What is a BJD ?

Today I would like to give you an idea what the term BJD, ball jointed doll stands for. Some time ago my sister read my blog and asked me what a BJD was. That’s when I decided to write an article about BJDs to give all my readers an idea what my art project is all about.

Generally speaking, a ball jointed doll is any doll that is articulated with balls and sockets. A well made ball jointed doll is flexible,can stand on her own and her ball-like mechanism allows her to move in a variety of ways.

The picture on the left shows Martha Armstrong Hand with her original dolls made of porcelain. This picture shows different possible ways for the doll to pose and how realistic a BJD can move and look like.

Articulated dolls go way back in time. They  have been found in different ancient tribes and where usually made of wood and clay in the past. Then in the late 19th century the modern doll era began in Western Europe. Ball jointed dolls in Europe where mainly made by French and German manufacturers or sculptors (men). Later on the doll era had its interesting turning point: a lot of artists started focussing on making dolls and then finally doll making became a hobby…and lots of french and german ladies started creating their own dolls.

Materials for the dolls where usually composition (a mix of any materials such as papier-mâché, glue, sawdust)or porcelain, while  porcelain became a favored material as time went by.

Nowadays you don’t only hear people referring to BJDs but you also hear the term ABJDs a lot. What could this stand for? Well the A stands for Asian. Today when talking about ball jointed dolls, many doll lovers mean a ball jointed doll made of (polyurethane) resin,with an anime aesthetic. Resin has a porcelain-like finish, but is less brittle than porcelain.

There are a lot of famous doll companies that you can search for on the internet,but there are a lot of talented artist as well who make and sell original resin dolls themselves. ABJDs  are mostly customizable,which means that you can change the looks of your doll in a variety of ways. Wigs, eyes, hands, feet etc can all be removed and are replaceable.

From the artistic point of view, the term ball jointed doll is very wide. A ball jointed doll must not per se be human. Any living being, created by the artist, can be provided with ball joints.

Therefore in the artistic world of BJD’s there are a lot of different styles to be found. Another example would be ball jointed dolls made by The Mushroom Peddler but  the list of original BJD’s made by creative artists goes on and on and on…

My own ball jointed doll is still in the making and I am experiencing Ups and Downs in the process. This article was an attempt to give my readers an informative summary of BJD’s and also give you an idea of my personal definition of a BJD’s. That would be a well made creative doll, made with love. A doll that catches your eye…

If this article has aroused your attention and interest for ball jointed dolls, you might want to check out the following links for more information:

BJD Info /Wikipedia/ Forum for BJD lovers /Doll making /BJD definition

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4 thoughts on “What is a BJD ?

  1. Thank you for the summary. I too am learning how to make my own BJDs. I am currently sculpting in an oil based clay that I intend to mold in plaster to make a doll in porcelain. I am always changing her in one way or another and never satisfied with the overall look, so I keep sculpting, finding flaws and trying to improve. However, I realize that I will have to come to some kind of conclusion in my sculpt, but I am having fun in the process, so it is not a bother to me. Go figure! I think I just like playing with the clay. I do plan to take a class in plaster molding starting in January, so I need to have a product ready to go really soon! Anyway, Thanks again for this summary. I look forward to your BJD in the future! Merry Christmas!

    Kind regards,
    Michelle Casas

    • nikedolls says:

      wow it’s great to have something like a class planned for the future, it’s a good motivation to keep you focussed during your doll proces. I am also changing things every now and then, but i think that’s the way it goes when doing your first doll. Wishing you a merry christmas as well!Nike

  2. […] my post “What is a bjd” to learn more about ball jointed dolls and find out what information helps me during the doll making […]

  3. […] Hier noch einige Links zu (englischen)Seiten wo der Begriff BJD etwas detaillierter beschrieben wird und meine englische Version des Artikels: […]

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