Friday, 15 July 2011

Bits & Pieces - How My Girls Start

All of us that make dolls start them differently, with our own methods and materials. And for me starting new dolls is always a time of sawdust and sandpaper. Which to tell truth - I Hate!

I've been cutting all of the bits that I need to sculpt a whole load of new dolls. I have a little time off from the day job, and thought it would be a good idea to get all of this messy work done now so that I can concentrate more on the fun stuff when I have less time again. I've sawn, shaped, drilled and sanded tones of birch wood dowel into enough arms and legs for 26 doll! And mounted wooden beads onto dowels for around half of their bodies until my order of smaller beads arrive, when I'll be able to finish them.
I know I've been a bit ambitious, but I'm really not intending to get all of these dolls sculpted and painted before I return to work next week. I'm only planning to get all of the arms and legs sculpted, and a few of the bodies and heads. That way I'll have arms and legs ready any time I want to make a new doll, and won't have to get caught up sculpting the limbs as I'll have them all ready. Left is all of the lower arm pieces I've cut, and below all of the lower leg pieces. If you look close you'll be able to see that some of the pieces shown in the top photo are shaped on one end as I round them to fit better against the bodies.

Sometimes I still get asked where I get the parts for my dolls from. And now and again where I get the dolls themselves from. And it feels odd to have to explain that I make them all from scratch - from start to end. It's not something I ever thought I'd be doing. To think that I've found what it is that I love to make after trying so many different things. And that thing turned out to be the one thing  that I always loved as a child - Dolls! Even though I hate the sawing and sanding. Even though I still hate waiting for clay to dry. I do truly love making dolls. They just make me happy :)
I'm still planning out who these dolls will be and have a number of characters that I'd like to make. The more I read the more I fall in love with the Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian eras, so there will be a few more period styled dolls. As well as a few characters from favorite films and books, and one inspired by a favorite song.
I'm also just finishing off the great Victorian Courtesan Catherine Walters in her famously tight riding habit, and only have her hat left to make. Just another thing I'm planning to get done during this holiday. I'm going to be really busy, just the way I like it.


  1. How industrious of you!! I don't have a day job and I still can't accomplish what you have!! Well, I can't wait to see what develops...your dolls are truly amazing! Have a great weekend.


  2. It's so great to see all the bits and pieces and process!

  3. Thank you both :)I really appriciate the encouragement.

  4. We have tiny mini bits and pieces in common ;-)

  5. Fiddly little things are everywhere right now. i can't wait until they're all put together :)