Jul 17, 2013

Heads, shoulders, knees and toes!

I started an experiment...well over a year ago.  Figured I'd try my hand at a separate head shoulder for the dolls, the way the old maches, chinas and later compositions were made.  So I set about with toilette paper rolls, styrofoam, glue, tape, mache paste, and later, paperclay.

Can't say it was an unqualified success, but I'm happy (all this time later) with the result.  Having only the vaguest ideas of what I wanted to end up with is sometimes a blessing, because it allows you to follow what turns up, and in this case, two very different ladies appeared.

The one with her aquiline nose and blue eyes is destined for auction in Castroville, TX, to raise money for a large Catholic church.  I feel she's a sort of cross between a mache head doll and a Santos cage doll, but she'll have a cloth body and sculpted hands, and a heavy, Raphealite figure.

The dark one is Molly, and she'll wear plaid homespun and white linen.  They are a departure from the Izzanah Walker dolls, but I am enjoying the novelty.  I intend to make more, learning as I have what to do.  (And what not to do: DON'T dry the clay in the oven when you use styrofoam as the armature!)

Photos once they're dressed (well, bodied, then dressed).  Hope everyone has a fabulous Wednesday.


  1. Fabulous job Jan, it is exciting to experiment with other types of dolls. I have never trid to make a shoulder head doll but would love to learn some day.

  2. Fascinating! They are beautiful Jan.

  3. These are nice. I like them both. It's the best way I can think of to move forward, or, as I like to put it, ( take it to another level) in doll making. I think the shoulder heads are wonderful. It's also good to do new things, and making a separate shoulder head can lead to all sorts of things. My best learning was stepping out and trying things when I didn't know what the outcome would be, but I sure learned some do's and don'ts. You are going further than I have, and with beautiful results. Your dolls are lovely.

  4. All of your hard work is paying big dividends! These shoulder heads are wonderful!

  5. beautiful! what wondrous faces.

  6. Jan... bravo! Molly's expression is outstanding and the sculpting should make you proud. And why didn't you ask? I would have gladly shared with you that a Styrofoam ball inside a paper clay head that is dried in the oven expands proportionately more than the lovely paper clay head will allow room for! "Snap, Crackle, Pop!" Welcome to the "school of hard knocks"; I sit at the head of the class! Tsk ! Tsk! Daryle


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