up in the refrigerator, I flipped the mold over and removed the oil-clay build-up, so I could melt and pour the second half of the moulage mold.






The finished mold, ready to pour.






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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Sewing And Fitting




I found an excellent sewing reference book at a local used-book emporium. 360 pages bound in a three-ring binder, with tabs. It is a beautiful book. It covers sewing just about everything, and also has invaluable Tailoring sections. I have been looking for the Reader's Digest Sewing Book that is highly recommended, but this one looks like it will fit the bill.



Better Homes And Gardens Sewing Book. Second Edition.
The Editors of Better Homes and Gardens.
NY: Meredith Corporation, 1961, 1970.




I also found a Threads publication about fitting clothing. It is filled with some excellent articles about fitting clothing for human sizes that I am hoping I will be able to translate into 1/3 doll scale.





Fitting Your Figure: From Threads.
A Threads Book.
Newtown, CT: Taunton Press, 1994.
ISBN: 1-56158-083-X

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Friday, May 20, 2011

Reworking The Head Nº 4




Today I worked a little bit on the nose. It does not look like much. I try to do a little bit of work on my doll every day.






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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Reworking The Head Nº 3




Without any eyelids, the eyes look frightened.



I carved out the inside of the head so these 16mm acrylic eyes would fit in the sockets. I am not sure if this is where they should be, but I am closer than before. I am figuring it out as I go along.




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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Reworking The Head Nº 2




I removed the temporary 14mm eyes in the head, and am carving out the inside eye sockets so these 16mm eyes will fit in the sockets. Theoretically, there is supposed to be a one eye space between the two eyes. That means the center of the eye pupils will be 32mm apart. The head should be 9cm from the bottom of the chin to the top of the crown. 9cm X 7 head lengths equals 63cm. The total shrinkage that I am expecting from the doll composition slip is 6 percent. 63cm X .06 equals 3.78. 63cm minus 3.78cm equals 59.22cm. My 60cm BJD will be closer to 59cm tall.






The ears are theoretically tilted back about 15 degrees, and are located from the bottom of the nose to the top of the eyes. This is about where I will be placing the new ears. Ears have about five major parts to sculpt: the helix, the ear lobe, the anti-helix, the tragus, and the conch.






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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Reworking The Head Nº 1




Today I decided to do some work on the brown sculpture wax head of Aalish. I removed the 14mm eyes, which will be replaced with 16mm eyes. I also removed some of the cardboard armature, the ears, and started reworking the mouth. This head really needs a lot of work.






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Monday, May 16, 2011

Modeling With Hildegard Günzel Video Part 2






Today I watched Part 2 of the Modeling With Hildegard Günzel video. This is a VHS video made in 1998, loaned to me by a friend. This video is an English translation of a German language video. It was produced in Germany, and the translation was a voice over dubbing.

Part 1 covered modeling the head and breast plate. Part 2 covered modeling the forearms and hands; as well as the lower legs and feet. Hildegard shapes the forearm and palm of the hand from one piece of clay, which she split into two parts, one piece for each arm. She is modeling with the Plasticine clay. The palm is a part of the forearm piece of clay, which is shaped at the end of the piece of clay. Then she cuts the thumb from the palm and models it. The fingers are modeled separately and added to the palm, then modeled and blended in. She works on both arms and hands, developing them as she works, never letting one get too far ahead of the other. When the arms and hands are almost finished, she puts them in the refrigerator to get cold, and harden up. Then she works the final details in the hardened clay. She uses water to smooth her clay pieces. I think it is her attention to detail that makes a Hildegard Günzel doll so special.

Next she works on the lower legs and feet. The feet are attached to the lower leg, and they are modeled together as one piece. She makes the toes on the feet by cutting four cuts with her knife to make five toes. She works deftly, with strong bold modeling in the beginning, getting more and more detailed as the modeling progresses. She models both legs and feet at the same time, never letting one get too far ahead of the other.

I really enjoyed watching this video, and seeing how Hildegard Günzel used her modeling tools and her hands and fingers to make the doll. This video was about making a Plasticine clay doll for molding in plaster to make a porcelain doll with a cloth body. The video did not cover plaster mold making at all. In fact, she recommended at the end of the video that she thinks that beginners should have a plaster molder make the first few molds for their dolls, and only attempt making plaster molds after they have completed three or four dolls successfully. She may be right !!!

As Linda Macario so kindly commented on yesterday's post, Hildegard Günzel also has published a book about making a porcelain doll, which includes tutorials about modeling the doll, molding it in plaster, and painting it. It is a beautiful book, and I have it in my studio library.



Creating Original Porcelain Dolls: Modeling, Molding and Painting.
Hildegard Günzel.
Cumberland, MD: Hobby House Press, 1988.
ISBN: 0875883397




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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Modeling With Hildegard Günzel Video Part 1






I had a chance to watch Part 1 of a VHS video called Modeling With Hildegard Günzel that was loaned to me by a friend. Part 1 was all about modeling the head and shoulder plate for a doll. It was modeled in Plasticine clay. Her method of modeling a doll head was very similar to how Philippe Faraut models a head in clay, with very slight variations. I am a fan of Hildegard Günzel's dolls, so this was a very special video for me to get a chance to see. I will make a better review of this video after I have had a chance to watch Part 2.




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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Another Sculpting Video






Back in April I got to watch a VHS video that was loaned to me by a friend: The Art of Sculpting with Philippe Faraut Volume 1: Children .

Today I watched The Art of Sculpting with Philippe Faraut Volume 2: Expressions and Facial Construction. It was 110 minutes in length. The first part of the video was more or less a review of what was covered in the first video. The most interesting part of this video were the five minute rapid sketches that he made, starting with an infant's head, transformed to a young Caucasian person's head, transformed to an Asian's head, transformed to an African's head, transformed to an American Indian's head, in rapid succession.

Then he took the Caucasian teenager's head that he did in the first part of the video and transformed it into a young Asian teenager's head, and also played with the expressions.

While I do not think that these techniques are very useful for making BJD heads, nevertheless it is always amazing to watch a truly talented sculptor working in clay.

This video was a lot of fun to watch!

To get an idea of how Philippe Faraut works, you can visit his website at: http://philippefaraut.com/






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Friday, May 13, 2011

Adding Carving Wax




I have been adding wax to the upper torso of Carving Wax Test Doll. I am trying to get some symmetry.






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Thursday, May 12, 2011

Adding Carving Wax




When adding carving wax to a doll that will be molded in plaster, it is important to avoid undercuts, to keep the plaster molds from being too complicated.






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Upper Torso




I have been working on adding carving wax to carving wax. This is a closeup shot of the beginnings of breasts for Carving Wax Test Doll. I am trying different things, such as adding the wax with the drip method, using the 25W soldering iron; adding wax by welding pouring cups from other pieces; and adding wax using my alcohol lamp and metal sculpture tools. Once wax is added, I use a knife to carve and form the shape.



This photo was taken with a Nikon Coolpix L3 camera, given to me by my daughter. My old digital camera was starting to give up the ghost, and I was having trouble switching it on. So this wonderful gift comes at just the right time.




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