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Thread: Big Plans

  1. #11
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    master parts question

    I've been trying to make my base parts for my bjd, but the clay I am using is too soft. It is original Sculpey.

    What should I be using instead?

  2. #12
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    Is it soft after you have fired it? Or is it too soft to work with?
    If it is getting sticky when you are trying to sculpt it, you can pop it in the fridge for a while to firm it up. It happens a lot here in Australia especially in summer. It ends up like chewing gum (yuk)!
    I ended up using stone clay as it it doesn't get sticky.
    You can also firm up sculpey with a heat gun, so you don't ruin what you have done so far. Then bake it in the oven when you are happy.
    I hope that helps?

  3. #13
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    Yes, sometimes soft clay is annoying, and sometimes it's wonderful =P. I find that I am sometimes baking the clay once to harden what I've already done (I don't bake it for long) and then adding onto it and baking again. Although you don't want to overdo it and burn the clay =p. Uh, I think they create Sculpey firm? There are clays that have 'firm' versions, I haven't used them but I imagine they are better to use if you prefer firmer clay.

    Apparently Scupey Firm is gray but if you are creating the doll into porcelain it shouldn't matter, right? (Are you?)

    Can't wait to see progress!
    Last edited by Orangey; January 20th, 2011 at 09:16 AM.

  4. #14
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    With soft clay, I've resorted to sculpting parts on a stick so I don't squish them. I've also built up layers, baking a little at a time. Regular sculpey is really soft, but I like the opacity of the clay, it's easier to see the surface, and it sands nicely.

  5. #15
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    noxy is offline Adorned and bejeweled
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    When I was perusing youtube videos of folks making dolls with clay, I noticed many mix their clays to get their preferred consistency... mayhaps you could experiment?

  6. #16
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    Hmm, these are all good suggestions. I will see what works out Thanks everybody!

  7. #17
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    Big Plans

    Quote Originally Posted by Tovah View Post
    I've been trying to make my base parts for my bjd, but the clay I am using is too soft. It is original Sculpey.

    What should I be using instead?
    I would like to mention that many of the professional doll makers at The Joint
    use Aves Apoxie Sculpt to sculpt their BJDs.

    Apoxie Sculpt is a two-part modeling material with a finite working time.
    From what I understand, you mix equal parts of A and B together, knead it,
    then you have something like an hour or so to work with it.

    I have not used this material!

    There have been reports of severe alergies from some doll makers who have used
    Aves Apoxie Sculpt. Also, using it requires a learning curve, of sorts, until you are
    familiar with its working properties.

    The doll makers who are using it, and have been using it for some time, rave about it.
    The ones who were using it, but developed alergic reactions to it after some time,
    are trying to find an alternate modeling material that is like Apoxie, but without the allergens.

    At this point, I would like to put in a plug for Martha Armstrong-Hand's Method.

    With Martha's Method, you model the original in any modeling material you like.
    If Play Doh gives you the results you are looking for, use that to model your original.
    You can also use Sculpey Original, oil-clay, water clay, Fimo, whatever.
    Martha used oil-clay, which is relatively soft.
    Then the original is molded in multi-part plaster rough shell molds.
    The rough shell molds are saturated in room temperature water,
    until they do not absorb any more water.
    Excess water is dabbed out of the molds before pouring wax into them
    Then carving wax is melted, and poured into the rough shell molds.
    The carving wax parts have the balls and joints added to them.
    The carving wax is strong enough to be test-strung with elastic!
    The carving wax parts are refined and finished (they can be finished glass-smooth!).
    Then plaster slip casting molds are made, using the carving wax parts as pattern masters.
    Or, if you prefer, use the carving wax parts as pattern masters for making silicone rubber molds.

    Using the carving wax as an intermediate, transition material, allows you to model
    your original sculpture in any modeling material that you are accustomed to using.
    Using the carving wax is a professional industrial design technique that Martha
    brought into her doll studio from working as a professional doll maker for the likes of Mattel.

    I am totally sold on the idea of using carving wax! I am using a modified version of JayneM's carving wax recipe, which she modified from Martha's own carving wax recipe.

    Using carving wax requires that you make plaster rough shell molds!

  8. #18
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    I got some stuff in the oven a few minutes ago

    I wish I could show you guys! I'm torn between buying a camera and saving up for other supplies...

  9. #19
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    Well, its been a long time!

    I am an art student at ASU, and this semester I unfortunately didn't get into any art classes. But it has turned out to be kind of nice, because it has motivated me to start some personal art projects, like this one.

    I finally got a camera, but its just a cheap point and shoot. These were the best pictures I could take... Its just a rough head.

    So far, this is a sculpey head that I baked once and then added more clay to. I plan to bake it again, hopefully this will not burn it. And then I'm not sure if I should sand it or not? I don't have many tools and don't have the money to get any new ones, so I find that I can't make refined forms very well like the lips, nose, and eyes. As you can see now the eyes are just hollows.

    Please excuse the mess! Like I said... I'm a college student


    008 by Tovwig, on Flickr


    007 by Tovwig, on Flickr


    006 by Tovwig, on Flickr


    004 by Tovwig, on Flickr


    003 by Tovwig, on Flickr


    002 by Tovwig, on Flickr


    I've got to be honest, I'm a 2d artist by trade and find 3d things to be extremely difficult. I'm very much struggling to make this head.. but I really love the challenge, and am enjoying myself immensely. I had such high expectations for myself over a year ago when I posted this thread, but now I think I just want to finish one doll. And then from there, maybe see where it takes me.


    I do have some questions though:
    1) I've made this head solid. Was that wrong? I am very unsure of what point the doll becomes hollow.
    2) I plan to make this doll out of sculpey, and then mold it and make a doll of wax to refine it before moving on to porcelain. In this case, at what point do I make joints? Now, or on the wax doll?
    3) I don't know if I should try to make them more refined now or if I should wait until I do them in wax. What have others done?
    4) I'm sure I have more, but I can't think of any! any advice or tips are welcome though. I've never really worked with any clays before besides the occasional coil pot in high school and super sculpey as a kid.
    Last edited by Tovah; October 21st, 2012 at 01:47 PM.

  10. #20
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    You should check out the joint http://www.denofangels.com/joints/forum.php
    It is a great forum all about making BJD's- most are resin and not porcelain though.
    1. Head becomes hollow after the molds are made- you make a 4 part mold for the head- at least in a resin doll- not sure on porcelain
    2. Either- but why the second step?
    3. Why not make it out of wax to begin?
    4. check out the joint

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