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Free Lessons on Sculpting a Mermaid

Make a Mermaid that Comes to Life!

I can’t wait to give you guys the first 8 lessons about how to sculpt the face, from start to finish, for free. Continue reading Free Lessons on Sculpting a Mermaid

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DIY Mermaid Art Doll

I found a little mermaid in a sea shell on the beach!  (Ok, not really, but that’d be pretty cool).  If you’d like to try making your own mermaid art doll, but you’re not sure where to start, you really need to watch this tutorial series.  This project is for both beginning and advanced doll making students.  There are a few hacks you can do to make the project easier than it looks, and I go over these hacks in the video.

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Doll Makers Need Fashion History

Why Fashion History for the Doll Maker?

So I know what you’re thinking “why all the focus on fashion history?  I’m a doll maker, not a costume seamstress!” (I captured that sentence from your thought bubble, that’s how I know your thoughts. Creepy, right?).

Because you’ve got to know a basic understanding of fashion history to know how to begin designing a dress for your fairy tale doll. Even if you plan to take artistic license while designing a dress, you’ll be at the top of your creative game if you know when you’re doing your own thing.

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On Sculpting a Doll Head


Doll Head Armature
Doll Head Armature

The Basics of Sculpting a Doll Head

I like to start with a tin foil ball, basically the doll “brains”, and then wrap a thin layer of clay on that and bake it. This creates a “skull”, of sorts, which makes everything else easier. I put a new layer of clay over the baked ball, which you might call the “skin”, and then I get to work sculpting.

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What it Takes to Sculpt Hands in Clay

Mermaid Bather
Hands are so detailed.

You’ve got 5 tentacley things with three bends in each, and a little dab of nail at the tips. These details create havoc for the sculptor. Especially for the dollhouse doll sculptor working in 1:12 scale.

Squish it & Start Over

Sometimes I can sculpt a good looking hand in 45 minutes, and sometimes, well, honestly, many times, it can take me 2 hours and, in the end, I just squish it and start all over.

This is frustrating, but the artist knows that’s just all part of the journey because you do end up getting it eventually.

Continue reading What it Takes to Sculpt Hands in Clay

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What Does OOAK Mean on Etsy & Ebay?

What does OOAK mean? Think snowflakes; similar but each so unique.
OOAK snowflakes; similar but each so unique.

What does OOAK mean? The acronym stands for “one-of-a-kind” and is often used when describing a handmade art doll that is so unique there is no other just like it. When I sculpt a doll, I know there is no other like it because I started from a lump of clay, and I sculpt until I am holding what I envisioned in my head. Continue reading What Does OOAK Mean on Etsy & Ebay?