I am trying something new to try and figure out exactly where the hip sockets in the lower torso should be. I remember that Martha Armstrong-Hand suggested using curtain rings, or bent electrical wire to test the size of hip sockets.
One way to test the size of these openings is by riding various size rings on the ball ending of the middle part. (Curtain rings or bent electrical wire can assist.)From: Learning To Be A Doll Artist (1999). pp.69-71. Martha Armstrong-Hand (1920-2004).
There comes a time when talk just delays action. We have enough pictures worth at least a hundred words each with which to encourage you to cut and trim, add and subtract, starting with the middle piece and fitting chest and hip piece roughly over and under it. Of course, here we have to consider the age of our person and cannot ignore anatomy completely even though we simplify. The important thing is that our construction will look believable and function believably!
When I first began my joint designing adventure I collected different sizes of wooden balls and tried them out in differnt sized sockets to determine shoulder and hip joints. Now I make drawings of the whole construction and find balls that fit the size of my drawings. For further assistance I have made a number of ball molds, so now I can cast balls in [carving] wax, ready to weld to arm or leg pieces.
This is a close-up of a part of a photo from LTBADA showing what looks like a curtain ring, or something similar, embedded in one of the hip sockets of the lower torso. In this case, Martha is making a three-piece torso, with lower, middle, and upper torso pieces. Her carving wax is white, and the ring is much darker. She has welded the ring to the hip socket. Click on any image to enlarge it.
In this photo, from LTBADA, Martha is trying the hip balls in the hip sockets. The hip sockets have rings embedded in them.
I like the idea of using rings to make the hip sockets. Below is one of my first experiments using rings. I do not have any 70mm I.D. curtain rings, nor electrical wire to make rings with in my studio at the moment, so I cut a matte board ring and welded it to the left leg socket.
This is another view of the matte board ring, welded to the left leg socket.
Here are a couple of more views of the matte board ring welded to the left leg socket of the lower torso. I can start to see that I am going to have to simplify the lower torso, instead of trying to adhere to the exact form of my original modeled figure. I must keep in mind that this is going to be a doll cast in composition slip in plaster molds, and that will dictate the design in the end. Form follows function.
I used a drafting compass to draw the circles on the matter board. Then I cut out the rings with an X-Acto knife that has a sharp blade in it. I used the wax pen to weld the matte board ring to the left leg socket.
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