Monday, 13 June 2011

Harvey - An Altered Head for Zuzu

Harvey is an altered doll head for my Friend Louise, better known to some of us as Zuzu.

Zuzu has a challenge to alter a dolls head for the Alter It Monthly Challenge blog - - but has a bit of a problem. Dolls creep her out!

It's not something that bothers me in the slightest :)
And as you can all probably tell I like my dolls as creepy as they come. So she asked me to come up with something.

I'm really flattered that Zuzu thought of me, and I've been cooking up Harvey to see if I can make an altered head that will be that little bit extra different.

I started with a medium sized plastic dolls head that I'd already painted and grunged up ready to make into an assemblage doll when I had the rest of the bits and pieces collected together. And had to cut away one side of it's face to make room for the hard core that I needed for the sculpted side. This was kind of creepy even for me, seeing a smiling dolls face with a great bit hole where it once had half of it's nose, and eye and a cheek, but I had to get a rigid core to sculpt on, so cut the shiny pink plastic away with a scalpel.

While I had a hole big enough to reach inside I mounted a green button from my hoard behind the empty eye socket, and then stuffed the inside with foil, tightly packed. After covering that with tape I got to my favorite bit, and started to sculpt the other side into one of my dolls heads. Giving it a large green eye to match the dolls other one.

So far my sculpt has only had it's first sand and smooth. And once I've done a second finer sand I'm planning to paint the sculpted side as I usually would one of m dolls, and give it a big shock of marabou feather hair. Where the two halves meet I'm going to paint the higher profile of my sculpt with a darker colour to highlight the difference between them. And them give the head a little base to sit on.

I know Harvey looks like supremely odd right now, and is only going to get weirder. But I really want to show the difference between a mass produced dolly, and a hand made, one of a kind art doll by showing them both together, side by side. There are so many wonderful doll artists out
there, pouring their creativity into original, heartfelt art dolls that many in the world just dismiss as a mere dolly. A child's play thing or a mass produced "collectible" rather than the true expression of an artist that has been created from the bones outward to produce a beautiful, detailed, wonderful piece of true art. Where every tiny part has been thought about, researched, hand-crafted and just Loved!

I'm really enjoying this little side project. And really want to thank Zuzu for asking me to get involved. It's been a real challenge to work out the construction I needed to use. And I can assure you the air was quite blue when I was trying to get the line of clay to run straight down the profile of the plastic dolls head while trying to keep that line sharp and not spreading. I'm quite pleased with how Harvey is coming out, and hope she looks as I want her too when I'm done.
If you haven't guessed yet my lovely geeky husband named her after the Batman character Two Faced Harvey Dent. Sometimes he comes up with some good ones.

Zuzu makes wonderfully detailed pieces of altered art, mixed media and jewellery. If you'd like to see some of her creations you can see her work here -

Also, I've not been able to take any proper photos of poor Lizzie Siddal as the weather here at the moment is awful, and I just can't get a result I like using artificial light. But I'm hoping I'll be able to get them taken some time this week. She's looking really pretty now that I've added a few tiny flowers and let her hair down. It's not often that I'm totally happy with a doll, but I'm so glad that Lizzie came out the way I wanted her too :)



  1. Looks great so far! Can't wait to see her finished!!

  2. Thanks Jess. It's been a fun project so far :)