Friday, June 22, 2012

Designing Ways

I love designing stuff..........I love the whole process from having an idea as a picture in my head, to sketching and then working out how to make whatever it is. It hasn't always been an easy process - time was when my ablitiy to make something fell well short of the picture in my head. These days, with so many years of making under my belt, usually I can manage a reasonable facsimile of my concept - the object doesn't fall so short of the ideal picture.
Designing usually takes place on the floor. I have large tables in my studio, but they are usually so covered with creative detritus that the floor is the best clear space available. If it is a doll I am designing, I usually start with a sculpted head. I then use the head as a guide to get the body proportions and size right and then the body sketch is used to make pattern pieces. I need to know at the outset what kind of jointing I am going to use, because that greatly affects how the limbs are constructed.
If I particularly like a head I've sculpted I sometimes make a silicone mould so that I can make more similars, or a series.
I am often asked how much you need to allow to translate a flat sketch into a rounded object......the answer is - I don't know. I do it intuitively and it is usually fairly right, though on occasion I have got it very wrong and have had to start again. My doll-making has entailed a lot of trial and error over the years!

The sculpted head - in this case it is a slightly stylized young child head. The pencil marks are just my way of making sure the sculpting is balanced enough - it's easy to get it unbalanced without realizing. They will disappear when I sand the head before putting on the cloth layer.

How cute will it be with a little knitted gumnut cap?

Original sketch and subsequent pattern pieces

Ready for a test run!


Koenig-Artdoll said...

I love your dolls, watching with interest the process of

Kays Kids said...

How lovely seeing your deigning format. Your doll making is to be admired.

maddyrose said...

You're very good at this. I've only just begun making my own doll patterns and this is a very interesting post.

Zan Asha said...

I make cloth doll patterns but yours are quite amazing! You are a true master...uhh, mistress of your art!

Susan McMahon said...

Thanks for all those kind comments!

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