I've been working on an idea. The doll's head is paperclay over an armature, w/ dowel neck and wooden bodies. The arms and legs are wood dowel, carved, or w/ paperclay hands/feet (or paws, hooves, etc.). Much like Sydney Cat (sidebar) they will dangle loosely when picked up, will sit unaided but require a stand to, well, stand, and they will have a sort of modern folkart look about them. That is the aim. I picture a folk art toy, like the ones made back in the day when kids took care of their toys because new toys were few and far between. I realize I can't market these as toys, this day in age, but that's the image I have in my head...
Here are a couple of pictures of the work so far...way early in its raw stages. There are four girls, two boys, and a goofy fellow who will someday wear a bow tie just under his adam's apple. There are also a cat, bunny, and donkey w/ eyes like the cat girl, but they didn't make it to the photo shoot. Click twice to zoom, as always.
Lots of sanding, more painting (sooo much more painting), arms and legs made, costumes researched and sewn. I love my job.
Still more to learn about the face shapes and features of the real antique dolls, I'd love to re-create the effect of the mid-nineteenth century mache head dolls w/ cloth bodies. That's the next project, ahem, when I finish this one. :~)