But first, some background. You see this is something I have been working towards both inwardly and outwardly for some time now. Years in fact. It is a dream come true for me. A real culmination of everything that I do and everything I know and everything I’ve ever learned. Yup. I’ve finally done it. I’ve made my own doll :o)
I am a doll lover. Of almost all dolls. I wanted something that wasn’t available in the current marketplace. I wanted a highly articulated diminutive fashion doll. Something that incorporated some of the bjd aesthestic and some of the high fashion doll vibe too. When I couldn’t find one, I decided to make one. Thus began an incredibly steep learning curve!
I have literally been working on this for over two years and thinking about it for even longer. Initially I gave myself a bit of a crash course in anatomy, hallmarked by endless drawing, to size, and also not, the human form.
Can you tell how much I disenjoy drawing hands? lol!
I have notebooks full of sketches of who I wanted to make now and in the future. Then I had to learn not only how to sculpt but about all of the different mediums one could choose to work with. I deeply enjoyed the sculpting process. It is slow it’s true. Much time needs to be spent with a sculpt and I used a high tech wax. I chose this medium for my initial sculpt because I liked the fact that it was mostly rigid and room temperature but once warmed up was very pliable. In retrospect though, I’m not sure I’ll do my next the same way. I had a little trouble with the quality of the surface. Maybe I should have frozen it and them sanded….hmm… food for thought…..
Here are some beginning attempts in wax…
It’s dolly kabobs, lol!
Ah here we’re getting somewhere! The legs changed quite a bit from the above in the end, The chest did too, but the torso is pretty close.
Anyway, I found the sculpting was easy for me which was a bit of a surprise. The most time consuming parts were, not unexpectedly, the head and face, and the engineering of the joints of course. I spent endless hours researching and trying things, different combinations…. concealed joints, separate joints, or joints partially attached.
Yikes my head swam with nothing but elbows and knees for months. More filled notebooks jammed with the mad sketch ramblings of different joint shapes and their likely mobility! Not to mention the heads! I am aswim in reject heads! Mostly they were too big for the body and the proportion looked wrong. Surprising how hard it is to make the head shape balanced from side to side too. Taking pictures straight on helped evaluate that as did turning the head upside down. Then you’re not distracted by the features. (Can’t quite bring myself to throw them away though, lol)
Then came more months of learning how to work with rubber. I went through my craft store like I was on a military mission. I left no product untried, and sadly most of the products available at your local craft store are less than ideal.The art of sprueing filled my dreams.
I love the smell of fresh pouring rubber in the morning, ha ha!
These two rubber compounds were my friends for a while. Then I found a better thing. I can’t tell you how many shirts have that vibrant blue stained right into them, lol!
More learning curve, more research and if you’ve ever tried to do this yourself, you know there is precious little real and useable information is out there (maybe I’ll write another book, lol!)
After I learned how to reasonably make molds, I had to learn how to work with resin. Another learning curve ensued! I can tell you that although the resin at my local craft store was optically clear (highly desirable in many applications) it is not very durable. If you drop it, it breaks! I sure as hell wasn’t going to be making a doll that would break if you dropped her! Speaking of which, I seriously considered buying a kiln, setting it up in it’s own house in my backyard and going the porcelain route, but really couldn’t stomach the price tag of a cone 10 kiln!
So after a lot of time and a lot of learning, I have a system that is working and I have been able to produce a doll worthy I think, of seeing the light of day. Then came more fun stuff. Time to nail down an inspiration and create a persona for my little person. I always create a backstory for my doll projects whether they are outfits or full on ooak doll makeovers. I like to imagine who the girl is who is wearing the outfit, or who the doll is that I am making over. Anyway, I have loads of persona ideas and it can be tough to narrow your parameters when the sky is the limit and you can literally do anything at all! I went through a couple of wild ideas at first until my brain settled a bit, but maybe I’ll revisit those wacky ideas later on down the road :o)
In the end I decided to start with a rebel in court dress….
Trista – ooak artist cast strung jointed doll
Her name is Trista and she is on the outside a courtier, but on the inside a rebel. She knows how to make and keep connections at court and elsewhere and uses them to their fullest advantage. With friends in the right places no one dares cross her, but she’s too well liked for many to want to try anyway…. Soon there will be a power shift so profound that it will change the very face of society, and that is exactly what Trista hopes and works for. The power will not be hers of course, nor does she wish it. As soon as the realm is safe in good hands she will return to her beloved countryside until she is needed again. She is shaken from her musings as yet another potent missive is slid under her bedroom door. I wonder what this one will say….
Trista is the first LuXdoll. She is my Io sculpt and she measures 7 inches tall. She is an artist cast resin strung doll. She is articulated at the neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, chest, hips, knees and feet. (14 points of articulation) She has been entirely body blushed. Everything about her has been made by me. Her hair, all costume pieces, her face up and jewelry have all been done by me. Trista is a one of a kind creation. Her hair is mohair and is attached to her skullcap. Her hair adornments of silver beads and sterling silver hanging chains are permanently attached to her coif. She has silver chain earrings and a custom beaded ribbon choker necklace that matches her hairband. Her lace top is embellished with sterling silver chains and a red Swarovski crystal bead and fastens in the back with a ribbon, corset style. Trista wears two skirts. The underlayer is burgundy chiffon and ecru lace atop an off white pannÃ© velvet mini. This has been beaded with tiny silver beads. The outer skirt is a stiff burgundy taffeta fabric, edged in off white lace and spot gathered. It ties on top of the first skirt. (Although she can wear it as a cape as well…) Trista wears knee high, bow decorated fishnet stockings and lace and leather slip on mules. Her costume (with the exception of her hairband) is completely removable. She will come with her has her own custom stand.
Here are a few more photos without her costume…
A little thought….
A little recline….
A little lotus, lol!
I will be listing Trista for sale on Friday April 27, 2012. I will post here when her sale is live.
Thanks for reading and I hope you’ve enjoyed a small window into what I’ve been musing about for so very long :o)