We Are Seven is a one-woman art studio currently producing books, comics, and graphic novels. This blog chronicles my progress.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A wig and a torso

Now that my Emmy is officially a resin, ball-jointed doll, she needs some hair (and eyes... but we'll get to that).

I pulled from a few online tutorials and came up with the following:
It looked so pretty long, but I had to give her a trim.
I may make another one, as flakes of tacky glue are visible on this wig. The Nikon picks up every dust particle, so glue flakes will make Emmy look like she suffers from the Worst Dandruff on Earth.
Or I might let just her have dandruff. The list of things I need to do and fix before the next comic panel is complete just keeps growing...

Anyway, my male puppet is well under construction. Behold, the three-part torso:
And disassembled

For the sake of efficiency (and getting this next panel done before Christmas), I may simply re-use Emmy's legs. He'll be slightly shorter than I originally intended, but it might be the best option at the moment. After all, it isn't only time that I'm running short on. Making new molds is expensive (especially on an ever-shrinking budget).

Watch out for more body parts, wigs, and -hopefully- CLOTHES.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Resin Success

At last, my darling Emmy is a resin, ball-jointed doll. She's seen many incarnations, but this one should be her (more or less) final form. It took a LONG time, but here she is:

 She isn't perfect, but I'm very pleased with how she turned out, especially considering this was all new to me. For the first time, I made a BJD out of polymer clay; for the first time, I made silicone molds out of all the parts (this was a particular challenge); for the first time, I poured resin. I'd call it a success.

In the interest of fairness, though, here are a few of her 'flaws.'

The resin didn't completely fill the mold on the abdomen (and a few other areas). I'm experimenting with different filling-in substances.

Her one upper arm is some weird-ass mutation that I'll need to completely replace.

Nonetheless, she is beautiful, if I do say so myself. Now, onto wig-making. ;)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Let the Pouring Commence

Last blog, I showed off my almost-ready Super Sculpey ball-jointed doll original (namely created for the comic "Emmy: Self-Titled"). She needed a few updates on her limbs, but otherwise, she was a functional puppet.
Here's the finished original:

The next step was to cast the parts, creating silicone molds so that I could then re-make the doll with resin.

This, predictably, did not go smoothly.

The online tutorials I used were great, but I somehow managed to buy mold release that didn't work. After a few very frustrated attempts to make a two-piece mold, a couple people on The Joint suggested I use Vaseline instead of mold release. It worked splendidly, and since then everything's been going well.

My lil' Lego mold. That's a forearm you're looking at.

Side one is complete.

I started to get a little creative with the configurations. I had only so many Legos, after all.

It took many molds (16 total), but my Emmy is finally ready to be cast. Behold:

Another noteworthy update: I've managed to secure myself a rather fantastic boyfriend, who is so supportive of my puppet-making endeavors that he's volunteered to be a studio assistant. He'll be coming over today to help me make my masterpiece. :)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

BDJ Update

In the last blog, I proudly showed off my Sculpey clay ball-jointed doll/puppet. It was a first attempt, and I think it turned out well, but the design needed some work. The joints didn't work very well, as I had predicted. It was simply more important that I have a model upon which I could improve than it was that I got it perfect the first time.
So I tried it again. This time, however, I wanted to go with a stronger material than regular Sculpey (which had proven to be a bit too brittle). I looked at the reviews for a half-dozen different polymer clays, read through BJD forums, and ultimately decided to go with Super Sculpey.
Let me just say, I love this clay. It's not called "super" arbitrarily.
I didn't use any filler, such as styrofoam, for this one. I simply hollowed the insides after I'd sculpted it, and then again after I baked it.
The result:
A rather nice second attempt, if I say so myself.
The joints, I soon realized, still weren't quite right. The knees, in particular, refused to hold the weight of the doll.
I re-examined the online tutorials I'd been working from and searched for new ones. I considered several different types of joint, and chose to try the simplest one: the wooden bead joint. Conveniently, my mother just happened to have a string of round, red beads that fitted my existing doll's sockets perfectly. So I made a new right arm and tried them out.

It worked so well that I showed my parents and grandparents as soon as I could. XD
The bead joints hold position extremely well, and are much smoother than the ones I tried to sculpt myself. As soon as I find the right size for the knee joints (larger) and the wrist joints (smaller), I think I might be ready to cast this doll.
Last month, you see, I ordered silicone mold-making materials and easy-to-pour resin. We'll see how it goes.

For anyone who's interested, the following are the main tutorials, blogs, and images from which I've been teaching myself the mysteries of ball-jointed dolls:
How to make a limb out of super sculpey
How Siru works
Super Sculpey BJD