Friday, June 26, 2015

The Art of Polymer Doll Making - Part One

Over the weekend, Philip and I attended our very first polymer clay doll workshop taught by Doll Artist, Ms Carmel Ooi.

Carmel is an experienced Doll Artist who has been making dolls for more than 5 years. We are indeed very thankful to have the opportunity to learn something new and interesting.

A year ago, Philip and I learnt to make Porcelain Dolls from Ms Paula Loh. It is a totally whole new experience this time as the medium which we used is Polymer Clay. There are no moulds and we have to sculpt the doll from scratch!

Before we started working on the dolls, we used a lint roller to remove specks of dirt, dust and fine fibres that were on our body. Following that, we washed our hands and dried our hands with a microfibre cloth. Carmel explained that it is imperative to work in a dust free environment so that we can keep the dolls surface as clean as possible. 

Carmel then went through with us the different type of sculpting tools and clay used. It is also important  to research and understand body proportions before starting so that the doll does not look weird.

First off, we started with the face. We took some aluminium foil and compressed it into an egg shape. During this process, we have to make sure to squeeze out all the air in the aluminium foil or air bubbles may surface on the clay later after baking.

After that, we took a portion of the polymer clay and kneaded it before putting onto the egg shaped aluminium foil. Then, we added multiple layers of clay progressively and baked them to increase the thickness and depth of the face. We inserted glass eyes and added details to the cheeks and mouth areas. We discovered that polymer clay can usually be baked numerous times without colour changes to the clay.

Interestingly, we learned that the nose is always the last part to be added onto the face. Carmel than showed us how to create a smiley face on our dolls by referring to images online.

We also learned to use armatures for the arms and legs. Carmel showed us 2 different methods of sculpting the hands and legs and let us decide which method we prefer to use. After finishing the hands, we added some details onto the front and back of the hand before baking them. Following that, we added more clay to the armature to mould the arms and added some details on the inner and outer parts of the elbows to make the arms look more realistic. After finishing, we baked the arms! We also did the same for the legs.

We are glad to have completed the face, hands and legs last weekend and this coming weekend we will be working on the body.

More pictures will be shared soon, stay tuned here to read more on our doll making adventures!

Hugs, Wayne

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