Girl In Progress. My current WIP

Hmmm...well, that little title just inspired perhaps another doll!  I kind of like the way it sounds.  But, alas, this one that I am sharing with you today already has the crumbs of a story forming around her.

I know that many doll makers write their story (either literally or just in their imagination) before making a doll, but for me, I'm finding then whenever I create a personality of any kind her story begins as my hands begin to form her.  It grows as I choose my materials and decide on color palettes and such.  And her story is never complete until she is complete...and even then there is more to tell...it just depends on the character.

That being said, I'm brand new to this doll making thing, but I've created personalities in my artwork before, so I'm not TOTALLY new to that.

Doll Parts/Joints

Here are her beginnings.  I began by sculpting her arms, legs, and a flat head/face from polymer clay.  I chose translucent clay in case I decide to leave it unpainted.  I'm not sure where I want to go with that yet, but I'm leaning toward 'naked' clay parts at this point.  We shall see, though.  If she tells me she wants paint, paper, or even fabric, I'm open to her ideas.

Doll in Progress

I then sculpted a wire body figure from a copper wire.  I'll be honest.  This wire was NOT the best choice, as it is super malleable and that makes it rather hard to keep in place AND to work with in general.  BUT...remember that part about me being new to this...well, that means I don't quite have all of the 'proper' supplies yet and I'm not the type to just go spend a gagillion dollars buying a bunch of new stuff.  I will gradually work on getting things I know I will use and, in the meantime, use what I have.  I've found that this kind of exploration keeps your mind open to less traditional ideas AND keeps your studio from overflowing with stuff you SO don't need.

Not that I've EVER purchased anything that I didn't need.  That just doesn't happen.  Ever.  Yeeeeeeah.   So.    (Ummm...if you believe that, I have some BEAUTIFUL ocean front property out in Denver I'd like to show you...just give me a call....we can chat! Heee!)

Doll Head In Progress

This is the start of her head.  I sculpted the piece fairly flat with a large indented center.  I stuffed some canvas with some plastic bag stuffing and then glued it down to fit in the indented area of the face.  The fabric is currently covered with Gesso, as I plan to paint that with her facial details.

Doll In Progress Structure

I'm hoping to wrap in in strips of vintage papers or newspaper...not sure which yet...her story is still formulating, remember, and the material will be guided by that story.  I thought about using some of those brightly colored handmade papers I showed you yesterday, but I don't think they suit her...they are waiting for a much more spirited doll!  One who LOVES color.  No...while this doll has a very 'colorful' personality, she is not one who would be considered a 'lover of color.'  You shall see.  I'm kinda loving this story part - it's way fun to create someone exactly the way you imagine them.  The funny thing is...you would think more perfect dolls and creatures would be created, but nope.  They all have SOMETHING about them.  Why?  Well, because we all have something about us, that's why!  As I imagine these stories and the who and why of pieces I create or even pieces I see I find that they are never perfect.  As a matter of fact - it is in their imperfection that they shine.  That is what makes them so amazingly wonderful...personalities that are so REAL and so full of LIFE!

Yes, each one is an adventure.  It's pretty neat, actually.

At least I think so. 



  1. I think its really neat the way character forms under hands at work. And, though my dolls are calico, I like the way that accidents can change one- like a misplaced stitch and the inane grin turns into a knowing smirk. I'm thinking that if your wire was stronger (I'm with you on experimenting and deciding what is necessary before buying) you could do figures with empty wire bodies. For instance this one already has so much character just by what you've done, if you left her wirey a viewer would see all sorts of things you never thought of.
    Does that make sense??

  2. I love your discription of the doll coming together as you work on her. Like life we don't know the full story until the end.

    Get Your Craft On! I love that. I see a project in the makings. I so have to put that on my craft wall.

  3. oooohhh, first of all, i love the title of this post, and can just IMAGINE what your clever little noggin may do with that!

    second, i love seeing the steps of a crafty project like this. thanks for showing us what she looked like when she was born! (or is that hatched?)

    can't wait to see what you'll do! xo

  4. Love watching the steps and can't wait to see the completed doll!

  5. I love the word "malleable". ;) Yeah ok, I am a word nerd. I can't wait to see the finished dolly. :)

  6. You are so stinking creative!!

  7. I sure look forward to seeing the finished product! I've never made one like this and am intrigued by the steps.

  8. I am really liking the neked clay... I think it looks totally cool that way!

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  10. Your WIP is totally awesome looking already. I can't wait to see how it turns out :)

    *The deleted post above was me. I was on the cake account :Dstr

  11. excited to see what ya do with her

  12. I love your discription of the doll coming together as you work on her.

    Work From Home

  13. I can't wait to see how she dresses herself. :)

  14. Seeing this from the beginning and hearing how you are designing it as you go along is very inspiring to me. I will be checking back anxious to see a more finished product. None of my projects are ever "finished," but some of them beg me to just go away.

  15. J..you are doing an awesome job on her. Let your muse sing to ya girl!!!

    I'm so excited about seeing the finished sculpt!!!


    Nothin wrong with using what ya have either...just look at me...I use old light bulbs for bodies..hehe!!


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