Project: Doll body

Esther
Gaah, did not really know what I was thinking when the idea of making a jointed body for my Narsha (Esther) head entered my mind. I bought some nice clay and searched for my tools, so that I could work with it. This was a great plan, until it was time to start.




I searched the world wide web for tips and tricks, almost loosing my mind. For a while the clay and the tools lived in a bag, in total darkness. I felt that I was not ready at all. But, we have a saying: ”Ta tjuren i hornen” - take the bull by its horns. It really means that you take on a problem, and just make it work. Even if you do not want. Even I wanted to…such a dilemma.

It was a fun project, when I started. The clay was nice to work with and even with the struggle of making hands and feet, I enjoyed it and have plans to make a new and improved one later on. This was a learning trip. When it comes to the body, I made an upper torso, lower arms, legs from the knee and down. The joints is made by tree pearls. The lower torso, upper arms and legs above knee I made in fabric and filled those with rice, mostly the lower torso - for steadiness. I could not manage to make a lower torso with the clay, for some reason. It was hard to get the thighs to match the joints, so I gave up and will try again next time.





I painted the dried clay in a skin color with acrylic paint. Made some freckles too. Painted the feet, well more shoes, in pink and brown, stringed the body, put the head in place and thought ”oh my” and laughed. Made some clothes and pimped them with pearls and other tiny things.





The wig is made in yarn, glued on a head cap that I made from thin socks (nylon). Worked nicely, but turned out too thick. Another lesson learned. The eyes are tiny pearls, painted in brown acrylics. Now Esther has a body. A bit funny looking one, but anyway…she is all made from recycled materials when it comes to the fabric parts of the body, clothes and hair.

Some of the photos are a bit blurry. These photos I took just to send to my hubby, so he could see the progress. The photos are taken during late evenings and with no thought of making the best of it. But these are the ones I had, because of crashing phones and photos lost...Wanted to share them with you, even if blurry.

Enjoy the weekend ahead!
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13 comments:

  1. What happened to her old body?? Was she always bodyless? O.O
    I think you did great, considering it was your first time. I wouldn't even dare to try, you were fierce and tackled the problem head on! now Esther can have nice dresses too~
    If you feel the yarn wig is too thick, maybe you should try brushed yarn? I've seen a few tutorials on it and the end result is almost like an alpaca wig.
    Here's a tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdXay72gpS0

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    1. Haha, no she has not been bodyless - at the moment Esmé has her body. I just had some 'trouble' seeing that floating head and in a way it is easier to keep track of her head, when it is stuck on a body (even on a funny looking one). I had plans to get Esmé her own body, but never got around to that. Maybe some day.
      Thanks! Had to try and learn, and even feel how it would be to make something like this. Thank you for the tip with brushed yarn and the link to the tutorial. I have done one (well two) wigs this way. One is the red wig for Polly and one for some years ago for my Narsha's. This yarn was a bit hard to brush, so I went the other way. I hope to find some better yarn, in a nice color, so that I can make a new one soon.

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  2. Good on you Niina, it takes courage to try something new, so well done ol' girl you deserve a big pat on the back (or perhaps a big hug instead). I have often thought I'd like to make a doll from scratch, but the thoughts always end up in the "too hard" basket. I imagine you had some hair pulling moments during the whole process, but as you say, it's a learning curve and next time you will be aware of the pitfalls.

    I quite like the colour of the wig you made, but it does need to be finer if you want it to look natural. Overall I enjoyed reading about your journey into doll making.
    Big hugs,
    X

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    1. Thank you so much! A big hug will do good! :) I thought that too, it is too hard and yes, I had some serious hair pulling moments during this project. I was even on my way to give up and just let her head float. But it is better to learn from those moments, than give up. Next time I know better, but probably meet some new pitfalls.
      I do just love the color of her hair and really want her to have a bluish wig. Need to take on the tips Alejandra gave. It is, as you said, more natural looking with a brushed yarn wig! Now it looks like a ragdoll's hair.
      Glad you enjoyed this post! Big hugs!

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  3. It looks like a lot of work. But the effect is really great. I was thinking about trying with making my own doll, but there is always to little time for that... ;)

    So I admire your work even more.

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    1. Thank you so much, Kamelia! It was fun, even with lots of work and I can see myself trying again. It takes time and planning, but it can be done. You can start small, with a tiny doll. :)

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  4. Niina I think you did really well! I have often thought about trying some sculpting and that's as far as it gets, thinking about it! I think a lot of work has gone into this and you should be rightly proud of yourself for your achievements!
    The wig is a great colour too, I would like to try making a yarn wig too but I want short brown curls...I will have to do some research!
    Big hugs Sharon xx

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    1. Thank you so much, Sharon. There is always a learning curve and my patience, that isn't the best. I have ordered some new clay and maybe I should try something smaller or give it more time.
      Yarn wigs are fun to make, even if I sometimes feel like I have swallowed the dust from it. Hope you find some great tutorials to follow and can make short nice curls.
      Big hugs! :)

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  5. I think you did great for your first attempt! I doubt I could even attempt or make a body that actually resembles a body. I also love that you used things you had on hand to make the body and wig. Love the colours on the wig.

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    1. Thank you! :) During the project, I thought that a fabric doll or even knitting one would be easier. Wanted to give up and buy a body too. But I have ordered some new clay and will give it a try, again, and have more patience. Start with blue prints and all. o_O
      The yarn has such wonderful blue shades. It is a bit different compared to the other acrylic yarns I have, so it was difficult to brush. Need to see if I can find the same colors, but in a softer acrylic.

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  6. I think the body is looking great, actually! So much congrats for taking up on such enterprise! I really like the proportions, honestly. And the wig color and look is great!

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    1. Thank you, Musume! It was a great project and I would love to try again, hopefully soon but maybe in a smaller scale. And try to have some patience - not my strongest feature. :D It really is a great color on the wig! Love this kind of ocean blue mix.

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  7. I admire that you had the guts to do it! I wouldn't have dared XD Do you have plans for trying again in the future?
    I like the wig. I have been trying my hands at brushed yarn wigs, and it's not easy at all.
    The blue colors of the wig are lovely!

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