Good morning. I have been sculpting on the weekend and taking pictures, as usual, not happy with the progress. I feel better about it today – good enough to post.
Sculpted torso, baked, sanded. Washed the dust off thoroughly with dishwashing liquid and brush. Dried thorougly in the – just an air blast – without heat.
Tried the umbrella – wrong angle of arms at the shoulders, does not work. Carved out all the clay around shoulders. Decided to leave arms and shoulders alone for the time being and make hands first. Here is hand going around that thing:
Sculpted hands and legs and baked and sanded and washed and dried and here is what I have up to this point. Still a few things that I don’t like and will correct them tomorrow – but overall I am happy with the way it is going.
December 15, 2009
Becky is all sculpted. There are some things I like and some things I don’t like about her – but that is normal. With each sculpt I start to get disappointed with my own sculpting skills at about this point. It is ok, I tell myself to just keep moving and hopefully do better next time.
I am, however, eagerly looking forward to dressing her – I always enjoy that part, as it is, of course, much easier, much more fun and – last but not least – it will cover up some parts I am not thrilled about. So here you go, this is what I have by now.
December 16, 2009
Good morning! I was supposed to paint Becky’s face today and make eyelashes and hair, but instead I made her shoes and spats (spatterdashes). I was thinking about how to make shoes – thought I figured it out and decided to make them first and get it out of my system, so that I can concentrate of face painting without the distractions of the shoes.
Here are the pics step by step. The boots made out of thin black leather (glove grade), the laces – thick sewing thread, spats – white stretch lycra fabric, spat fasteners – thin elastic band, buttons – black , the glue is .
I think I will change the elactic band to just white thread, as it looks a bit too thick on the pictures.
December 18, 2009
Good morning! Becky has a face, eyelashes and hair. The eyelashes are made out of feathers, one by one.
This time, instead of , I made eyelashes out of feathers tips – and liked it better. The general principle is the same. It works best on glass eyes.
1. Search out and lay out feathers, , sharp , toothpicks.
2. Cut off tips of feathers tiny pieces 1/8″ long.
3. Apply very thin line of to the upper eyelid (blue on diagram). Do a part of the lid at at time, as dries fast.
4. Wet a toothpick and holding it UPRIGHT VERTICALLY pick up a few “eyelashes”, making a small “bouquet”. 1-3 eyelashes at a time is good enough.
5. Press the “eyelash bouquet” (red on diagram) into the line (blue on diagram), aligning the bottom of the bouquet with the line where the lid meets the eyeball (green on diagram). Keep going until you have a decent number of eyelashes all around the lid. Don’t sigh in frustration as the eyelashes will fly away, you will have a mess and will have to start all over.
6. Wait a few minutes to allow the to set, but not harden completely. With a craft knife or scalpel, working on a small area at a time, press in and upward into the line where the lid meets with eyeball (green on diagram). That will tuck the and the roots of the eyelashes under the lid and re-align the eyelashes so that they extend more forward and even a little downwards at the corners.
8. All of this is easier said than done, but it is possible and practice makes it easier each time you do it.
Becky’s hair is made out of . Those are natural ringlets – I did not curl the hair. The step by step description of making hair is here:
Here she is, I think she is lovely – and looks like what I imagined her to look like. Bedsock (a fellow dollmaker from OOAK Guild forum http://www.ooakguild.com/index.php?name=Forums ) said she reminds her of old Pear’s Soap adverts. I looked them up on the internet – yes, that is the look I was going for.
Last update December 19, 2009
I am sick – I think it is just a cold but it is rather strong - I am running 102 degrees F (38.9 celsius) fever and cannot even walk without holding to the wall – dizzy. Right after I posted yesterday’s update I started to shiver and feel woozy. Had to lay down - woke up in a few hours – no better, actually worse. Shivering and sweating alternatively since that time – have to stay in bed and come down only to get my medications and check the email. Thankfullly, I am a packrat and found quite a few cold meds in my cabinet – there is no driving anywhere, as we are snowed down rather well. It would be nice to have somebody here – but it is not an option – I don’t want my sister or my daughter to drive in this snow – they both live 1.5 hours away. So they don’t know, lol – they might now if they check my blog. I will post when I feel better and catch up with work. My mom who is coming in a few months to settle and live with me - from Russia – is worried that she will miss snow. I took a couple of snapshots – front and back of the house – there will be plenty of snow for her!
December 21, 2009
I am up and moving after 2 days of being bed-ridden. Still no sculpting – I need to ship 74 packages and answer 74 thousand emails. I am still snowed down, the big truck came and plowed the street and I shoveled a narrow path from my garage to the street – the path is only about 40 feet long, but it took a lot from me to do it. The snow height is comes to the knee. I need the path to put the packages into my mailbox. I have a huge long garden toolbox (my neighbor said it looks like a body box when I first installed it) - that is where I leave the packages for USPS pickup – to keep them out of the weather. Anyway, I made a path to that mailbox and to the street for the mailman. I do hope I won’t get pnemonia from this little exercise. But I am feeling very well, surprisingly. I am going to pack and ship all day today – my only wish is that I had some cream for my coffee.
Perfection….as always!! Nat….I was just wondering….how did you figure out how to do the armature the way you do it. It is so sturdy & well made….& so detailed for being so small. I’ve never seen one like yours….you put so much work into it….it’s amazing! Every detail…from beginning to end…..That’s what makes you a fantastic artist….you put your “all” into every detail. And working on such small parts is not an easy thing to do……it’s fascinating!!
Glad to answer, Joyce, thank you for your kind comment!
I figured out and made my first soon after I made my first couple of dolls. When I first started sculpting OOAKs, I bought a CD on how to make OOAK fairies, followed instructions – it seemed to me I did it rather religiously – but the doll broke in several places. I made another doll and followed the instructions and it broke again – in the neck and in the groin area. It burned too, as I wanted to make sure the clay baked properly. So I decided it is not underbaked clay – so must be me – a slender delicate armature is obviously sufficient for many great OOAK artists – I see them making gorgeous OOAK without breaks, but not for me – I am a special case – I am too rough or clumsy or not getting some secret knowledge. So I decided to hammer it on my own.
Well, now, at some point in my past I studied Architecture in the Polytechnical Institute in Russia – spent 2 years there before switching to the University. I did not finish the Institute, because I was disappointed and rather bored with the program. You see, I somehow was under the impression that when I become an architect all that will be required of me is to draw spectacular structures of future on large sheets of expensive thick white paper with finest pens in beautiful black ink. When the studies started I was surprised to find out that architects need to study not only history of art and architecture and similar refined matters, but also math and calculus and physics and resistance of materials and types of bricks and grades of cement and how to weld and all kinds of boring stuff. So I fled the Institute after two years (I would have done it sooner, but was afraid of my father) and continued my education in the Tver University, with a completely different Major – English language. But some of that engineering learning did sip through my head.
So the inspiration came from that source – I remembered the rigid rebar armatures of buildings, modular structures, etc. So here you go – the result was the . I sell it – click on the link. It is expensive, as it takes quite a bit of time to make it – and time is precious here. But if you are interested but too poor to buy it, you can look through this blog and you will be able to figure it out on your own from my work in progress pictures. is good and strong – I sold many of them with glowing feedbacks – and the fact that I see knockoffs on ebay now confirms this fact. Some wise guy bought it from me and now sells them on ebay – without my permission. I am too busy to prosecute and also I look at it philosophically – immitations are inevitable, I think – whenever an idea or product of some value, however, miniscule, appears on the market, the knock-off birds of prey immediately start to discend.
I called my armature Brickhouse after a great song – here it is – enjoy!
December 25, 2009
I spent the morning dressing up Becky. Fun! Stockings, bloomers, pettycoat, coat, hat. It was going well – easy-breazy and I enjoyed it so much that I did not notice how the time passed – as it is after 1 pm, I am going to stop and finish tomorrow – clean up the glue mishaps (a q-tip with acetone cleans up nicely), style Becky’s hair, make a muff, the box for Becky to carry, make snow on the base, maybe a doll or a teddy bear for Becky to carry, etc.
The fabrics used – stockings nylon – for stockings, silk gauze and lace for bloomers, lace for pettycoat, stretch velour and decorative rope cord for for coat, felt for hat, ribbon edge for hat ribbon.
Here is what I have – enjoy your Xmas!
December 26, 2009
Becky Victorian Christmas Shopper is done!
There was just a few details I added today – the muff, made of artificial white fur. And snow, of course. The snow on the umbrella, coat and under Becky’s feet is – First Snow White Glitter mixed with White Aurora Borealis Glitter. I lightly sprayed (VERY lightly) with spray adhesive and sprinked with , dusted off after 15 minutes or so.
This is it – Becky is done – I enjoyed making my Xmas Shopper – I hope you like her!