Doll making failures!

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Well I am feeling quite 'bummed' at the moment.  I can't think of another way to put it.  I was doing so well - or so I thought.  I was putting polymer clay over a 3d plastic printed body kit that I bought a few years ago.  I'd read that you could, and I double checked with the maker of the doll.  But I obviously didn't bake the pieces long enough before stringing her up.  I was really beginning to like her too!  So, what happened was....

I covered all the individual body parts with polymer clay making sure to leave joint parts etc without.  I baked them.  Because I was using such thin clay I only baked for 10 minutes at the normal temp.  Then this afternoon I followed the youtube video given by the doll maker, to string her up.  I used eyes that I had made and I was really beginning to be excited about her!  I mean, as compared to normal dollhouse dolls, she has a really big head, so not really life-like, but still - she has personality!  The two heads I made free-hand I'm not quite so pleased with and I've been procrastinating finishing them as I'm put off by the idea of hands!

So, I digress.....I strung her up, put in her eyes - held in place by tacky wax.  Then I was trying to make the hole where the magnet sits slightly larger in order to fit the magnet (holding the top of the head on) when a piece of her middle torso fell off!  Ah...calamity!  So I 'glued' it back on with liquid clay and stuck her in the oven again.  Yes.....complete with tacky wax.  I left her for ten minutes before checking.  The was had melted - but no big deal I wiped it off.  The main problem was that the clay was beginning to flake off on all her body parts!  Maybe I strung her too tight??  I've emailed the doll maker and hopefully she'll have some ideas.....To be honest I just want to get back into my wagon, but I feel like I need a Gypsy to help me style the inside!

 

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Why do you feel the need to cover the body in clay? Once you dress her, won't it be hidden anyway? I like her eyes. :) 

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When I was looking at the jointed plastic dolls there were headless varieties that made me wonder if I ought to get some and make heads for them. I like your heads.  I don't think I'd cover the plastic with clay, though; try to model clay body parts copying the plastic ones and see how that works..

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3 hours ago, Samusa said:

Why do you feel the need to cover the body in clay? Once you dress her, won't it be hidden anyway? I like her eyes. :) 

I agree. I commented in your gallery that I didn't see failure. With this larger photo, I now see the flaking, But this will be covered with clothing, so unless she likes to go skinny dipping, what does it matter? I'd forget putting clay on the body and concentrate on the heads, hands and feet. You can build up the bust and hips with cotton and gauze.

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if I understand well, you have a skeleton in 3D print that you covered with polymer clay to have the shape you want, right?

I had the experience of broking my finished doll with prosculpt, I baked it several times because I needed to make different parts step by step and at the very end, once dressed, wigged and ready to show, the arm broke . I asked to my friend who is more professionnal than me with polymer clay and she told me that I  didn't bake it enough at the right temperature and for a long time.

Maybe your issue is due because of the brand of the polymer clay, you may find some help on you tube at the https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tv6qOpdE_OU 

she has very helpuf tips to choose your polymerclay brand. I hope you will manage to save your gipsy !!!!!

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I know you are disappointed, but I think she is neat. Like the previous member's said, you can cover her with clothes. Thank you for posting your results.

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I had asked in your gallery but didn’t see this explanation. Glad you posted since we can all learn from it. In my limited experience with polymer, seems like the clay is too thin. Like said above there’s a huge difference with different brands of clay. 

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Even the hands could be mostly covered with long loose sleeves. 

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55 minutes ago, WyckedWood said:

Even the hands could be mostly covered with long loose sleeves. 

Or could be holding something, like a bunch of flowers, etc., that would cover them.

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I always try to cover my dolls hands as much as possible anyway because (generally speaking) with a few exceptions, I don’t like dolls hands. 

A gypsy doll could have black lace on the ends of her sleeves, disguising hands :) 

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I can't help you with the whole of the doll but I can maybe help you with the eyes.

When making porcelain dolls which I used to teach I use the tacky to put the eyes in place as you did , but use the minimum you can inside the dolls head, it is only a temporary fix. After the eyes are correctly placed   cover  the back side of the eyes  inside the head ( and a small area surrounding)  with a compound. I use Durham' Rock Hard water putty  Any wax showing on the outside of the eye could then be carefully removed with a tooth pick .  As long as you have made the eye holes the right size there should be very little wax that gets through .  The eyes will never fall out .

Sorry I cannot help you further

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Okay - thanks all some really good comments!

1 hour ago, WyckedWood said:

I always try to cover my dolls hands as much as possible anyway because (generally speaking) with a few exceptions, I don’t like dolls hands. 

A gypsy doll could have black lace on the ends of her sleeves, disguising hands :) 

I like the idea of a little black lace or similar to hide the hands.  I just used a little liquid sculpy over the hands and feet which made little to no difference.  I don't quite know how I want her as yet which is why I like the idea of a poseable doll.  I'll probably just have her standing by the wagon.

 

8 hours ago, Nathaliedollsmini said:

if I understand well, you have a skeleton in 3D print that you covered with polymer clay to have the shape you want, right?

I had the experience of broking my finished doll with prosculpt, I baked it several times because I needed to make different parts step by step and at the very end, once dressed, wigged and ready to show, the arm broke . I asked to my friend who is more professionnal than me with polymer clay and she told me that I  didn't bake it enough at the right temperature and for a long time.

I messaged the lady I bought the doll from and she said exactly the same thing about baking the clay.  She even uses a thermometer to ensure the temperature is correct.  My oven is very cool so I was literally just winging it.  Julie told me that actually with polymer clay you have to be precise.  I'm using Sculpey living doll.  Thanks for the link - I'll have a look.

13 hours ago, Samusa said:

Why do you feel the need to cover the body in clay? Once you dress her, won't it be hidden anyway? I like her eyes. :) 

Yes - I got quite good at eyes but have oodles that are useless!  At least you're not using much clay when you practise with those.  Yes, I guess I just wanted to cover the plastic body to make it more realistic.  

I can cover most of her - but for example I can't really cover her neck - I have an image in my head of how she should be dressed....

10 hours ago, havanaholly said:

When I was looking at the jointed plastic dolls there were headless varieties that made me wonder if I ought to get some and make heads for them. I like your heads.  I don't think I'd cover the plastic with clay, though; try to model clay body parts copying the plastic ones and see how that works..

Hmm....I'm getting to the point of being 'all dolled out'!

I have actually ordered another doll from this lady.  The doll I have is a few years old and her kits have changed and I believe, are better now.  They're not hugely expensive and are very customisable so I've asked for human everything!  Hopefully she'll print it this weekend.  I think I'm going to put the dolls aside for a few days and get back to my wagon.  I feel much more confident with that!!!

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9 minutes ago, Thimble Hall said:

I can't help you with the whole of the doll but I can maybe help you with the eyes.

When making porcelain dolls which I used to teach I use the tacky to put the eyes in place as you did , but use the minimum you can inside the dolls head, it is only a temporary fix. After the eyes are correctly placed   cover  the back side of the eyes  inside the head ( and a small area surrounding)  with a compound. I use Durham' Rock Hard water putty  Any wax showing on the outside of the eye could then be carefully removed with a tooth pick .  As long as you have made the eye holes the right size there should be very little wax that gets through .  The eyes will never fall out .

Sorry I cannot help you further

Thank you for that Jeannine!!  I'll use that idea!

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Good Luck, go back to your caravan  for a while till you get your balance back. I am stuck with mine as a parcel of trim was sent to an incorrect address and went back to the seller, it is on it's way again but had I am at a halt right now. 

Your wagon is lovely, you should be very proud of that

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2 hours ago, Thimble Hall said:

Good Luck, go back to your caravan  for a while till you get your balance back. I am stuck with mine as a parcel of trim was sent to an incorrect address and went back to the seller, it is on it's way again but had I am at a halt right now. 

Your wagon is lovely, you should be very proud of that

Yep - got back into the wagon yesterday.  I must say I feel so much more comfortable with the paint brush or craft knife!  I 'think' I could do dolls, but I also realise that you really have to have the passion for something to keep at it enough to become good at it.  I doubt very much that most doll makers made the perfect dolls on their first go - it most definitely is a practice makes perfect kind of thing!  I started on the wagon floor yesterday so will continue on that today.  Really looking forward to seeing yours!  Shame about the trim - although I ordered a bunch of trim (which was kind of expensive....) and then didn't end up using any of it!

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For good  dolls you need to seriously need to to.get a kiln. I can help you with everything,choosing the type of kiln ,, pouring molds, everything to do with firing, then painting and prepapring fired bisque for painting etc. . I di the same thing for  Karin and she is doing very well now, she asked lots of questions and those I couldn't answer I could send her to someone who could. She also found lots of goodsites in the web,  Think about it, it makes dolls so much easier and authentic.

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I had to adjust John's shirt pattern once more; both his arms came out of their sockets putting the other one on and I couldn't get them both back in with it on; the armholes were too small; now I have one sleeve in the new one and his arm stays in its place and moves pretty freely.  The lady has finally arrived and I have some patterns Wolfie was kind enough to share that I will use to dress her and the other man.

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14 hours ago, Shareb said:

Yep - got back into the wagon yesterday.  I must say I feel so much more comfortable with the paint brush or craft knife!  I 'think' I could do dolls, but I also realise that you really have to have the passion for something to keep at it enough to become good at it.  I doubt very much that most doll makers made the perfect dolls on their first go - it most definitely is a practice makes perfect kind of thing!  I started on the wagon floor yesterday so will continue on that today.  Really looking forwa, yourd to seeing yours!  Shame about the trim - although I ordered a bunch of trim (which was kind of expensive....) and then didn't end up using any of it!

Hey Rebecca, you should not give up! Making dolls is as hard and difficult as making a building or a wagon , you are just not comfortable by now !

You can try to recover your dolls part with polymer clay again, some liquid polymer clay may help you to bond with the baked parts. You smooth with your fingers before baking, and bake at the right temperature long enough. If the 3D skeleton bears it, you should give it a try, it is worth your previous efforts! I'm sure you will manage to have your gipsy !!

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16 hours ago, Thimble Hall said:

For good  dolls you need to seriously need to to.get a kiln. I can help you with everything,choosing the type of kiln ,, pouring molds, everything to do with firing, then painting and prepapring fired bisque for painting etc. . I di the same thing for  Karin and she is doing very well now, she asked lots of questions and those I couldn't answer I could send her to someone who could. She also found lots of goodsites in the web,  Think about it, it makes dolls so much easier and authentic.

Thanks Jeannine.  I think I'm not as passionate about it as I would need to be in order to purchase a kiln and equipment to make my own bisque etc.  Things like that are pretty expensive here in NZ - a much smaller population means we don't have as much choice as you do in the US unfortunately!

7 hours ago, Nathaliedollsmini said:

Hey Rebecca, you should not give up! Making dolls is as hard and difficult as making a building or a wagon , you are just not comfortable by now !

You can try to recover your dolls part with polymer clay again, some liquid polymer clay may help you to bond with the baked parts. You smooth with your fingers before baking, and bake at the right temperature long enough. If the 3D skeleton bears it, you should give it a try, it is worth your previous efforts! I'm sure you will manage to have your gipsy !!

Yeah - hubby has given me some ideas too to rescue my doll!!  I will because I've become quite fond of her!  I'm also buying another 3D printed body from the same lady.  Her bodies have changed as she has gone on.  I'm not sure if I'll try covering with polymer clay again or leave her as it is - but I'm keen to have another go with the kit.  Quite probably in the future I'll give creating people another go.

I'm also exceptionally fortunate to be getting a new doll from one of the members on here!  She is utterly gorgeous and will be the perfect Gypsy!  Now I just have to figure out how to dress her!

9 hours ago, havanaholly said:

I had to adjust John's shirt pattern once more; both his arms came out of their sockets putting the other one on and I couldn't get them both back in with it on; the armholes were too small; now I have one sleeve in the new one and his arm stays in its place and moves pretty freely.  The lady has finally arrived and I have some patterns Wolfie was kind enough to share that I will use to dress her and the other man.

Yep - that'll be my next fun task - dressing my Gypsy!  I've been looking at authentic clothing online and I do believe that the majority of Gypsys from the UK dressed very similarly to the average person of the time.  That's boring however!!  :D  So I'm now looking at Gypsy costumes!  Any patterns gratefully received!  Holly - looking forward to seeing how John's clothing looks once you've finished!  Where will your new lady live?

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47 minutes ago, Shareb said:

Yep - that'll be my next fun task - dressing my Gypsy!  I've been looking at authentic clothing online and I do believe that the majority of Gypsys from the UK dressed very similarly to the average person of the time.  That's boring however!!  :D  So I'm now looking at Gypsy costumes!  Any patterns gratefully received!  Holly - looking forward to seeing how John's clothing looks once you've finished!  Where will your new lady live?

Eastern European Gypsies dressed more like what you think of when you think of a Gypsies traditional garb. Google Eastern European Gypsies dress or Romanian Gypsies dress and you should get some good results. :) I always loved Gypsy outfits that had these vests. 

Image result for eastern european gypsies dress

Image result for eastern european gypsies dress

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Thanks Samantha!  I'll add that to my pinterest page!

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John will be my Brimble's proprietor, the lady and the other gentlemen will probably inhabit one of the houses I haven't built yet, either the Lily or the Newberg.

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Rebecca,  At one time Dolls' House & Miniature Scene ran an article to dress a Gypsy lady and I have saved the patterns for her clothes.  If you can figure out how to make them up (I don't have the rest of the article, since I have been sewing doll clothes for nearly 70 years) I will be happy to trace them and send them to you, if you'd like; just PM me your snail mail addy.

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On ‎9‎/‎04‎/‎2018‎ ‎11‎:‎37‎:‎00‎, Nathaliedollsmini said:

Gipsy convention held in february , look at this , it may give you ideas!

http://www.minidolllist.com/2018/2018%20Convention/2018%20convention%20home%20page.html

Wow interesting!  Thanks!

On ‎9‎/‎04‎/‎2018‎ ‎11‎:‎57‎:‎57‎, havanaholly said:

Rebecca,  At one time Dolls' House & Miniature Scene ran an article to dress a Gypsy lady and I have saved the patterns for her clothes.  If you can figure out how to make them up (I don't have the rest of the article, since I have been sewing doll clothes for nearly 70 years) I will be happy to trace them and send them to you, if you'd like; just PM me your snail mail addy.

Thanks Holly!!!!  Sounds fantastic!  So looking forward to my Gypsy lady arriving...

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