Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Revisiting an old project

Way back in 2007 I discovered Ball Jointed Dolls, and decided that I could probably make one myself.
I had just received a Jan McLean vinyl doll as a gift, and while I was on the Internet looking at her other porcelain) dolls, I stumbled across Marina Bychkova's Enchanted Dolls. Eventually I found myself at Den of Angels, a large fan-forum for Asian Style BJDs. Way back then they had an artists subforum for people sculpting their own dolls, and I jumped in with both feet.
My first ever BJD was a 53cm tall doll which took me the better part of a year to complete. This poor doll got almost finished, then hacked into pieces and reworked over and over. She was my first experience with working with silicone and resin too. I pulled a complete cast in resin just once - my moulds were not correctly built so I had all kinds of issues with bubbles and miscasts, then I moved onto smaller dolls, where I would be able to experiment without having to risk "wasting" $1000 in supplies again.

This has been a long preamble to say that I have dragged her poor broken prototype pieces out of storage, and have been cleaning them up in preparation for alterations to make her suitable for casting in porcelain (which was what I wanted to do with her in the first place).
She should end up around 48cm tall in porcelain, due to shrinkage.
I will update with photos just as soon as I get replacement batteries for my camera.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Off to a poor start...

...the blogging everyday, that is - looks like I missed a day!
I'll do another post tonight to make up for it...

Saturday, October 6, 2012

How a sculpt starts

A jointed one at least. 
This is the working drawing and floral foam armature for the doll I posted a few days ago.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Ian Garmonsway - Caricature...er

It's not just myself working here, the super-talented-very-funny-and-quite-handsome Ian (it's his name on the sign) also occasionally belts out some illustrations. He draws so quickly and tidily that I get infuriated watching him do it.
Ian's speciality is caricature, something that I find extremely difficult. Finding that balance between funny and flattering.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Digital BJD Kitty

Last year I made a ball jointed cat as an Etsy commission.
Because it was intended as a one off I didn't take "mouldablity" into account when sculpting him.

I really loved how he turned out, and wanted to re-sculpt him for mould making/casting. So, using the working drawings that I made for the original, I have started building him in 3D. 

The 3D build is still in its very earliest stages, so it looks quite blocky and, well, awful right now.
But eventually it will look more like this, but with more precise joints:

Once he's finished, I'll again have a print made with Shapeways, and then start producing him in resin.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Lotso Monkeys

So, plushies huh?
Earlier this year I made a whole bunch of soft cuddly* monkeys. I designed a pattern to fit the already existing character design of one of the mascots of a major online retailer down here in little ol' NZ

All of them hand cut, pinned, and then sewn by myself. (I did manage to bribe my daughter into turning and stuffing some of them).

Mighty Ape still have some in stock too.
^ If you follow that link you'll see an assembled monkey.

* Seriously - that Minky fabric is sooooo nice to handle - not so nice to sew** however...
** I only sewed through one of my fingers

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

OOAK dolls

A couple of weeks ago, I sat down and tried to complete a doll in one day.
I managed to get all the sculpting done and the body assembled on one doll. I didn't get her painted, dressed or wigged though.
This is some of my progress: 

In hindsight I probably should have started only one.