Saturday, January 28, 2012

Making a Poseable Art Doll: Part 3

I got some more work done on his head, but it still needs work.

I still need to add ears.  I still need to fix the right horn.  I still need to fix the symmetry of the face.  But now the jaw isn't as off as it was and the muzzle is not leaning to the left.

And I got the wire frame for the body done too.

Yes, the head looks big for the body, but that is because he has no stuffing yet.  I baked polymer clay to his feet so I future clay I add has something to grip.  Before the clay on the feet was baked on it was bent into a hook to help keep the clay in place.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Making a Poseable Art Doll: Part 2

I posted Part 1 of my Dragon Poseable Art Doll earlier today with progress I had previously made.  Here is what I got done today.

The light colored areas are where I started to sand it with 400 grit.  It wasn't as smooth as I thought it was.  The metal wire in the picture is just used to help prop the head up and is not a permanent part of the sculpture.

Things left to do to the dragon's head:
1.  Add ears.
2.  Make right side horn match left side.
3.  Fix back and lower jaw symmetry.
4.  Fix nose symmetry.
5.  Add barbel.
6.  Sand.

If you can tell from the pictures above, I made changes on his nose.  I have decided he was going to be more of a lung dragon than a western dragon.

My Sculpting Tools

Below is a picture of some of my sculpting tools.

Starting far left to right.

1.  Stainless Steel Sculpting/Modeling Tools.  I find these listed for ceramics, pottery, jewelry wax, etc.  Some of them are also shaped like dental tools.  I have had these for years.

2.  Wire Loop and Ribbon Tools.  I like using these for softer materials.  It bends if you try using it on hard materials.

3.  Sculpey Clay Tool Starter Set.  I use the ball sides more often than the rubber tips.

4.  Wooden Handle Stylus.  I think I bought this one from Joanns in the scrapbooking section.  It was listed as an engraver?  I use this one most of all my ball point tools.

5.  Fiskars Embossing Tool?  I think I found this at Joanns in the scrapbooking section as well.

6.  Ceramics Tool?  I got this from ceramics class so not sure the exact name of it.  I use this the most when working with my carving wax.  I just love this tool.

7.  Colour Shapers, Mini Firm.  I bought these from  I use these a lot when working on polymer clays.  I do use these with my carving wax, but differently than I do with Polymer clays.  I want more of these with different firmness and sizes.

8.  Wood Carving Tools.  Seems odd, but these work out great for various applications.  I can carve wax, y2klay, and even lightly baked polymer clays.

I also recently got a Dremel Carving and Engraving Kit for Christmas that I haven't tried out yet.

Making a Poseable Art Doll: Part 1

Recently I made a post about Poseable Art Dolls.  I have been interested in trying to make my own doll.

I am sculpting the doll using Super Sculpey.  I could have used color polymer clay, but I found Super Sculpey easier to use than FIMO at this time.  I do plan to paint the sculpted parts so it isn't flesh tone.  This works out just fine since I didn't know what kind of doll I was sculpting much less what type/color fabric I wanted to get.  That also means I haven't made the wire armature yet since I wasn't sure on size either.  I figure I do the head first and the rest will be determined later.

At first I didn't know what to sculpt so I made a basic skull and went from there.  I added clay and baked several times before I decided it was going to be a young dragon.

 Above you can see the tools I used a lot for this project.  These rubber tipped tools helped sculpt the clay better than some of my metal sculpting tools.

I did end up breaking the right eye off while attempting to add wire armature for the horns.  I used FIMO Liquid Deco Gel to make the repair .

The dragon is looking better each time.  I still need to figure out what kind of ears it will have if any.  Once the head is done, I will make the wire armature and then start working on sculpting the feet.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Poseable Art Dolls

I like to try different things, so once again I found something of interest.  No, I am not giving up on my Ball Jointed Dolls (BJDs), but I want to explore another type of poseable doll.  What am I talking about?

I am talking about OOAK (One Of A Kind) Poseable Art Dolls that are plush.  A wire armature is first made for the doll.  Then the head and feet are sculpted (most often in polymer clays) either on the wire or separate.  Once the sculpting is done, the sculpted parts are glued onto the wire armature if it was not made directly on it.  Then the body, neck, limbs, and tail are wrapped with felt, batting, or other cushioning material.  This protects the wire and gives the doll a sturdy body.  Fabric (usually some fur type) is sewed onto the body and glued to the sculpted parts.  This creates a partially plush and partially sculpted doll.  The wires allow parts to be bent, but care needs to be taken to ensure the wires don't break.  You don't bend too often at a time and you don't bend the wire near the joints/sculpted areas.  These are ART dolls not PLAY dolls.

Here is a nice tutorial on making a Poseable Art Doll by Catigma on Deviantart.  Check out her gallery to see pictures of her work.

Click on the pictures to go directly to the tutorial's page on Deviantart.

Some of my favorites are listed below.  The images are linked to the page they belong on Deviantart.  Check out the artists to see more of their work.

by =wereRemjif

by WoodSplitterLee

by Carn-Dearg

Aren't they just beautiful?

I doubt my attempt would look so great.

Cold Porcelain Shrinkage: Part 2

Sorry, I have been preoccupied to post an update.

Note the off white color because I didn't add white color to the mixture.

The bar on the right is my shrinkage test.  It is hard to see, but there is a line on there.  The original line is 5mm.  The line after a few days of waiting for it to dry throughly was 4.49mm.  So that would make my shrinkage at 10-11%.  Not too bad.

On the lower left you can see a ball test.  It was a bit larger than 1/5 inch and I made sure the dimple was in the picture.  After rolling the ball I laid it on a wax sheet with the shrinkage bar piece.  I would assume the clay does sag, so a flat surface was created.  Then that flat surface dimpled inward as it dried.  So for sculptures it is probably a good idea to have an armature to prevent that.  But again, there is a possible problem with sag if the object is heavy enough.

On the upper left you can see my flower test.  Cold porcelain seems a popular choice for making life like flowers.  I just made this one quickly and it was on a wire when drying.  The flower is not delicate and came out rather well.

I did try to sculpt with my cold porcelain, but the smell of the glue gave me a headache and irritated my lungs.  I am sometimes sensitive to chemicals and the glue smell is definitely an irritant for me.  So I had problems trying to concentrate to make something and ended up just giving up.

Overall, shrinkage doesn't seem too bad.  For thin pieces cold porcelain will probably work well, but if your sculpt is thick and heavy sag is a concern.  The thicker the item the longer it can take to dry.  There are some very skilled artists out there who make beautiful sculpts with cold porcelain, but it just isn't for me.  Maybe one day I will try again, but for now onto other things.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Cold Porcelain Shrinkage: Part 1

Shrinkage of material is something to keep in mind when making a BJD of a particular size.  Too much shrinkage could affect how well your doll parts fit together after the shrink because of warping.  So before making a doll using Cold Porcelain, I need to test how much shrinkage the log I made has.  From what I have read, Cold Porcelain can have up to 30% shrinkage.  That is a lot.

I used the plaster mold I made when I was testing Carving Wax shrinkage.  The excess I made into a little ball to also test how quickly it would dry inside and out.  I still had a little more left over which I played around with and make a 5 petal flower, not shown in the picture above.  The line on the plaster mold is approximately 50mm in length.

Now I play the waiting game to see how much shrinkage my goofed up recipe has.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Making Cold Porcelain Attempt

Today I made my first attempt at making Cold Porcelain.

The recipe I used was Cold Porcelain Paste Recipe by Sangeeta Shah.  I did end up making a half portion though and made minor changes.  So below is the list of ingredients I used.

1 cup Cornstarch
1 cup Tacky Glue (8 oz.?)
1/2 Tablespoon White Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Baby Oil
1 Tablespoon Nivea

Above you can see all the ingredients and tools I used, excluding the plastic wrap and plastic bag.

I followed the directions provided, but it was too late when I noticed I used teaspoon instead of tablespoon.  The mixture was hard to mix because it didn't have enough liquid, so I added a little water.  I cooked it for 30 seconds 3 times until I started kneading the mixture.  I didn't put enough nivea cream on my hands because the mixture was sticking to my hands.  When I finally got enough Nivea on my hands and began kneading the mixture while still warm it finally started to look like what it is supposed to even though I made a few errors.  I am sure the second time I try things will go much smoother.

I first wrapped the log with plastic wrap before placing into a zip-lock bag.  I will let it sit for 24 hours before using it.  From the pieces I did pull off, the texture seems fine even with my mess ups.

So, next time I make cold porcelain I will be sure to:
- Measure my ingredients correctly.
- Use enough Nivea cream on my hands prior to attempting to knead the mixture.  Better yet, rub some on the mixture to help remove the stickiness.
- Use something sturdier for mixing.  A $1 spatula from the Dollar Tree isn't going to cut it.

I am looking forward to seeing how the overall texture is of my cold porcelain.  How well does it sculpt?  How long to dry?  How sturdy a material?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Cold Porcelain Clay

I like trying different materials to see how I like them.  So after reading a little about cold porcelain clay, I decided that I was going to see how this worked for making a BJD.  Mainly, what is its properties dry?

Here are a few links to sites with recipes:

Recipe #1
3/4 cup white glue
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon cold cream (such as Pond's)
1 teaspoon glycerin
1 cup cornstarch, plus additional for dusting your hands

Recipe #2
1 cup cornflour (optional try using rice flour 50:50 mix)
3/4 cup pva (wood) glue
3 drops of eucalyptus or nutmeg oil
either 1 teaspoon baby oil or 1/2 tsp petroleum jelly
1/4 cup water

Recipe #3
1 cup pva glue (white glue like Elmer's Glue All)
1 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon mineral oil (baby oil)
1 tablespoon lemon juice, witch hazel, or clove oil

Recipe #4
-1 cup glue (all purpose or school)
-1 cup cornstarch
-2 tbsp mineral oil/ baby oil
-2 tbsp lemon juice/ vinegar
-some non-grease cream/ lotion

Recipe #5
1 cup cornstarch
1 cup white glue (tacky glue)
2 tablespoon baby oil
2 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon white tempera paint

1 tablespoon Nivea Cream

Recipe #6
3/4 cup of white glue
1 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup of water
1 teaspoon of cold cream
1 teaspoon of glycerin

Recipe #7
2 cups of all-purpose glue
2 cups of cornstarch
2 tablespoons of baby oil
1 tablespoons of white vinegar
1 tablespoon of non-grease cream

Basically, the recipes have cornstarch, pva glue, an oil (baby oil is mineral oil), and a preservative (to prevent molding).  I am sure there are many other recipes out there, but the above gives me an idea of the ingredients.

I like recipe #5 and #7 since both use the microwave and seem relatively easy to do.

Now I have to gather the ingredients and give it a try.  I have a doll idea to test this with too.

The blog Cold Porcelain Tutorials also has a page with links to various cold porcelain recipes.

EDIT:  I have been reading the ingredients of baby oil and various creams.  Baby oil is mineral oil with fragrance.  So which is cheaper to buy?  The Nivea and Pond's cream are mostly made of water and mineral oil, so why not just use the base ingredients which are cheaper than paying more for the created product?  The creams also contain glycerin and wax (beeswax, microcystalline wax, and/or paraffin).  Can't they just be added as is?  Is there a need to pay more money for Nivea or Pond's cream?  Can cold porcelain be made using cornstarch, pva glue, mineral oil, vinegar, water, glycerin, and beeswax?  Yeah, the products do have other ingredients.  If I do buy a product, I would probably go more with Pond's Cold Cream since it would be something I would actually use.

Baby Oil:  Mineral Oil, Fragrance.

Nivea Cream:  Water, Mineral Oil, Petrolatum, Glycerin, Microcrystalline Wax, Lanolin Alcohol, Paraffin, Panthenol, Magnesium Sulfate, Decyl Oleate, Octyldodecanol, Aluminum Stearate, Fragrance, Citric Acid, Magnesium Stearate, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone

Pond's Cold Cream: Mineral Oil, Water, Beeswax, Ceresin, Sodium Borate, Fragrance, Carbomer.