Monday, October 31, 2011

Hip Joints




I took apart Carving Wax Test Doll in order to play around with her hip joints. The left hip joint slot was angled, and I wanted to make it straight. I used my 25W soldering iron with the forged flattened tip to fill in the slot. This is what the first pass of filling-in looks like.






In this shot I have completed filling in the slot.






Meanwhile, Carving Wax Test Doll is holding onto her feet.






Here, the filled-in slot has been scraped down with the paring knife.






The hole in the hip joint socket of the left leg is wonky.






I carved a round plug from a piece of scrap carving wax and pressed it into the hole.






This is what it looks like after welding the plug into the hole and scraping it down.






I used a drill bit to drill new holes in the upper leg ball joint and the left leg hip socket. Then I re-strung the lower torso to see how it worked. I will be playing around some more with the hip joints and the knee joints.






Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Drafting Series




I would like to point to this wonderful series on drafting slopers at http://www.ikatbag.com/. I found it when I was searching for something else. Part XIII: Using Slopers With Commercial Patterns gets into adjusting existing patterns, such as store-bought human-sized patterns, or maybe even patterns from doll books.






BTW, the book that is pointed to in that drafting series is:



Pattern Drafting for Dressmaking.
Pamela Stringer.
UK: B.T. Batsford Ltd.,1992.
ISBN: 0713469870

The book description from Amazon.Com:

This easy-to-use guide to drafting patterns for individual designs is aimed at anyone who wants to learn how to make patterns, from taking the measurements to constructing the foundations to drafting the actual pattern. The book concentrates on teaching the principles of pattern drafting and will equip the reader with the knowledge to draft any pattern for any design. All the methods can be applied to men, women and children, whatever their shape or size, and the contents include skirts, dresses, bodices, collars, lapels, sleeves, trousers, culottes and shorts.




She also mentions Make Your Own Dress Patterns by Adele P. Margolis, which I checked out from the Public Library previously. It doesn't cover drafting, but it does cover adjusting existing patterns.




Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Doll Clothes




Today I found some books at the local used-book emporium.

This book has a delightful range of patterns for dolls that are from 9 to 22 inches tall. Many of the costumes are for fantasy characters, and they are very whimsical. Many of these clothes are made from odds and ends found in the home, such as ribbons, beads, artificial flowers, fabric remnants, gauze, and handkerchiefs. I have learned a wee bit about pattern drafting, and I am sterting to learn about how to adjust existing patterns to make a perfect fit. With this skill, I should be able to use just about any pattern out there to make clothes for Aalish, when she is finished.



The Perfect Book of Doll Clothes.
The Vanessa-Ann Collection.
NY: Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., 1991.
ISBN: 0806984740




I recently learned how to crochet when I crocheted a wig cap. This book is geared toward novices, and besides having a good introduction to crochet in the beginning of the book, also has 20 cool crochet patterns. I am looking forward to learning more about crochet when I try to adapt some of these patterns for Aalish, when she is finished. Full size patterns can be used to make doll clothes if a smaller hook and yarn are used to make them (or so I've heard).



The Cool Girl's Guide to Crochet.
Nicki Trench.
Bath, UK: Parragon Publishing, 2006.
ISBN: 1405483458




This book was right next to the crochet book, and they each were very reasonably priced at $2.10 and $2.15 respectively, so I picked it up too. I already know how to knit, so I got this book for the 20 patterns in it. Likewise for knitting doll clothes from full size patterns, if you use smaller needles and yarn, you can use the human patterns for dolls.



The Cool Girl's Guide to Knitting.
Nicki Trench.
Bath, UK: Parragon Publishing, 2005.
ISBN: 1405483466




Finally, I found this very interesting book about making Japanese clothes. I would love to make a kimono for Aalish, when she is finished, so I picked this book up as well. It has patterns and construction details for making all kinds of different Japanese clothing. One of the most interesting things I saw when I looked at this book was about how kimonos are cleaned in Japan:

All hand-sewn kimonos are completely un-stitched prior to washing. Then the pieces are arranged and basted together to resemble the original bolt of fabric from which they were made. Then the yardage is completely laundered; spots removed, faded ares retouched; then a rice or seaweed sizing is applied to the clean fabric. Then the weave is straightened and re-stretched to its original size by smoothing the wet fabric out on a long narrow board. When dry, the fabric is peeled off the board, the basting is removed, and the pieces are reassembled into a kimono.

Here again, I believe I can modify these human patterns to fit Aalish, when she is finished.



Make Your Own Japanese Clothes: Patterns and Ideas fro Modern Wear.
John Marshall.
NY: Kodansha International, 1988.
ISBN: 087011865X




Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Reclaiming Wax




Today I reclaimed some old candles while I was working on my doll.






Water and plaster do not mix. I soak the plaster mold in water, then dab out the excess water before I pour molten wax in the mold. When the wax starts to setup, but is still soft, I score it with a knife so that it can be broken into smaller pieces, for remelting later.







Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Dolls Clothes




I found this book at the local used-book emporium for $3.50 USD. Even though the patterns are not for ball-jointed dolls, I think I will be able to use them anyway by simply reducing or enlarging them. There are over 75 patterns in the book, and each one is presented in three sizes, from 38cm to 58cm tall (small, medium, and large). This is a hardcover book with glossy pages, very much like the Hobby House Press doll books. It should last a very long time. Even though I found it in the used-book store, it is in very good condition, with no marks of any kind inside the book. Also, the price was right.



Dolls Clothes: Create Over 75 Styles for Your Doll.
Mette Jorgensen.
Chudleigh, Devon: David Porteous Editions, 1998.
ISBN: 1870586328




This is the progress on my Los Dias de los Muertos projects, featuring La Calavera Catrina.

I added a decorative border to the front of the nicho, using acrylic paint and nail polish.



This one is still the same.



I made a dress and a nicho for this one. I still have to paint the nicho. I'm also going to make some more polymer clay roses to go inside. I may also add some doors to the nicho? I don't know yet. I like the idea of reveal/conceal. This nicho has glass in the front.



All these nichos are made from scrap wood or plaster in my studio.




Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

100% Pure Silk




One very inexpensive source for 100% pure silk is the Trift store. I am planning to put some fancy clothes on the Dollar Doll with some of this silk. La Calavera Catrina is The Elegant Skull, after all. I will also make a nicho for her. I hope to finish this little side project before Los Dias de Muertos, which are celebrated on November 1st and 2nd.






I have taken this Calavera Catrina as far as I'm going to take it. She got a fancy hat, I painted the roses with Rambling Rose nail polish, and painted a rose and buds at the top of the nicho. The fancy hat is made from an old shoulder pad and the collar from one of the silk blouses, bunched together. I really need to get some smaller paint brushes because all the ones I have are too big to do any detail work.






Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Catrina Otra Vez




These are some little side projects I have been working on. They are still works-in-progress. I am having a lot of fun making these nichos with La Calavera Catrina themes.



From left to right:

1. The polymer clay skull I modeled and baked the other day. I cut open the top of the skull and removed the paper and aluminum foil core. Then I sanded the back of the skull to make a flat spot which was used to glue the skull to the back of the nicho. The roses are the same roses that I made the other day. I just robbed them from the paper nicho I made. The skull and nicho were painted with Delta Ceramcoat Acrylic Paint. I still need to paint the roses, and also paint a design at the top of the nicho. The nicho was made from an old coddle, used for a small plaster mold. I like the patina of plaster on it.

2. A while ago I made a moulage mold, but didn't have enough moulage, so I used some plaster to help make up the difference. The nicho is made from that plaster. Inside are two plastic skeletons from the local Dollar store. I painted the faces with Acrylic paint and glued the skeletons into the plaster nicho. This is about as much as I'm going to do with this piece.

3. This is a doll from the Dollar store. Yeah, it cost a dollar. Not too long ago I saw a tutorial about how to take one of these dolls and make a pose-able doll by cutting the limbs at the joints, drilling holes in the ends of the limbs, and gluing wire into the holes with SuperGlue. I had no idea that these dolls' limbs were solid. Anyway, that got me thinking, and after seeing some tutorial videos on YouTube about applying La Calavera Catrina makeup, I decided that $1.00 was not too expensive. I bought two dollars worth of dolls to play around with. This is the first one. She has rooted hair, painted eyes, and is minimally articulated at five points. I have painted her face and hands with Acrylic Paint, and have started applying the La Calavera Catrina makeup with a black Permanent Marker. I will finish her up with Acrylic Paints, and will dress her up fancy.

This is the same type of thing I would like to do with a head from the Aalish mold when I finish her. I think it will be much easier to apply make-up to a 9cm doll head.




Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Hole in Lower Torso




Today I trimmed off the remainder of the spare on the carving wax lower torso, and made the hole as even as I could. Every little bit helps.






Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Art S. Buck Human Models




Art S. Buck 1/6-scale Human Models at Dick Blick are on Sale !!! They normally list for $24.99 USD, and they are selling for $17.29 USD at this time. That is 30% off.

They claim that these artist's mannequins have over 30 points of articulation, but I was unable to count 30 points on either model. Still, over 25 points of articulation is pretty good !!! I believe that 1/6th scale is about the same size as a Barbie doll (~11 inches tall)?





They are a gray color. They look quite detailed in the face and hands.




Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Polymer Clay Skull




I have this box of Polymer Clay in my studio that I must have purchased over ten years ago. It is still very pliable, so I used it to make a skull. I have been wanting to model a skull for a very long time. I started by wadding up some newsprint into a ball, then covering it with some old aluminum foil. I inserted a bamboo skewer into the ball. The I put some slabs of polymer clay over the ball, and modeled it into a lighbulb shape. That was the base I used to make the skull.

I modeled this skull from memory, without looking at any anatomy book references. I just wanted to see how familiar I was with the anatomy of the skull. Well, I really need to study, it look s like. I baked this skull at 275 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour and a half in a toaster oven placed out on the porch. The old polymer clay baked nicely, and after a cool-down, was nice and hard.






I also made some polymer clay roses which were baked in the toaster oven for half an hour at 275 degrees Fahrenheit. They also turned into a hard plastic. I glued the roses to a small paper Nicho De Santos that I am making from cereal box cardboard, and covering with magazine clippings. It is a work-in-progress.



I also went to the local Dollar Tree today and found all sorts of little skulls and skeletons that I am going to glue into some nichos that are on the drawing board. This is a great time of the year to find skeletons, skulls, wigs, and other interesting things that can be used to make arts and crafts for your doll.




Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Neck Hole




I drilled the hole in the neck. Carving wax drills cleanly. After test stringing, I will have to fill this hole to make the final plaster molds for slip casting.






Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

La Calavera Catrina






La Calavera Catrina ('The Elegant Skull') is a 1913 zinc etching by Mexican printmaker José Guadalupe Posada. The image has since become a staple of Mexican imagery, and often is incorporated into artistic manifestations of the Day of the Dead in November, such as altars and calavera costumes. Wikipedia

I am fascinated by the Calavera Catrina sculptures that I see on the Net. When I finish Aalish, I want to make her a calavera costume, and either make a skull mask, or give her a skull face-up.

This is a YouTube video that is an example of what I would like to do:
"La Catrina" by Florentina Gloria.




Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

An Unusual Mold




I found an unusual type of doll mold today. The mold is made of fired clay, and it is used for making papier-mâché dolls. The grooves in the clay are for cutting the paper layers off of the mold. This idea might have some sort of use for making ball jointed dolls?



I found it here.




Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Repair Job




I beveled the inside lower edge of the upper torso so it would fit the lower torso better, but I trimmed too much off, and the fit was much worse. So I had to go back and repair it. A repair, in this case, meant to fill-in the beveled edge.

This is what I did. I have some old, used aluminum foil in the studio, so I tore off some of that, and flattened and smoothed it as well as I could, then I folded it over a couple of times to make it thicker. I used that piece as a dam on the inside of the torso. The dam was held in place with some pieces of oil clay on the inside of the torso.

I supported the upper torso, upside-down, in an oatmeal box with some plastic bags stuck in it. That left both of my hands free. With one hand, I held a scrap of carving wax, and with the other hand, I manipulated my 25W low-wattage soldering iron (my cheap wax pen). I was able to control exactly where the melted carving drops fell in the bevel, and I built it back up to the level it was before I trimmed it.

I only worked on a section at a time, then moved the aluminum foil dam to fill the next section. The section I filled in this photo is inside the red parentheses. Click on any photo to enlarge it.






After the carving wax cooled, I was able to easily peel the aluminum foil away from the carving wax. As you can see from this photo, the carving wax stuck to the lower torso, but not to the aluminum foil dam.



Overall, this technique for doing this kind of repair worked very well and was inexpensive, fast, and easy (all three !!!).




Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Scraps and Trimmings




I'm still working on the carving wax upper torso. My little tray of carving wax scraps and trimmings was getting full, so I picked out some pieces that I think I can use for filling in holes, and dumped the rest of the scraps in the wax pot. Carving wax is reusable.






So this is what my little tray looks like after emptying it into the wax pot.







Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.