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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Finally, I get to try some polymer clay ooak dollmaking!

After years of making porcelain dolls, I have always been interested in those beautifully sculped ooak dolls. The fine detail they use to really bring the dolls to life are simply amazing! There are some very talented people out there!! I have really done some research on this aspect of dollmaking and find myself with a huge desire to try it myself. The only thing that kept me from trying it years ago was the fact that there really wasn't a whole lot of information to be found on the subject but with the internet and so many artists that are willing to share what they know, it has given me the courage to finally try it. Just today I ordered a wonderful kit from Patricia Rose Studios that will help me along the way to learning how to sculpt! I am so excited to get it and hopefully within the next couple of months, I will be able to learn this skill and share it with everyone. I guess that is why I decided to start this blog so I can share this wonderful journey I am about to take with anyone who is interested. I would really like to build on this blog and take my learning with you step by step. I should have my supplies hopefully by early next week so keep checking back often for updates!

Monday March 9, 2009

The excitement of receiving my kit has really grown over the weekend but as my research has taught me, Patience is the key. I spent most of my weekend setting up a little area to work at and doing a lot more research. I found an ebay store, The Morzemore Estate, that offeres a lot of supplies for the polymer clay doll artist and they have a blog where they show some of their Works In Progress. I am so impressed by what they have been able to accomplish. Here is the link for anyone who has not yet had the opportunity to visit their store... I have found a lot of other sites that offer their Works In Progress also but I really like the Morzemore site. The artist even shows when things go wrong how she fixes them and they have a really cool tutorial on making a beautiful base out of Manzanita wood burls. Another site that offers a lot of tutorials is Patricia Roses' site. From start to finish she shows how to make a beautiful lady fairy and a lot of other really good tutorials. Here is a link to those tutorials... http://patriciarosestudio/com/html/tutorial.html
During my research, I came across another very neat website. They show the human figure (the figures are shown in the muscle stage) in different poses. The site is very neat in the aspect that you can grid the photos and do a full turn on the figure so you can see it from all angles! This would help any polymer clay artist and it is a site that I saved in my favorites for futher use. The link is These three sites are a great source for anyone who wants to learn how to make polymer clay dolls or even artists looking for some inspiration. I hope I am allowed to put these links on my blog...I am really no good at blogging and am just learning so if anyone finds out or knows it is illegal or not allowed, please let me know and I will delete them. I just wanted to share them with you because I know that they are sites I will visit very frequently.
OK, well for now, I will try to patiently wait for my kit to arrive and keep up the research. If anyone knows of any other good sites to visit, please let me know. I really want to get as much information as I can.

Tuesday March 17, 2009

YEAH!!! My kit finally arrived and boy was I excited. I rushed the stuff in the house and immediately started opening all the little boxes and unwrapping all the supplies. I popped in the first DVD and sat in awe as I watched Patricia Rose turn a big lump of clay into a very beautiful fairy doll. I hit the repeat button and had everything laid out in front of me and began to follow her and here is what I have so far. As you can see, I have one leg that is starting to look like a leg. My main concern at this point is the amount of dirt I have in my clay. I have been given a lot of advice on this subject: First, wear a white cotton t-shirt while you are sculpting. Polymer clay is a lint magnet and if you wear dark colored clothes, your sculpture will get dark lint. Second, keep some baby wipes handy and use them to wipe your hands and tools off frequently. Of course, even with these precautions, you will still get dirt or lint in your sculpture which you will have to scrape off after your first fire. I ordered a Manazinta Burl to use as a base for my doll and it should arrive today or tomorrow. I am going to try to get the other leg to match the one I have, build up the torso some and work on the arms and feet (yikes!!!). Once my base arrives, I will pose her and put her in for her very first firing. Now that I know a lot more, I should have had the base before I started sculpting to make sure the scale is right.

Thursday March 19, 2009

I knew I should have ordered the base first! So my burl arrived today and guess is way to small. I will have to remember that in the future. One hump in the road will not stop me though. If the weather permits, I am going on a hunting expedition this weekend in the woods to see what I can find. My husband just cut up a whole bunch of firewood so I will start there. Hopefully I can find something suitable.

Saturday March 21, 2009

I stayed up very late last night working and smoothing to try to get the two sides of the body to match up. I added some addtitional clay to the hips, lower abdomen and chest area. Another problem occurs when you are working with Polymer Clay. The more you work with it, the softer and more pliable it becomes. Being new, I have a terrible time working with the clay when it gets to soft so what is recommended is for you to hang your piece from the loop in the armature and leave it alone for a while (most artists agree on letting it sit for at least an hour). As it sits, the clay will harden back up making it a lot easier to work with.

Tuesday March 24, 2009

Well, the weather was absolutely georgeous this weekend so I went on a hunting expedition in the woods to see if I could find a new base but came out empty handed. I have decided to check out a couple of the local hobby shops today to see what I can find. I am currently involved in three different contests and challenges...

Bunny Contest
UFO and WIP Contest
Keep Dancing Contest

so I need to find something fast!!! Unfortunately I have tons to do this week so my sculpting will be limited to only about an hour a day. With that said, I really need to get my day started. I have to go Birthday Shopping for my Daugher who will turn 12 next month and try to find a suitable base.

NOTE: My fairy wings could not be saved :( I will also be looking for some more fantasy film while I am out today to try again.


OK, so my search still has not turned up a base but I decided to work on her pose anyway....while I was posing her, I noticed her arms seemed pretty fat so I am starting to perform liposuction on them by carving off a lot of the clay. I also decided to try the head again and I am happy with the way this one is beginning to take shape. More pics soon to come!!!!

Friday March 27, 2009

After years of making porcelain dolls, I have always been interested
I knew even before I posted the last pictures of my first head that I really wasn't happy with it. The eyelids were way to heavy and the nose was a little bit big for her facial structure. I knew I was really going to need a good tutorial to follow to be able to make a head that I would be happy with. I ran across a very good e-book that I purchased and used to tweak my dolls head and you can see the amazing results already! The book is currently on sale at:

This is a awesome book with lots and lots of information!!!! Aidamaris Roman is one of my favorite sculptors! You really need to check out her website and see some of the beautiful dolls she has made. Her website has a free tutorial on making a fairy but the book she has is a lot more detailed!

Sunday March 29, 2009

I was hoping to have more to show everyone but I ran into a couple of pretty big snags the other day. First, when I went to take the head off the stick....all that work I put into it got ruined when I did this step. As I slowly rotated and pulled the head off the ball on the end of the stick, the bottom portion of her face got pushed outward and split. I tried and tried to fix it but the more I played with it, the worse it got. Another mistake learned! I got the sticks I have when I ordered a kit of supplies but there was no good instructions on how to get the head off of it when you were ready to take it off. The stick has a small ball on the tip of it that you put the head on. Since this happened, I am going to just use the other end of the stick next time and I will defienty finish the head completely first so that I can use my embossing gun to cure the clay before I even attemp to remove it! Second, the longer the doll has sat and the more I work on the body, the dirtier the clay is getting. I tried covering her up with some plastic wrap but we have a fireplace that we use constantly during the winter. Since it has been cold here lately, I fire has been going and it burns real wood...hence....a lot and lot of dust!!! Of course my little studio is in the den where the fireplace is....grrrrrrr!!!! Last but not least, I ran out of clay. I have some ordered so I should get it by mid-week.

With these problems I feel that I should scrap this doll and start over! The weather is finally changing so we shouldn't have to burn every day now. I will have to save my sculpting for days we don't have a fire, or, move into another room while I am sculpting! I told everyone about the e-book I purchased and I am going to make that doll instead (or at least attempt to make that doll). I already made the armature and have the base clay fired so I will start adding the clay as soon as it arrives.


Just a note to add about the problem I had with removing the head from the sculpting stick: Judy from "The Beginners Polymer Clay Art Guild" :

explained to me what I had done wrong. Remember, the stick I used had a small wooden ball on the tip that you attach the clay to. The stick is not pulled back out of the head through the neck but pushed up out of the top of the head. It leaves a hole in the dolls head that some artist use to put a "plug" of hair in. There is a good tutorial on how this is accomplished at:

There are a lot of other tutorials on this page also.
Happy Sculpting :)


Tryny's Design said...

Hi Daphnel,

I like your idea on this blog. I know all the sites and I recomend them as well.
If you are interested to register the dolls look for IADR register. Many artists are registered in IADR. Around end february they made an agreement with Patricia Rose and you can now join bouth sites for 4,99 a month.
We are busy now with a tutorial Patricia is making about Playboy bunny girl. It is wondelful. Actually the play buuny is a contest to win a free prive seminar at Patricia's home.
I hope we can learn from each other and share our problems and experiences with polymerclay.
Best regards,
Your friend: Tryny

Tryny's Design said...

I forgot to tell you:

Fantasy art guild (Patricia Rose)

Sprite said...

Hi Daphne! I knew I recognized your name :)
You've made some beautiful dolls!
Polymer is a wonderful medium and has endless possibilities! BPCAG is a wonderful place to start everyone is super friendly and helpful and its full of useful info and links. Ask lots of questions there! Its the best way to learn. I'm happy to help along the way when/where possible :) I hope you will share your works in progress here.

Nice to meet you, great luck and have FUN!

Sprite said...

Welcome aboard! I'm going to add you to the challenge list on my blog shortly :)

Looking good so far. I can't wait to see your progress. Those suggestions will definitely help some. Polymer clay sure is a magnet for dirt and dust. If she's already dirty maybe use those tips more on your next piece? It's easier to get a feel for the clay especially in the beginning if we're not focusing on the dirt. Many suggest starting with darker clays for this reason. My first few were quite dirty but they sure taught me lots! :) You may want to cover the manzanita with saran wrap if you are going to be posing her on it so she doesnt get dirty from it :)

Have fun!

Big hugs,

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