Or, Danger Will Robinson . . . Danger!
Does this face look familiar to you? It reached right out and grabbed me even though it was tiny thumbnail size image on the site where I first saw it. So I clicked it.
Wow! and Ouch! Is it just me or does this doll have more than a passing resemblance to the girls in Mark Ryden’s paintings? She’s a new release named Trisha from D.I.M (Doll in Mind).
I am a huge fan of Ryden’s work and have been since my very first exposure. If you’re not familiar; do a google image search right now — I’ll wait.
It is perhaps a fortunate thing that I can’t afford to buy this girl as I’m certain I would feel an overwhelming compulsion to make her clothes to match Mark’s paintings. Which would be lovely fun and a perfect opportunity to make outfits that are simultaneously dark, twisted and massively sweet. Which would inevitably be way too time consuming.
She would certainly demand a meat ball gown for starters. Dangerous!
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A couple of years ago Pat Lillich started encouraging me to try making a ball jointed doll. Pat is an utterly magnificent artist — google her! She sent me some great background and technical information. OK, so the website she directed me to was in Japanese but it really was the most in depth tutorial out there. So being particularly persnickety I used Babelfish to copy and paste and thusly translated the text from Japanese to English and slung the whole thing into a Word document so I wouldn’t have to do this process every time I wanted to refer to the tutorial. Which I am now very glad I did because I can’t find that particular site now, it’s seems to have gone away.
So here I was with all this terrific information and no really compelling reason to use it — until the challenge theme for last year’s NIADA was announced “Make a piece using a medium that is new to you”. Well I do use polymer clay to make the face masks of my work but I don’t do whole figures and this one would be jointed and I wanted to try this different clay mixture to see what it’s properties were like. I figured that was “New Medium” enough. So here is my BJD experiment:
His name is Alexander and he’s about 6 inches tall. He and his pal Happy Duck have steadfastly refused to live in the display cupboard and spend their time chasing each other all over the living room. Which I have to say is far better than them playing tricks like “hide the car keys” or “build a fort out of DVDs (in the middle of the night) in the exact center of the living room”.
The technical low down: I made him out of a super sculpey-primo blend; his head and torso are completely hollow (which lowers his center of gravity enabling him to stand better); his upper arms and legs are made like shaped tube beads with a channel for the elastic down the center; I used brass rod at the joint terminuses (lower arms and feet) and strung him with round elastic from the fabric store. His wig is made from some upholstery trim (which I think has been discontinued). He balances on his feet just fine and has a nice range of movement. All in all, I’m satisfied with the experiment and may make several more.
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