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Friday, June 29, 2012

Note to Self- Get Over It!

I've learned a few things about making 1/4 inch scale dolls with polymer clay in the last couple of days. First, don't get too attached to them , because they are dropping like flies! I'm not sure where that saying comes from- flies surely don't drop? I've now taken to naming a group of dolls - like the " Doreens" and the "Ruths" because maybe one Doreen or Ruth will survive the whole process.

Also, don't use green or red wire as an armature. You probably don't even have green or red wire, but It shows through the clay. Blue or purple probably show through as well. Yes, I am making fun of myself.

Has anyone seen a tutorial for making dolls this small?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Dollmaking and Guilt

I guess I only have experiences with other doll makers online. I've come across a few people who make dolls in my city, but they have always had different interests than I.

My experience is that once a doll has been started , even if it is just at the armature stage, it a doll. We don't throw dolls away.

I have dolls I've repainted 4 or 5 times, have carved again, buried in more clay or otherwise altered. Working in quarter inch scale, I'm limited to carving and sanding, because painting or adding clay adds inches and feet.

Which means that this little guy, even though more unfinished than finished , is a doll, and has his own character -
(and I guess is male, since that is how I am referring to him) . He is way too big for quarter inch scale.

I made this little lady , Vesta, while inspired by a family picture. She is the only doll I've made that looks similar to my original vision . Most dolls seem to choose their own gender and size and character. If you try to do more than influence those decisions, it seems to end up in the creation of a spiritless plaything. An interesting note on Vesta- a close friend who only tolerates my dollmaking , and knows that I often repaint them, saw her and made me promise that I would not rework or repaint her, because she had, "Something about her." This from a woman who literally never owned a doll in her life.

If you think I'm being weird , and personifying dolls because I make them , think about all the people who hate dolls or are disconcerted by " Little eyes looking at me." I once had a friend stay on my living room couch, where the china cupboard was filled with china and bisque dolls, probably all 100 years or older. When I went to check on her in the morning, she had turned all 23 dolls in the display case so that they faced the wall on the other side of the room instead of looking toward her. The dolls seemed to have kept her from sleeping. She said she couldn't turn them toward the back of the cabinet because then they couldn't see out.

Not just doll makers or people who love them think dolls have their own character!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

One of the Gammage Sisters Will Just Have to Turn Into a


I'm trying my hand at making quarter inch scale dolls. Many of which have turned into half scale dolls's dolls! At this size, they just keep turning into giants, so rather than throwing them out, one of the Gammages is just going to have to be a dollmaker. I'll have to think about who.

Just armatures right now. Every little speck of clay adds approximately a half foot if they are in quarter inch scale!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Family History

Am I the only one you know who has 7 family trees on ? One for my own family, one for my kid's other family, two for friend's families that I got interested in, one each for two doll makers, one for my historic home, and one for my antique dollhouse.

Obviously I really enjoy searching for facts and family.

My grandmother, Minnie Florence Evans was born in Illinois in 1887. As far as I know, she lived on a farm all of her life- but am I remembering only what I knew as a child? It didn't occur to me until recently that the period I am playing with , setting the Gammage house in, is close to the date of my Grandmother's birth. Think about the changes she saw in her life! In terms of popular house styles, that means she could have seen Victorian, Arts and Crafts, bungalows, modern, contemporary....and many more.

Persis was born in 1870. If she lived to be 94, like my grandmother, she would have been alive until I was in high school.

This dollhouse making definitely is about more than playing!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Have You Discovered Scribd?

Yes, I spelled that right. I confess, I have been tempted into the world of modern or contemporary dollhouses. I'm still learning, but I came across the plans for a Woman's Day dollhouse which is modern, on Scrbd. You can download plans and print- I bought a one day pass for $5.00 and of course think I have to sit here and download forever and ever even though I easily could have paid $5.00 for that one plan.

So far I have found those plans (under the name of Jean Reynolds in case you are having trouble finding them (thank you Jean!) I've also found a bunch of toy making books from 1918 era . I have to say my favorite is "Organizing Your Laundry Room Closet". How many of you actually have a laundry room closet anymore- or a laundry room? I'm still getting to know the site, but you might be able to find them in my collections under Jennifer Berkeley- dollhouse folder .

Oh, and also this is where you access all the free AIM (Artists in Miniature) back issues.

Have fun!