Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Lil'Gus OOAK for sale

This is a once in a life opportunity :)
After many months, the OOAK from which Gus was produced is ready for adoption.
He had some damage from the molding process but I worked hard and about 50% of him is brand new.
I did some changes (as you will see in the pics) and he does have some minor flaws but not more or less than any other hand made OOAK :)
This is your once in a life time chance to own a very famous, sought after and adorably cute Kewy OOAK in a low price.
Because of his small flaws he is sold as is for only $1200 ($1250 for Australia or if you want Express Shipping).

He will come with a full layette of brand name clothing...because he is a Prince and we need to spoil him :)
I am also giving the new mommy the option of painted or glued on hair!!

Here is a list of what I did to him:
Gave him a proper neck.
Left hand was perfect coming off the molding, so didn't do anything to it.
Right arm couldn't be salvaged so I made him a brand new arm.
I kept the feet but gave him brand new legs from mid-calf up.
He did came home with a crack on the bridge of his nose, which I cut and repaired thoroughly. However you can see a super thin whitish line from up close :( It is not a crack and it won't get worse over time but of course I have to mention it.
He now has a brand new cloth body, he is nicely weighted and heavy and of course all new paint :)

Here is the little prince:

He is a big newborn baby at about 21-22"
Drop me an e-mail to tina (at) tinakewy dot com if you are interested.
I accept PayPal :)
Thank you!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The joint connudrum...

You know I love sculpting babies and newborns... but my *most* favorite thing is creating tiny dolls, the kind you can play with, and have a ton of accessories for and create little rooms for etc.
All my life, since I was teeny, I was drawn to miniature... not doll house scale; 1/6th works great for me.
My Barbie dolls were not the best dressed, but golly, they had wonderful rooms, created on the shelves of my bookcase and of course they had babies and children. My grandma taught me to sew when I was 4 or 5, and my babies had amazing clothes. I remember taking my brothers' old shirts, cutting off the sleeves with which I created pants... and tucking in the bodice of the shirt to make it a small(er) t-shirt, thus creating a matching set!! Same with the teenies :) Only, more fun!!

The desire to make the teenies comes and goes, mostly because the market for them is limited. It doesn't matter that mine have the same amount of amazing detail and coloring as my bigger ones. They usually do not sell well, so because I have bills to pay, I limit the amount of teenies I make and only do them for *my* entertainment (which is why I have a studio full of them, hahaha).

My great love of course is dolls you can play with; Ball Jointed Dolls (BJDs).
I differ from the classic, traditional look of big heads, huge eyes, a speck of a nose and a tiny mouth, no detail on the limbs or hands. My BJDs are a little more stylized than my normal dolls, but still realistic. I have been asked many times, how do you make a BJD, please teach us... and frankly I would rather teach 20 people how to make a normal newborn baby, than teach one person how to make one BJD. In other words, they are HUGE pain in the bum ;)

Firstly, my approach is totally different as mine are made from the very temperamental material of polymer clay. There are a couple of books out there discussing BJDs (adults) in the traditional Asian style, but they were no help to me at all, since they use paper clay and a foam core.
My first BJDs, were actually puppets, the kind with the strings, when I was about 12. I made fairies, princesses, you name it. They were in fact made from paper clay and at the time I thought they were amazing (they were not!!)... ok so *maybe* for the art of a 12 year old they were pretty ok, considering I had no training and I came up with the jointing system all by myself :)
However, the polymer clay ones are!!! More work to make a 6" BJD than to sculpt a full size newborn!!

The greatest book I ever read was Martha Armstrong Hand's "Learning to be a Doll Artist". It had some awesome designs on joints and even though she works in a totally different medium and in a totally different technique, I have read the book cover to back over a dozen times and I still come up with ideas. I adore Martha, I would give my right leg to be able to really be her apprentice, she is everything I would love to be... except of course, she is no longer with us :(

There is one point though I realized, Martha and I differ greatly. Like me, she too wanted to play with her dolls (hence the joints), but her joints are not pretty :(
Let me explain that; her dolls look amazing dressed and they pose well. But when naked, the joints are big and the forms on which they are based are slightly distorted (in order for the joint to work).
Mind you, not that my amateur joints are better ;) but I do try to make "invisible" joints.
For every BJD of mine I made and sold, and I do mean this, the joints were made at least twice and discarded.
It's messy, it's long and in the end it might not work ;)
Still I LOVE making them. I have one in the works for 3 years old and I STILL go back and re-do parts. Martha writes in her book, that it's ok for projects to take months or years to come together. I got the feeling that maybe she didn't have an immediate need to live doll by doll, because all of you artists out there know, that when you live doll by doll, you don't have the luxury of a perfected project that took you years ;)

So my BJD toddler, Penny, is taking years. I thought I had her down pat... then just as I was getting ready to ship her to the producer... I decided to re-do her arms and legs!!! Ugh.

And because I wrote a book, here are some cute pics of past BJDs for you :)

And here is my problem, my fellow artists and collectors. The joints!!! I KNOW I can make cute faces!! I mean look at them, they are all cute!! But the joints... oh my, the joints. Ok so because at the time there were no books, I had to "think" them up. Then I got my hands on a real BJD and saw the joints. But how do THEY make them work, and I can't? :(
I AM improving. I have no incorporated a totally new way of doing the joints which includes power tools!! Precision power tools ;) and this works good. It's a LOT of work because it means several re-firings of each piece, sanding, smoothing and making both limbs equal. Most companies that produce BJDs do the limbs in such a way that each leg and each arm can either be a left or a right one. But I like bowed baby legs which means I need to sculpt two, identical and symmetrical legs and two identical and symmetrical arms... which is very very hard.
Penny (the girl in the pigtails and the blue gingham dress above) is the first BJD that uses wooden balls as joints which give me the symmetrical joint I was looking for, and it won't matter in the long run as she will get poured into resin. She poses really well and holds the pose...yet still I am redoing her limbs ;) because I made these 2 years ago and I feel I can do better now!! And also I am a perfectionist ;) and a little crazy.
So before I go crazy over BJDs, here is a video of a sleeping baby I did two or three years ago.


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