When I first started making dolls I made cloth dolls. Following this I made cloth and wood dolls, then wooden dolls. I had always wanted to make clay dolls with faces but making porcelain dolls was too much work and required a kiln. When sculpey came out it was a step on the right direction, but required baking. Then paper clay came out and was an answer to all my prayers. It air dried. Fabulous!
So, when I saw that Artful Gathering was offering a class by Colleen Moody in 2013 teaching you how to make "Briley The Birdie" with a paper clay head and body I signed right up. This gave me a great introduction into using paper clay and I loved it.
I decided to make 3 birdies. I should have known better than to ever let the "dollies" mingle with the trio of "birdies" as they convinced the "birdies" they should be different than "Briley."
So, despite my best efforts to get them to conform my trio of "birdies" decided to be rebellious and be the class radicals. They decided they didn't want to be cream colored like Briley was. They wanted to be sponge painted. They insisted on it and then they had all the "dollies" urge me to sponge paint them.
I loved working with the paper clay and had some wood shelf sitter bodies I'd cut out years before but hadn't done anything with them yet. So, I decided to make some mixed media shelf sitter scarecrows with paper clay faces that I sculpted. After all what would Fall be like without adorable scarecrow decorations?
After this I decided to more of the wood shelf sitter bodies I had to make a few mixed media shelf sitters with paper clay faces that I sculpted as Halloween was just around the corner.
Then I decided to make three mixed media Victorian collage and paper clay shelf sitter Man In the Moon wood art dolls dolls with paperclay faces using a mold that I had purchased.
I loved the way the mold worked for my Man In the Moon shelf sitters so I decided to make two wood art dolls with paperclay faces using angelic face molds I had purchased.
I just love looking at pictures from museums displaying Victorian dresses on mannequins or headless dress forms and had wanted to create some dolls of my own like those. So, I decided to combine my mixed media Victorian collage art dolls with mannequin faces that I sculpted. This means they have the shape of a head and indentures of a face, but nothing is painted.
Following this I decided to make three mixed media Victorian collage and paper clay shelf sitter angels - all with paperclay faces that I made utilizing a mold I had purchased.
Last year Artful Gathering was offering an online class teaching you how to make a Regency Era doll. There was no way I wasn't going to take that class as it would be perfect for learning how to sculpt beautiful art dolls with paperclay heads and bodies.
The online class was taught by Hally Levesque who is an exceptional art doll artist, photographer and a bit of a history buff. Not only are her video's easy to follow and beautifully taught but they are sprinkled with historical tidbits of life with Jane Austen - which I loved. Now why would that be? Hmmm.... History tidbits for a history buff....... Hmmm....
I was looking forward to taking this class as it would be the first time I would be sculpting the dolls faces, hands, and feet out of paperclay and then painting them with acrylic paints. Acrylic painting of any sort is not my strongest skill - so I knew this would be very challenging. At the very least it was going to be interesting if not comical. Since I never do anything in moderation I, of course, couldn't just make one doll. I had to make two.
I had no problem with the costumes and cloth body. Sculpting the heads and legs was a bit of a challenge but I finally got the knack of it after experimenting a few times. Sculpting the fingers was much harder than I had anticipated and I ended up not liking mine. They looked like Frankenstein hands so I changed them into more of a solid hand.
Painting the faces was a real challenge. I just couldn't get them the way I would have liked them to be. Suffice to say, acrylic painting of doll faces is still not by strongest suit.
They say practice makes perfect so, who knows. Perhaps it's a skill I can master over time. Right now I wouldn't hold my breath.
This year Artful Gathering had another class being taught by Hally Levesque teaching you how to make a "Romantic Rosabella" shelf sitter art doll with paperclay heads and shoulders. So, of course, I took this class.
I was only going to make 2 dolls but could not decide which color I wanted the base to be so I ended up choosing seven different colors from solid color fabric my sister had given me.
I figured at least one or two of the dolls would come out nicely and was pleasantly surprised when they all did. Even though the dolls are all similar looking they all ended up having their own little personalities. To no surprise most are "Diva's" or at least they think they are.
Each of the dolls is handmade with hand sculpted paper clay faces, arms, and bonnets. Each has handmade silk ribbon flowers as well as painted flowers down the front of the dolls dress. Handmade silk ribbon flowers are also used for their bouquets and to decorate their bonnets. Each doll also has lace and tulle gathered overskirts in the back which combined with the silk ribbon flowers makes the doll very romantic and very elegant looking.
I love working with paper clay and have so many ideas in my head for different kinds of dolls and crafts I'd like to try making with paper clay. Hopefully I'll get a chance to make some of them this year.
While I love paper clay for it's ease of use I still want to learn how to make other dolls and crafts using polymer clay, sculpey, cernit, ceramic, and even porcelain. So, of course, I decided to create a Pinterest board for all the dolls & crafts tutorials, video's, patterns & how-to's I've found.
I just love paper clay, polymer clay, sculpey, cernit, ceramic, and porcelain dolls & crafts and hope you like my selection of wonderful paper clay, polymer clay, sculpey, cernit, ceramic, and porcelain dolls & crafts tutorials, video's, patterns & how-to's.
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Happy clay doll and craft making.
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