Part I: Model making
The first step of doll creating is model making. The model is the prototype which is used to make plaster molds, and after that, casting the doll in the porcelain.
Model making is a long and very complicated process, which is worth writing several articles, but I will briefly describe all main points.
Model making begins with a draft. At this step I plan the doll size, proportions and joints construction. To estimate the future doll’s size, it’s important to consider the porcelain shrinkage.
When the draft is done, I start sculpting the doll’s body. For model making, the artist can use any material they prefer: plasticine, clay, epoxy putty. I prefer polymer clay: it allows to perform fine detalization and make the joints properly.
At first the doll’s body is created as a whole thing, after that the work on joints begins. Every joint is made by hand, and it must move properly and look smooth. It’s important to follow the draft. but sometimes I need to invent something at this step. Working at the model, I assemble it many times, testing the joints, the flexibility, and the entire look.
Then the model is sanded and primed. I smooth the surface as much as possible, and the doll looks neat already, but some extra coating is necessary. Here I use aerosol primer. It gives a very thin and even layer. Every detail is coated with primer, sanded, then primed again for perfect smoothness.
After priming the model is very smooth and water-proof. I assemble the model one last time to check the proportions and joints movement.