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Beginning my first BJD

Years ago I bought a head.  An Obitsu doll head.  I was really interested in the style of dolls, but could only afford the head to start with.  I bought it some eyes, then promptly forgot all about it for a couple of years!

Obitsu head custom
The Obitsu head finally got a face and hair!

I discovered Monster High dolls, and realised you could customise them too, so bought a few since they were significantly cheaper!

MH sugar skull custom
The first Monster high doll that I customised

With obsession levels building, I had soon purchased a Hujoo baby Suve doll, and a Pong Pong Pukifee doll to learn to customise for myself! (Poor Pong Pong is still waiting her turn to be done!)

Hujoo Suve custom
My Hujoo Baby Suve

Once I had seen Marina Bychkova‘s beautiful Enchanted Doll website, and read about how she had sculpted the dolls herself…I was determined to make my own too!  Though at the moment I have no intention of getting into Resin casting, or porcelain casting, I do want to focus on one of a kind paper clay dolls for the time being. (The recent purchase of a 3D printer might tell you something about our future plans though…hehehehh)

1st bjd plans
The first draught of my bjd plan

 

1st bjd head
By the time I thought to take a photo, I had already started a second head!

I had bought a 16oz pack of creative paperclay, and had read a few online tutorials, so I knew to start with a removable base shape to build the clay onto.  I made mine from tin foil, over plastic drink straws.  The first layer takes a few days to fully dry, but once it does, it feels nice and light, and sands smooth very nicely ^__^

I just went for it with the first head, I hadn’t tried to sculpt anything since my teens (and i’m in my thirties now!) so it looked a bit rough, and less than ideally shaped.  I decided to start a second one, and work on both simultaneously, to see which one I preferred.

bjd plan and core
I drew more accurate plans, and started the torso

Since paperclay takes ages to dry if it’s thick, I decided to start the torso pretty quickly too, using the same armature materials as the head, which came out quite easily once I’d cut the head-cap off ^__^

1st bjd torso1st bjd torso cut1st bjd torso smoothed

Here you can see I’ve added a layer of clay, added a little definition, and let it dry fully before cutting in half along the rib line.  Once I’d removed all the tin foil, I built up a rounded lip onto the lower torso section, to allow the top section to move smoothly over it.

More development next time!

Thanks for reading!

Beth.

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Where it all began…an introduction

Hello!  Welcome to the first post of my new blog, and new website!

I guess a little introduction would be appropriate…sissors_disc_icon

I’ve always been making things and drawing and painting, but since my teens, I’ve also been working pretty much full time.  This has always given me the excuse I suppose, to allow the fear of potential failure to stop me from going for it, and committing to my crafts in a business sense.  Recently though, my husband and I were blessed with a beautiful daughter, and I took a year off work for maternity leave, deciding ultimately not to return to work so I could raise her myself, with no worries about retail shift patterns and childminders!

I’ve been fascinated by miniatures since I was a little kid really, I bought and filled my own dollhouse, making some decidedly sketchy looking dolls (which I still have) from Fimo, fabric and pipe cleaners!  Then a few years ago I discovered ball-jointed dolls (BJD’s) and became hopelessly obsessed!  They’re highly poseable, endlessly customisable, and if so inclined you can make and change their eyes, wigs, clothes…

So now I’m a stay-at-home mum, who’s bubbling over with a lifetime of ideas and crafting potential!  We moved into our first real house last year, and we have a spare room which has been dubbed ‘The Studio’ ^__^  This is now my hub of activity during nap time, after bedtime, and whenever our daughter Evey isn’t interested in playing with me!

I’m going to backtrack a bit, and document how I started making BJD dolls… (though right now I’m not ‘quite’ finished my first!)

 

Wee eyeballs drying on pins
Wee eyeballs drying on pins
Tin of eyes
Tin of eyes

 

It all started with the eyes…Having read endless tutorials online, I decided to have a go! They’re not for any specific project, they’re all different sizes and styles, but I knew back then that I wanted to make ‘things’ that would need eyes…So these are simply Fimo half domes, with an indent pressed into the top, which is then baked, painted/drawn onto with the iris design and pupil.  The indent is then filled with liquid Fimo, and baked again to harden.  The liquid Fimo creates the bulge over the iris, which is then finished off with a coat of glossy Fimo varnish over the whole thing.

Naturally the first thing I did with them was to mess about with my husband’s things.  Sticking eyes onto all his statues and figurines…

 

Trolololollll!
Trolololollll!

 

Well I reckon thats about enough to start with, I’ll post next with the beginnings of my very first BJD! 😀

Thanks so much for looking!

Beth