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Topic: Clay Doll Armature Questions from a beginner!  (Read 1990 times)
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lazy.jane
« on: December 11, 2010 08:34:28 AM »

Hi everyone,

I have some Sculpey and some Puppen Fimo and am going to have a try at making some clay dolls. I want to try making them ribbon jointed as that looks fairly straighforward, but I have a couple of questions that I hoped someone could help me with...
1. Can I use chenille stems (pipe cleaners) as an armature, or will the chenille bits burn in the oven?
2. I wanted to joint the shoulders with wire, so do I wire that bit together before or after it has been in the oven?
3. Are there any good tutorials about for starting out making clay dolls?

I am sure I will have a zillion more questions once I get started, but if anyone could help me with these in the meantime then I'd be very grateful.

Thank you,

Lesley x
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Diane B.
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GlassAttic --polymer clay "encyclopedia"


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« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2010 08:27:46 AM »

Hi and welcome!

Others who are actual doll and figure makers will chime in here, I'm sure, but here is some info about making those kinds of things with polymer clay.

Re pipe cleaners (chenille stems), the fluffy parts won't burn if exposed to the low heat we use for curing polymer clay.  They won't be stiff enough though for large figures, unless perhaps you twist two of them together and then twist those units with other twisted units to make a stronger cable.  
They're fine for small figures though (how large are you wanting to go btw?...polymer clay "dolls" and figures can range from tiny-tiny, to a foot or more if using certain techniques).

Instead of describing all the ways you can create jointed figures with polymer clay, check out this page at my site:
http://glassattic.com/polymer/sculpting_body_and_tools.htm
Click especially on all the sub-categories under the Types of Figures category... maybe especially click on the Jointed sub-category.

You should also check out the page on permanent armatures for more on wire to use inside the clay (especially for larger figures, or where you might use some of the Sculpey clays in particular and they'll be thin or projecting since they're more brittle than other brands/lines of polymer clay):
http://glassattic.com/polymer/armatures-perm.htm (click on Wire especially)  

You might also want to check out the Polymer Clays for Sculpting category on the main sculpting page at the site to see what other people are using, and why, as well as other categories for more on sculpting with polymer clay in general:
http://glassattic.com/polymer/sculpture.htm
And the Heads page might be useful too:
http://glassattic.com/polymer/heads_masks.htm (> Heads)

HTH,
Diane B.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2010 09:20:16 AM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

POLYMER CLAY "ENCYCLOPEDIA" 
http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm
few of my photos
http://s96.photobucket.com/albums/l163/DianeBB
(had to move them from YahooPhotos, so many now without captions)
lazy.jane
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2010 02:54:05 PM »

Thank you Diane, that's really helpful!

The style of doll that I was hoping to attempt is like the one in this picture. I like the way that it is jointed and the way the arms and legs and face look - everything in fact. Do you have any sections on your site that might explain how a doll of this style is constructed?

http://www.craftster.org/pictures/data/500/medium/207000_13Dec10_agah_s_doll_025-1.JPG[/img]]

If you can help me with this, I would be over the moon!

Lxx
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Diane B.
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GlassAttic --polymer clay "encyclopedia"


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« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2010 09:16:04 AM »

.
Glad to help... very stylish looking doll.

Quote
Do you have any sections on your site that might explain how a doll of this style is constructed?

As for basic construction, the first link in my previous answer goes to information about that sort of thing (>Types of Figures >>Jointed...also check the Dolls section under Jointed for larger "dolls" though they often use the same simple jointing techniques as the small and tiny ones).
(There's other info and pages re faces, "clothing", hair of different kinds, sculpting in general, etc, at my site.).

There are various ways to joint a figure though, and various materials that can be used.  Some ways are "simple" like these, and some are quite complex.
 
In this case, the upper arms are connected to the torso with a "knot" technique (although the cording in this case may be ribbon).
A similar kind of thing can be done with wire/etc but instead of having the "knot" in a cord function as the "stop" outside the arm to hold it on, a bead may be added  to act as the stop or the wire may be shaped (knot, spiral, etc) so that it can't fit back through the hole.
(some of these use that technique too:
http://www.etsy.com/shop/spookbot/sold ...http://www.flickr.com/groups/658606@N23/pool )
The cording could also just be tied through a hole in the arm or other connecting part:
http://www.strangedolls.net/dollprofiles/lucy04.html

Also in this particular case, the cording/ribbon was probably fed all the way through a pre-made hole in the upper torso extending out from each side, but other connectors/methods may just use small (long) holes or slits to insert various connectors (rather than being inserted all the way through the part).
Often two eye pins are used as connectors for each joint, one inserted into each of the parts to be joined (then the eye pins are simply connected together).  
There are all kinds of variations though.

I can't see the "holes" or shapes of the figures' other joints well enough to say which techniques/materials were used.  It could be that there are two eye pins that have been connected together (one in each segment) at each jointed area, and that the eye pins are somewhat hidden by having a large bow tied over or in-and-around them; or it could be that ribbon was actually used in each end of the two segments and the ribbon ends were tied in a knot then in a bow, for example, or other ways.

HTH,
Diane B.

« Last Edit: December 14, 2010 09:42:44 AM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

POLYMER CLAY "ENCYCLOPEDIA" 
http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm
few of my photos
http://s96.photobucket.com/albums/l163/DianeBB
(had to move them from YahooPhotos, so many now without captions)
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