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

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