Tag Archives: plasticine

How I will make my doll hollow

My idea on making the bjd core

In my last post I wrote about a little test I made to see if I could use plasticine inside my La doll clay doll.

My idea was to use plasticine as core instead of using styrofoam. Styrofoam is a material that  a lot of bjd tutorials advise for people who make their bjd with paperclay.

The test with the plasticine and la doll clay showed that it’s possible to make a bjd basic body with plasticine, cover it in foil and THEN as main step, cover the core with la doll and move on with the real sculpting of the body.

Yeah I’m so happy it worked: I simply cut the la doll ball I made, removed the plasticine from the inside, and voila!I then had a hollow clay ball.

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How do I make my doll hollow?

Test on making a core to make my ball jointed doll hollow

As you all know, ball jointed dolls are usually hollow because they need a stringing system. After making some experiences with a polymer clay called Cernit and  with Chavant plasticine, I decided to give La doll stone clay a try.

A lot of artists that work with La doll use styrofoam to make a core:

ball jointed doll styrofoam core

Picture belongs to aimi doll

Making a core of styrofoam is a lot of work. Although this method is very well known in the BJD world and a lot of artist use this methoda, I must admit that I hope there are other ways out there =)Ways that involve more sculpting and less scetching and cutting out styrofoam…I hope you get my point.

Could I use my chavant plasticine to make a core?

I still have some plasticine and made a test with it. I made a simple ball with the plasticine, put some transparent film around it and finally, I rolled some La doll over the plasticine ball.

I’m just going to wait till the clay ball dries and cut it apart to see if I can remove the plasticine clay without having a problem. I can’t think of a reason why this method shouldn’t work….wish me luck!=)

The clay that I plan using for my bjd core (if this method works)looks like this:

ball jointed doll core

 

 

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Making my BJD-The day I learned NOT to use Plasticine

Huh? Is that really the title of my blog post today? The day I learned NOT to use Plasticine…. how can I write that. Let me explain.

There is nothing bad about plasticine or the Chavant Clay Medium that I am using for my doll making project BUT (and now listen closely) it isn’t very smart to use plasticine for a ball jointed doll. Yepp! I could have thought about that before, and I am sure some of my readers are thinking now “I could have told you”. Because, now that I have worked with the material for some days and made some experiences with it, I think it is quite obvious why you shouldn’t use it for a ball jointed doll. When it comes to Ball jointed dolls it is all about movement. And plasticine is a sticky material that doesn’t allow you to check if the balls/joints are moving.

Check out what I mean:

plasticine torso

So, this means: back to my cernit polymer clay that I still have lying around somewhere. I need a material that allows my parts to MOVE =)
It’s an experience I had to make and it’s part of the process, so I’m okay with it! I’ll show you new pics as soon as I have cleaned all my tools from the sticky plasticine and have a clean surface to work with Cernit. But I am grateful that I can still use the plasticine for my molds later on, they are sulphur free after all.

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Work in Progress Pic

DSC_0156[1]

Heeey I have continued my work on my ball jointed doll project. I’ve decided to post one work in progress picture although I don’t really like this picture. Obviously the torso of the ball jointed doll to be isn’t right this way, but after all it’s called work in progress, meaning I am just giving you an insight in my unfinished work and will still work on the torso.

The material I used is Chavant Clay in Medium. I used a hair dryer to get the plasticine clay soft. Before I always kneaded the clay in my hands but the process was waaay faster as I started using heat.

 

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My Chavant Clay has arrived!!=)

Yesterday my chavant clay NSP arrived and I am curious about how the work with this clay will turn out.

I ordered it in soft, because I read that chavant is a plasticine that comes in grades that are way harder than regular plasticine or Polymer Clays like Super Sculpey. Reasons why I think the clay may turn out to be perfect for me are:

  • It contains no sulphur, meaning I could use silicon molds in future if I wanted to
  • Plasticine never gets hard and can be reused over and over again (=more economic, plus I save some money)
  • The hard texture will allow me to carve things out of the clay
  • The soft texture while it’s warm will make it easy for me to sculpt, to add or remove things here and there etc.

These are the main reasons why I finally chose to buy this clay. I used Cernit Polymer Clay before but didn’t like the odour while baking it in the oven and I experienced some difficulties while sculpting. (But I love the look of Cernit objects, especially dolls, so I might experiment further with it another time)

That’s all for today, I’ll write to tell you about the first impression of the clay in my next post. Have a nice day!

 

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How to smooth oil based clay or the reason why i should do more and think less

Some time ago I asked myself how I could get a smooth surface of my object, done with oil based clay. Depending on the results you want in the end, it is important for you as an artist to have a smooth finish. If it’s a naturalistic doll you are doing,you will want her to have a flawless skin at the end.

Well, after searching for some information, i found out that people use petroleum jelly for that nice finish. I now read in my book from Hildegard Günzel (Creating Original Porcelain Dolls-Modeling, molding and painting) that she uses talcum powder at the end, to get rid of unevenness in her dolls. Another trick she uses: she dips her hands into warm water and then gently touches the surface to get it soft. This is something I wouldn’t have found out by myself, because i wouldn’t have thought that water could have an effect on oil based clay. But I’m sure i will soon try this out.

To complete the picture I will mention that some artists use alcohol for their oil based sculpture in the end, others use chemicals, but i will personally stick to the methods I mentioned above =)

Then you might ask yourself why it is so important to do this at the beginning, because some people concentrate on a smooth finish at the end of their work. Well, the idea is to get the prototype doll smooth now, so that later on when I cast the doll (meaning I will duplicate her, or CLONE her) i will not have much trouble getting a soft surface. The more I concentrate on a smooth finish at the beginning, the less trouble I will have in the end.

Funny enough, while updating my article on how to use oil based clay or plasticine clay, i am actually working with water based clay at the moment. This is the first clay i ever sculpted with and it has some qualities i don’t want to miss. In my area the plasticine always comes in small quantities, while the water based clay can be bought in  10 kilo bags. That would be the main reason why I suddenly decided to go for this material, as my 60-70 cm doll will need a lot of material.Sometimes I hate myself for this decision because water based clay will dry out fast, which will lead to cracks. But as every material comes with its own pros and cons, i will try only to focus on the reason why I love this material so much. Also it might help me to speed up my work a little bit,because i am way too slowly at the moment and way too perfectionist. That’s why i am writing in my blog instead of working on my doll, because I don’t have the positive drive at the moment. Maybe I should focus on “action sculpting” once more, meaning, I should try to DO MORE and THINK LESS.

I’m planning to use the oil clay that I have for sculpting faces and/or  for my molds (as backup), but as it doesn’t dry out i can reuse it for anything i like. And as you might have noticed, I keep on changing my mind during the process anyways, so just keep on visiting my blog to see what i will be doing next.

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Sharing the beginning of the bjd’s head with you

Although the head of my bjd is far from being perfect and finished, I will post it here. While writing in my blog I can get some distance from my work-so that later on when continuing with my doll I might discover something I didn’t see during the process.

I am not planning to leave the eyes this way. Probably some beads or plastic glass eyes should help me to get the eye shape right. I will not mold them with the clay, because  this is only a prototype. At the end of the modelling process, i will cut out the eyes to have holes in the head-this is necessary because i will use a different material later on.My idea so far is to

  1. Mold the prototype in oil based clay (a clay that stays soft and can be reused later on)
  2. Then make a mold out of the prototype doll in order to
  3. cast the doll in papermaché slip liquache or Papiermasche-gießmasse P3 wanke (I’m not sure yet which one is the perfect product)

On the other hand i can imagine that polymer clay might also be a great modelling material for me, so I am keeping in mind to also experiment with Cernit in the future.

But there’s still a lot of time to finally chose the right material, right now I first have to focus on sculpting a beautiful prototype doll. Wish me luck!

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