So, I'm now a "professional" doll maker. (Yeah, right) However, I have taken on the paying commission from the 71 year old fellow in Indiana who wants a lady for his rumble seat. It's not my usual sort of quirky doll, but I'm kind of excited about the project. It will be good for me to move out of my comfort zone. Just got the deposit via PayPal; we're in business.
Hoping I can successfully learn the sculpting technique (extrapolating from what I know and where I am with cloth soft sculpture) and get somewhere between the two reference photos here. (reference photos--NOT my work. Aristocratic lady from here; http://www.liveinternet.ru/users/aishagu/post221518025/
Wish I were that skillfull!).
Body pattern by Sharon Mitchell, using as basic body style, but will have to enlarge (lol. quite a bit). Also using some of the pattern and htings learned from my previous life size dolls and Paisley doll still in progress. May have to add torso seams for constructing breasts (to form not just sculpt as on small doll). Next photo shows a doll made from this pattern. She's a nice little old lady, and she sits well. Now, I just need to make a nice big little old lady. Btw, I'm glad that Sharon (who is a much more experienced and talented professional dollmaker than I am) is willing to give me advice and encouragement on this project. makes me feel part of the community. Lol, the prospective buyer contacted her first, not realizing she lives in New Zealand!
The patron really liked this wig, so we'll go with it. It looks sort of vintage style, doesn't it? Which should go well with the project. Since I'm making a life size doll, a regular wig should fit and look more realistic than trying to construct the wig from other fibers. We're going for a semi-realistic semi-caricature look for the features, a sort of stern but not totally unpleasant expression.
Expendatures: costume wig $44.00; blue acrylic eyes. (reborns) $9.00; 12$ swatch set of fleshtone bodystocking material. $7.00 thrift store fabric for body patterning.(flesh coloured duvet cover and a silk knit shirt, which might be just the ticket for the final head sculpt or at leat a good practice.) Will use cheap panyhose for my learning curve to sculpt nylon, but may buy yardage from this online site for the actual dollskin. Planned expenditures: Actual fabric may run around 50$. Will need a new box of fluff, 40. Thread and needles...$20ish? . Wire for armature too, and some sort of weighting pellets? Sigh. it all adds up, but I think I'll come out close to my $200 supply budget estimate. I'm still going to get a decent (BMan festival ticket buying) profit. No need being greedy, doing a good job is more important. I'm glad I don't have to make her clothes her as well, but probably will put her in a thrift store nightie or slip. :)
Going to start by buying a half dozen pairs or so of cheap knee-high patyhose (did so at Walgreen's at dinner break time) and doing a lot of trial runs on smaller heads to get the knack of the sculpting techniques. If I get a cute looking head, maybe I'll turn one into a simple doll for Kelly, another one of my Craft it Forward projects. Once I'm feeling more comfortable, I'll do a couple practice full size heads as well. When I get in the fabric swatches, I'll decide if any of them are what I really want to work for the face and dollskin or not, until then I can work on heads or think about the body pattern. Note to self: pick up some cheap sheets at thrift store to use for body pattern making, and pick up a craft size batting roll at Joann's (looked like some of the features were built up using a firmer batting, instead of just fiberfill, and then sculpted.)
By the way, her full name is "Ruthie Roadster Rumble". Unless Andy decides differently. :) He really does seem like a nice guy from our email exchange, a retired gentlemen who loves Disney and considers himself a kid at heart. He's willing to work with me, is putting up well with all my this- or-that? questions; we seem to have a decent email rapport for getting this project done. I don't think he'll try to micromanage me, but I just want to do a good job and make the doll he wants.
The hardest part for me will be keeping going and not stalling out. This cannot be an unfinished project; it won't be. I seem to be doing better on that score recently, but have to keep after things and be aware of my own worst tendancies. Just have to believe in myself and my abilities, and have fun with it along the way.
it's been slow enough at the desk this evening that I got to watch/scan through some online instructional videos; they were really helpful.
Overall the first video is a very good nylon sculpting tutorial! (Even if it is in Russian and so I'm just going by the images.) The head created seems a fairly good size too. Think I can follow along from here and work toward getting hte head I want.
This next one is simpler, but I like that it uses numerical sequence to show the needle sculpting. It may be a good starting place before jumping into the more complex expressions and techniques. (links below)
Need to pick up my craft area/table from the last batch of pixie making and before getting out the needles and stuffing and sculpting some heads!