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Clay Colors
Clay Shapers
Clay Sources
Cold Porcelain
Faces - Teenagers
Firing Porcelain
Flex Clay
Green Porcelain
Lips Sculpting
Liquid Sculpey
Oven Baked Clays / Fumes

Porcelain Clay
Polymer Clay
Sculpting Hands and More
Sculpting Tools

Sculpting Tutorial (in German)

Body, with pre-made head & hands
What I would do under these circumstances -- with the head and hands already done -- is take some heavy duty aluminum foil and twist it into a rod that would be the base of your torso. Are the hands attached to wire of any kind? You need to create arms and legs. Some people use pipe cleaners if they don't have regular wire hanging around. I would be inclined to wrap the arm and leg wires the rod of foil in the right position, and then sculpt the body over the foil torso. Before I baked it, I would press the head and breastplate into the top, to make an indentation that matches the breastplate form. After baking I would glue the breastplate where it's supposed to go with epoxy or another strong glue.  If anyone else has ideas, please jump in! I've never done this kind of doll.
Diana in Canada

Clay - Polymer Colors
Great question, Dale, as always! The Premo color is called Beige, and the ProSculpt is Caucasian flesh. (ProSculpt also comes in an ethnic brown.) I don't paint over these colors, but I do add depth and blush with dry pastel, dry-brushed on and into crevices. I do not know about the availability of these clays in the US, but I believe ProSculpt can
only be ordered through Jack Johnston's website. It's a bit more expensive than the others but a joy to work with. Premo, Sculpey and perhaps even Fimo are probably available through your Michael's (which are no doubt better stocked than ours.)
Diana in Canada

clay shapers
Iím the one that mentioned liking clay shapers. The are rubber tipped sculpting tools . they come in, I believe 5 different shaped. They come in 3 different degrees of firmness. Hard ( I use this) medium and soft. The also come in 3 different sizes big , med. And small. I get them at a local art store, Charretes. What I like about them is that you can create with one swipe of the tool things like the whole shape of the eye socket, a sleeping eye, a smile or the shape of a nostril. They donít make sharp edges that have to be rounded over. When you make an impression with them the edges are smooth and curved in . I hope this is a clear explanation of clay shapers.
Clay source
the best clay and freshest and prices I have gotten are from
you do have to ask for puppen fimo  as it isnít listed on the site but she has it. You can call them (free) or  buy through the internet with your credit card real good service so far.  and hereís the site for polyclay and some of you  may be interested in these tools    
Clays - Types
CERNIT -- many larger-scale doll artists have created fabulous dolls with this highly translucent clay, but I have not had success with it in miniatures. Tiny features seem 'lost' in the translucency and the clay is highly susceptible to almost melts at your touch. A doll I sculpted in Cernit looked sickly in every photograph I took of her.

SCULPEY: (also Super Sculpey) Many artists love this soft clay, which is available almost everywhere, but I find it's like trying to sculpt with chewed gum. For me, the clay doesn't have enough 'resistance' so that when you get to the little neck, for example, there isn't enough strength to hold the position of the heavier head.

FIMO: (also Puppen Fimo) Fimo crumbles into a maddening powder as you try to soften it from the brick, but eventually it can be worked back into a clay. People with arthritis or weakening hands do not like it because it does take a lot of 'working' to become soft. Also, there is no translucency, which can make the dolls look very matte and ...well, doll-like. However, I like to use it as part of my 'recipe', because of that matte quality, and for the 'resistance' it gives the clay. The dolls I sculpted exclusively in Puppen Fimo resemble porcelain more closely than any others.

PRO SCULPT: This clay developed by Jack Johnston is excellent for doll artists. The Caucasian color is very realistic, almost eerily so! It has more resistance than Sculpey, and a good translucency. I use it as part of my recipe but not by itself -- I found that most dry pastel color I tried to blush into the skin was absorbed by the clay and lost.

PREMO: I really like this clay, which is made by Sculpey. The color and translucency are both very good, but I especially like the resistance and 'elastic' quality of the clay. Parts are not as likely to break off before you bake, such as when you pull clay to lengthen an arm or create fingers. It's an important part of my recipe.

My Recipe: 1 part Puppen Fimo + 1 part Pro Sculpt. Mix well. Add 2 parts Premo and mix well again.
The Fimo provides strength and matte quality, which helps show up any blushing I apply. The Pro Sculpt is for general color, translucency and softness of the clay. The Premo adds resistance and elastic qualities to the unbaked clay. I also find that the finished doll is not quite as brittle as those without Premo.

Baking: I found that the suggested baking times were far too much for little dolls, and I was always in danger of burning or discoloring the clay. Now I bake a head and breastplate for 10 - 13 minutes (depending on whether it's a child or adult) and limbs for about 7 minutes.

Handling the clay: I've found that the less I touch the clay with my hands, the better! I get the clay up onto foil, or a foil-wrapped wire and try to touch it only with tools after that. To keep dirt and dust out of the clay, I 'clean' each tool when I pick it up by rubbing it on a mound of clay for the purpose. Many people have asked me about the smooth skin of my dolls. That effect is achieved by patiently rolling thin knitting needles over the surface. To first position or move the clay into place, I love those cheap wooden manicure implements, with a point on the end. Other tools I wouldn't be without are tiny crochet hooks and double-ended styluses.
Diana in Canada
Cold Porcelain
Cold Porcelain Recipe
1/2 c. water
3/4 c. Elmerís Glue
1 t. glycerin
1 t. Ponds cold cream

Heat the above ingredients in a non stick pan and cook till bubbly.  Add 1 c. cornstarch. The mixture will be lumpy so break up lumps.
Cook 1 min. Take from stove, place a damp cloth over it and let it cool. Then kneed 3-4 min. Wrap in plastic wrap. Do not refrigerate.
Ears nearly drove me to distraction! Trying to sculpt those delicate, complex little things made me swear like a sailor. I finally came up with a system, which is perhaps not very anatomically accurate, but seems to work.  First of all, ears are the LAST thing I do before I put the head in the oven. They are so easy to squish that you will save yourself much grief by doing them last. And this is my technique:

1. I 'mark' the ear hole on each side of the head with a beading needle or similar... leave both sticking out while I check to make sure they are aligned, making any corrections.
2. After removing the needles, I make a small kidney-shaped indentation into the head in that spot with my tiny crochet hook, with the two 'ends' of the kidney pointing towards the face.
3. I roll out a thin 'snake' of clay, chop off a length and apply it to follow the outside curve of the kidney. I repeat for the other side.
4. I apply a second layer, slightly longer, behind the first ridge I have created, repeating for the other side.
5. I roll out a slightly thicker 'snake' of clay for the very outside edge of the ear, trying to give myself a little loop or bulge at the bottom to suggest the earlobe.
6. I take a stylus or any smooth end and 'shape' the ear more accurately, pushing in just before the earlobe.
7. To make the ears stand out naturally, I use my x-Acto knife and gently pry the back edge of the ear away from the skull.  Yes, the ears are delicate and I'm careful of them even once baked, but the system works for me.
Diana in Canada

Eyes - Polymer Clay
I think if you blend the Cernit and fimo, you'd get a very workable there's no excuse, LOL. The Cernit would add softness and translucency, which the Fimo lacks.
For eyes, I have used glass eyes in the past but found it very difficult to position them so the irises are correct. Also, because the eyes are hand-made, it was not easy to find two with irises that were the same size. What I have been doing lately is pre-making eyes out of clay, just right-sized balls of clay, and baking them in advance. I insert these into the clay once the face is 'blocked out' and add lids around them. Once the piece is finished and painted, a drop of Fimo gloss or Future floor wax will add sparkle to the eye.
Diana in Canada

I did this on my Uncle Sam and really liked the results. I took white Sculpey and made small (1/4") half circles. (mashed 'em down on the table, then reshaped them). Then I took two matching glass beads and pressed one into the center of each eye. Take a minute amount of black clay with a toothpick and fill in the pupil. Bake for 10 min in a 265 degree oven. After they cool, glaze. I use Gallery Glass Crystal Clear for all my glazing, wet lips, etc.
Karen C.

1. The part of the face that grows the most is the jaw. An infant is born with a tiny, rudimentary jaw that continues to grow until adulthood, so this is the part of the face that lengthens and develops the most. This principle was made clear to me when I drew a portrait of my niece at eight. It wasn't a bad likeness but something wasn't 'right.' Two years later, I noticed she looked exactly like the picture!! I realized that originally I had made the jaw too long for an eight year old, but she had 'grown into' her portrait.

Another thing that defines an infant's face is the undeveloped cartilage of the nose. That's why they have those 'button' noses and no bridge. Human eyes grow very little over the course of life, compared to the rest of the body, and that's why babies seem to have huge eyes. A memorable characterization of a baby's face is Tweety Bird, with his  huge cranium, big eyes, and the remaining features squeezed together.  Forget the beak, though!

2. The jaw usually defines masculinity or femininity in a face. In men, thanks to testosterone, the jaw is noticeably larger and squarer than in women. Testosterone also squares the forehead and brings the brow down lower over the eyes. Tom Cruise is a perfect example of these features. Many, many 'leading men' in movies have these features because we instinctively associate testosterone with strength.

3. A woman's face is defined by the smaller, more delicate jaw (not proportionately shorter, though) and often by the roundness of the features, which is indicative of estrogen. Fashion models aside, men are attracted to estrogen and the subsequent curves it creates all over the female. Women's facial features -- nose, chin -- are often more delicate and subtle than men's... (except for those of us with a lot of the 'old country' in our genes, and our potato noses, lol!)

A woman's neck muscles are also not as large or developed as a man's.

4. As people age past the prime of life, the jaw begins to deteriorate (oh goody) through the loss of teeth and bone mass. So if you are sculpting an elderly person, you can reduce the jaw slightly to accentuate age (in addition to the wrinkles.) Also, the nose continues to grow throughout one's lifetime, and coupled with the shrinking jaw, the face of an old person can look 'squeezed in.'

5. Although the definitions of beauty are endless -- including DaVinci's brilliant system of ratio -- the short answer to creating an attractive face is symmetry. If your doll's face is correctly proportioned, and one side of the features is balanced to the other, chances are you'll have something you like.

An easy -- and startling! -- way to check for symmetry as you sculpt is to hold the head-in-progress up to a hand mirror. Does one half of the face seem to slide upwards? Probably! Why didn't you notice it before?? This happens because one of your own eyes is dominant and automatically 'corrects' the distortion in its favor...until you look
at it backwards in the mirror. Most artists face this difficulty and all you can do is to keep checking the mirror and re-aligning the features until they are more symmetrical.

I'll be glad to hear any questions you have -- although I might not know the answers! I hope some of this information is of value, even if for your own interest. Also, I've picked up a few tidbits of information about people through my fascination with anatomy...which probably won't help you sculpt, but are just kind of interesting:

- in the first few months of life, a baby most resembles its father, Nature's way of trying to ensure he doesn't reject the child.

- ever wonder why your teenage son drives you CRAZY? Testosterone again. As an adult female, you have a testosterone level of about 6. A teenage male can have a reading of 1000! If you didn't have to manage him with a whip and a chair give yourself a pat on the back.

- one of the things that truly separates women from men is (this will be a shock) ...fat. The female body accumulates and stores fat in different and more places than men. Forget the temporary fancies of fashion -- the male creature is genetically designed to love fat on a woman. Really!
- Although every face is different, there are certain 'classic' facial characteristics of various races. Asian faces, for example, have eyes not set as deeply into the sockets, and also lesser development of nose cartilage. This gives the face a flatter, smoother appearance. Classic African features can include a receding jaw (where the mouth and lips jut out farther than the jaw) and tiny, delicate ears. What are Caucasians renowned for? Big noses! (certainly true on my side of the family.)
Have a great day,
Diana in Canada

Often the eye sees what it expects to see or has been taught to see rather than what is actually there. Make some copy machine copies of the photos-full face, profile, 3/4 views- and use a ruler to draw lines through all the major features... though the eyes are generally just about the middle of a young child's face, each one is different... the lines will let you "see" the actual difference from the "norm" for the placement of all the features and how they relate to each other. It will also help with the "pout".

Face (Teenager)
Teenagers are much closer to adults than babies, so I would scale down the jaw from an adult's size. One thing I do is collect photos from magazines so when I begin to sculpt, I pull out several reference photos to work from ... and also hold the head up to the right figure in the proportional charts I sent the first Friday.
Diana in Canada

Firing Polymer
clay is burning to me thin, thin pieces will burn ( brown ) quickly if under 1/4 inch that is why directions are 15 min for each 1/4 inch but if it isnít that thin and it started to burn (white does this the easiest ) then I would bet your oven temperature is off I have a brand new stove and mine was off 50 degrees (too cold) also you should be aware that the clay does stay somewhat soft and pliable while it is still hot not as good as when it is un-backed but not hard like the finished product like you would think let me know how you make out ( do be careful you
donít want to breath all the fumes form the burnt clay)

Flex Clay
Sculpey flex is great fun but don't try to bake it a second time like you can rebake Fimo, the other poly clays... it doesn't work.. cracks and breaks and generally goes crumbly. got this info from a clay list I am on and they have no solution to the problem

Green Porcelain
The green porcelain was Seeley's Jasper Green that I poured on the outside of a large mold until it absorbed some liquid and then I worked with it until it was sort of clay like. Not too easy, lol!

Lips - Sculpting
There are a few different methods for sculpting. One is the Push in, pull out. Another is the add on sculpting. Lips were also very frustrating to me until I found I could use a bit of both these methods.

I use a sculpting tool (primary) to make a line that marks where the lips will join in between.

Then I smooth the clay upwards to form the upper lip.

Then I smooth the clay very gently up to form the upper lip. ( I love tiny crochet needles for different areas).

Then I smooth upwards and downwards until I create a tiny ridge for my upper lip.

Then I add tiny rolls of clay to form the bottom lip and I smooth these into the face and upper lip.

Then I turn the head upside down to make sure it looks good from all directions and looks natural.

I then insert the tool slightly into the join in between the lips and pull out the top lip slightly for a very natural look. Smooth again...very gently.

You can take your primary sculpting tool and pull the corners of the mouth ever so gently up or down to make her smile or frown depending on what you want. If she is smiling you will want her eyes to "smile too". But that is a different question. lol

Gosh I hope I made a little sense. I am terrible at describing anything. But hopefully you can get a little from my ramblings. One thing I do know is this, everyone has different little ways to sculpt.  When you find a technique that works for, that is the right way!

Liquid Sculpey
When you cut a piece, just dot the end with glue and let dry. Then as you roll the clay it will stay put inside. You could also build up layers of Liquid Sculpey, by doing several bake and paint on another coat to get the size needed.  It will need to be painted the color needed afterwards since it is translucent.

Oven baked clays/fumes.
I was sent a letter from the president of Sculpey to assure us that there are NO fumes from that product and he listed all the agencies who tested it for fumes and found none. I personally, have never been aware of any fumes and have never taken any precautions against fumes.

Oven baked clays/fumes
Ok guys this really bothered me as I try very hard not to give adverse advice so I have been looking in the poly clay guild and at there recommended sites and this is the info I have found now it is up to you. this is what the clay makers say and as it seems to read some clays differ so mixing of clays may be a problem and so may be the brand that you use and this does include some of the Sculpey products  (this page shows all ) here are some other clay sites you may want to check out just for the fun of it

Oven baked clays/fumes
in my sculpting class, Jack Johnston who has developed his own brand of polymer clay says it's basically pvc (plastic) but we don't process it the same to get the hardness. I've never to my knowledge had any problem baking without baking without  proper ventilation, but you can't really tell on small amounts! LOL Ė Karen

Oven baked clays/fumes
Great sites. Overheating causes poisonous gases! And take the clay and pan with you to the hospital! Interesting. Small print.
Also interesting is that you should not eat, drink or smoke near this product. We are learning a lot these days.

Oven baked clays/fumes
Don't eat, drink, smoke using ANY art materials... and wash your hands immediately afterwards. Many pigments used for years are now considered hazardous to your health. Most people know about not using white lead paint (actually you have to sign a release form if you can find an art store that sells white lead paint) but the real cadmium colors are also toxic... permanent light green is toxic... and the list goes on... the pigments and dyes used in the craft paints are supposed to be non-toxic but what will
they discover in a couple of years? Better to be safe than sorry.

Sculpting Patents
I've been thinking about this discussion and decided I couldn't hold back my thoughts. I don't know what a court would decide, but I know, as a sculptor, I would be furious if someone were to make a mold of anything I had sculpted and passed it off as something of their own. Sculpting takes not only the many, many hours of sculpting but also the time it takes for researching the subject. Not to mention all the time it takes to get good
 at sculpting. I think it would be unethical to make a mold of someone elseís horse (or whatever) and then make duplicates of it, especially if it were for profit.  If you made just one for your own enjoyment, maybe that wouldn't be so bad. (I wouldn't be happy if I found out) Even re-sculpting someone elseís horse, without their permission, I think would be unethical.  After all, the sculptor created all the proportions correctly, the re-sculptor would merely bend the legs or change the position of the head.  If I were the sculptor, I certainly wouldn't want someone else messing with my creation, whether I got some credit or not. In fact, I might almost prefer that no credit be given, depending on how good the re-sculpting turned out. This is precisely why I don't sell my molds. Once you make a mold to sell commercially I think you have pretty much given up any say in  what the end result will be. If you put yourself in the original sculptors position I think you can probably see what is right and what is not. Iíll get off my soap box now. :-)

SharonD, you wrote: "I keep trying to do my kids grandpa but they end up looking more like Santa." When I sculpt a portrait doll it takes on average 30 hours. If your doll is looking like Santa, at least you are on the right track...he looks like a man. Take time away from the doll for a while, come back to it, make revisions, go away etc.. For some reason, when you sculpt for several hours at a time, you stop being able to see what is
wrong. When you come back to it, it is obvious what needs to be done. He will gradually start looking more like grandpa. A silly aside: perhaps unconsciously you think of grandpa as being like Santa and so that's how you sculpt him. :-)

Bev, agreed, some discussions go on too long. One reason for this is that some of us are on the digest version and only see 25 messages at a time. From the 1st message to the 25th more than 10 hours may have passed. We can't see what others have posted on the subject and it may get a bit redundant. Sorry.
~~ Debbie Olsen ~~

Polymer Clays
Thought I'd pop in to comment on my experience with poly clays. I currently use a blended mixture of Cernit and Promat for Caucasian figures and Cernit, Fimo, Promat for ethnic figures. I really do not enjoy sculpting any ethnic figures, but especially African Americans since I have to blend so many different colors of browns to get a realistic shade for my African-American figures. The Browns available in the Fimo and Sculpey lines and not geared for creating complexions which contain a translucency and varying tonal qualities.  To create this requires a blending of clays. When I blend, it breaks down the clay and makes it way to pliable to maintain the sculpt and leaves a lot of fingerprints. It takes much longer and a lot more patient than my mixture for the Caucasian figures.

I have tried blending the clays, and then freezing the blend to work with later. This has not been too successful since it tends to warm up very quickly.  Once it warms, the problem returns. I will try to order some ProSculpt, perhaps this will help me. Thanks Diane!

When sculpting the head, I start with a small oval on a toothpick. This way you have control of the piece without smashing the head as you add the features. I use many tools to sculpt but my favorite is a small crochet needle and a toothpick. My fingers and fingernails are also my best smoothers.

Polymer Clay
I use a polymer clay it calls Creall Therm I buy it in the Netherlands the clay is softly (however as softly as Cernit), after baking firmly ,strong, and has a beautiful flesh tone. I have also still Puppenfimo and Cernit now I will try to mix it. A good tip to mix clays

Polymer Clay
super Sculpey (not Sculpey 3) matches flesh pretty well. toaster oven is the preferred method of cooking polymer clays in this house. we set it near an open window or just under the exhaust fan of the regular oven to take care of those pesky fumes (no boys but plenty of cats, ferrets and a dog, y'know).

Polymer Clay
On MiniFindings we went thru this very question about using a toaster oven, indoors  or out..... ad nauseum(sp?!)  The final consensus from our Fimo queen, who really does know her stuff, and (lovingly known to many here on this list as Wolfie) then some (she kept us on a two week 24hr. buffet schedule) tells us there is no need to use a special oven, or to go outside!  Personally, with two little ones, if you have a toaster oven why not go outside, especially if it's a nice day.  The boys would love to make Fimo trucks, etc. And watch the magic!
Love ya, Cheryl

Polymer Clay
You can put your clay on a tile, whatever in a disposable pan and cover the whole works with tinfoil, sealing tight... bake an extra 5 minutes or so... and don't unseal until it is cool... all deposits are captured inside the tinfoil... and your oven is clean... well, the juice from the rhubarb pie will still be there but there won't be any deposits from the clay..


Porcelain Clay
There is a product called "plasticizer" (spelling is off ?) that you can add to slip porcelain to make a porcelain clay. This stuff adds strength and some drying time. Many people who do direct sculpt porcelain dolls use this stuff.
Jill Castoral
When sculpting/positioning dolls for motion with the torso leaning forward, the more forward you position the feet (almost straight knees), the more the entire doll leans forward (motion). If you move the feet backwards (bending at the knee), then the doll look as if she is sitting. Sounds counter-intuitive, but try it and you will see what I mean!
I'm very glad to see this discussion of doll sizes. As a sculptor, it has always worried me how my dolls would look with other dolls. I try to make my dolls close to real life sizes. When I first started out in the early 80's there were a lot of dolls that had hands and shoes that were way too small. I measured one adult male doll's shoe (from another doll maker) and then went to the store and found it measured the size of a child's size 3.
Obviously the size of feet and hands vary considerably, but this was way too small to look believable. I've read several times that for realistic looking dolls it is better for the heads to be slightly larger than in real life rather than smaller. But too large looks funny too. When I start to worry about my doll's head sizes I look at a TV show that shows the  audience. The difference is astounding. Another thing to consider is the age of the doll. Menís heads get larger as they grow older as well. I have a chart somewhere that shows the size of the average mans ear when he is young and then how much larger it is when he is older. Of course all of this varies tremendously with individuals. I have tried to vary the sizes of my doll heads. Some heads just look better larger and others look better smaller. I've never liked the pin head look that some dolls get when their  heads are small. I have two sizes of hands for men and am planning on a third size. One is more rugged, the other younger and smaller. The third will be in between and the more artistic, longer fingered type hand. I try to match the hand to what my customers say about the doll or the costume.

Another thing I discovered about real people is that you can't tell how tall someone is from the size of their head. You'd think tall people would have big heads and vice versa. But that's not how it really is. It does look better that way though. Ladies heads also vary considerably and can be a good bit larger than a man's head when hers is large and his is small. As a sculptor I spend a lot of time looking at these things. And large heads  don't necessarily mean large feet. I can see how this can be a problem for people buying doll kits and trying to dress them. But it's not all that different from real life where you need to alter patterns to fit an individual. I agree with Sammy that it is more realistic to have dolls of varying sizes rather than trying to get them all the same size. So unless a doll is badly out of scale (like a size 3 child's foot for an adult) you don't really need to worry about their size.
~~ Debbie Olsen ~~ Porcelain Doll Artist

The reason the feet are much too small is that most people never come to terms with the looks of their hands and feet... so, just as a little child draws a face with the eyes at the top (the forehead has no possible use as far as he is concerned so he doesn't draw it), folks make doll hands and feet "forgettable small". Many old dolls don't even have hands or feet, the arms and legs just sort of stop... Along comes a person wanting to sculpt a doll and instead of looking at real people, the person will copy a doll they like and perpetuate the small foot syndrome. Most folks are not taught in school art classes to "see" but rather to copy so the chances of them sculpting from an actual person, picture, etc is practically nil unless they start questioning the proportions. How many people have a Barbie doll figure, hand and foot size?

Priska, If you use that AB=CD height check on any doll to make sure that the height (not counting shoe heels) is equal to the distance from fingertip to fingertip...your doll WILL be in proportion. So glad things are moving smoothly for you. How is everyone else doing? You are free to ask any question today as always. If you are shy, send me a private message. I'm here to help.

1/12 Scale
What it means is that it's in the scale of 1"=1ft. So, a 6ft man would be 6", a 5ft woman would be 5", a 4ft child would be 4" and a 2ft baby would be 2".
I make my woman about 5 1/4" to 5 1/2".
Cheryl C

Sculpting hands & more
What I did....and I just made it up myself, I used a cuticle tool that has a bit of an elliptical shape to it. I shaped the end of my clay to have the small lump for the thumb and a larger lump for the fingers, then I wrapped those around the cuticle tool, flattening out and pinching them until they looked like a hand wrapped around it. Then I took the tip of tweezers and pinched off the excess clay on the different fingers until I got the fingers the right length. Then, I gently lifted each finger and rolled the tip between my finger and thumb until it resembled a fingertip. Then I gently patted it back around the tool. once I had the fingers the shape and size I wanted them, I started working on the backs of the hands...making the different "planes" you see when you look at your hand. (We are very angular!!) Then the wrist and so on up the arm. Then you work on the other one, working to keep them the same size. Hehehehe...when I was done, I had a cuticle tool with two very small arms attached in a death grip! Too

On Assembly, I found that my first attempt taught me many lessons!

Number One: I would make the head a bit smaller...because the hair will increase the size of the finished head! The face size is fine, but the remainder of his head is a bit big when you account for hair.

Number Two: I would either make the arms MUCH shorter...or form them to the exact shape I want the finished arms to go. I THOUGHT I was making arms from the elbow down...NOT! These little arms reach all the way into his armpits! I can laugh at myself on this one since on this particular doll and the use I have for it, it is not a problem. But, if I had wanted one of his arms bent, I should either make short (to the elbow) arms...or bend them to the shape I want them I the finished position.

I know this is late but I wanted to mention that I use flex clay to create my hands. This clay remains flexible after baking so I don't have broken fingers anymore. It is a nasty clay to work with, though.

The reason I don't use wire in my hands is that over time it can have a chemical reaction and crack open the fingers! This is a ghastly mess and I believe there is a major doll artist undergoing a backlash of this phenomenon right now! The only wire that I am aware of that is fairly "safe " is copper. So if you are using wire...switch to copper.

I've never had a need to use wire when constructing my hands. It's all clay carefully sculpted to insure durability as much as possible. Although there are cases where I know that fingers can be broken with clay as well as porcelain dolls.

Fingers - Armature
Sometimes, I do the hands without armatures, but only use Premo when I do that. I use a wire -- loosely based on several people's techniques - I usually use a wire scrub (on a hand held tool) to rough up the wire, then I use a polyvinyl paint (local hard ware store) and bake that at 400 degrees for 15 minutes to bond the paint to the wire. . Then paint with very thin coat of Translucent Polymer Clay and back that at 305 degrees for about 15 minutes. I can shape it and work with the hand - before applying the clay. Ellen's tissue paper and Glue sounds great - and just as effective.
James Peacock

Fingers - Armature
I stumbled over a tip for wire in fingers quite by accident.  My cat needed support for his tail up in the air for security when mailed.  I had used a #28 with floral tape for his front legs, and wanted something smaller for the tail. Off to find the # 32 I saw on the flat card, when waving at me was the #32 paper taped wire that flower makers use.  No matter how well you tape with floral tape you cannot get it as fine asthis wire is covered. 
Helen David

Fingers - Armature
When sculpting hands I put a wire in the fingers, even in the 1" dolls. I wrap the wire with a very tiny piece of tissue paper and glue and when it is dry I add the clay, it sticks to the paper. This method is still a little tricky but the results are worth it.

Fingers - Armature
In my doll making class, we wrapped the wire with florist tape to make the clay stick. If you're making a miniature doll, maybe spray painting the wire with a matte flesh color would do the trick. I haven't tried it, but I think it would make the clay stick to the wire.
Karen c.

Sculpting Tools
has anyone tried the clay shapers that are the market now. The small hard black ones are great. There is one that I use a lot and I mean a lot. Itís wonderful when you can use a tool and make one swipe at it and its done. The tool dose the work for you.

Sculpting Tutorial (In German)
body size: women:14cm, men:15cm heading length ca:2cm  Feet with shoe size 37 ( German) is 1,7 cm You can measures your parts of your body and divides this by 12 ( 1:12) Can you read German? Than look here my sculpting lesson.


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