Sculpting the Fantastic Character Doll Making

During your week you will learn how to produce a unique fantastical character poseable sculpture 'doll', this could be a human type, animal, bird or creature from mythology. You will be guided through from visualising a basic idea, to developing a character and a 'Story' behind the doll, through to a creating beautifully finished doll whose costume and accessories are full of narrative and personality.

Creating gorgeous, unique heirloom jointed dolls with a fantasy atmosphere -animals, figures, fantasy creatures. 
Course tutor - Kelly
Full Residential Guest TBC
Day Participant (full course) TBC

As with all of our courses the focus is on all things hand crafted. Our aim is to teach that you don't need many tools to create beautiful sculpted dolls, just a selection of easily bought materials, a few tools and a creative imagination 

You will learn how to create a wired armature so the sculpture doll is poseable, working with clay how to sculpt the head, hands and feet from polymer clay, and for animal style dolls, how to create poseable ears and tail. You will learn how to add character to your facial sculpting to give expression.

Kelly will show you how to build a 'soft body' covering to bring the armature to to a figure, how to add hair to the head and facial features if needed and how to paint the clay to bring the features to life.

Next you will learn how to develop the character of your figure using costumery techniques, including making and fitting the costume, fabric painting, embroidery, embellishing and beading. 

Finally you will learn how to make accessories suitable for your figure's character and story... mini books and scrolls, pencils, glasses, faery wings.... Kelly will help you create accessories or props you feel will bring the whole piece to life.


(gallery at the bottom of the page)

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What you will learn on this course ...

1  How to develop a basic idea to build up a character and 'back-story' to your doll. This gives more reality to the finished piece.
2  How to create a poseable wire and wood armature to create a jointed 'skeleton'
3  How to work polymer clay to create a head, hands and feet

4  Adding basic glass eyes and eyelids

5  Adding character, lines, texture and emotion to sculpted faces

6  Building up the body from bare wire to a formed figure

7  Using paints to bring depth and colour to our clay 'skin', lips, eyes and facial hair, painting glass eyes

8  Adding fur or hair 'wigs'

9  Covering the body. This could be with a basic cloth for human style figures,

or faux fur for animals.

10 Developing a costume idea and choosing fabrics working from the doll's character and 'back story' notes from the start of the week

11 Socks stockings, knickers and vests... all things underwear!

12 Basic main costume cutting and fitting

13 Adding secondary details to the costume, pockets, lapels etc

14 Any patching, scuffing or ragging for textured effects

15 Adding trimmings to add detail, ribbons, lace, extra fabric pieces 

16 Buttons, jewels, bows, beads and embroidery

17 Using dry brush paint to add depth to the fabric and/or ageing areas

18 Developing a 'gatherer's eye' for unusual uses for everyday things... waste


19 Developing accessories and props ideas. These will all add to the character's narrative, creating a complete piece. These could be things such as a magical staff, faery wings, books, bottles, scrolls, mini pencils, glasses, seed packets etc... literally anything your character needs.

20 Accessory and prop making. For this you will use a variety of materials, both bought and salvaged - wires, papers, card, polymer clay, wood, fabric, felt, threads, beads.... and various bits and bobs of salvaged 'junk' that, with a little imagination can be turned into something useful!


Extras ...

We supply all tools, materials and embellishments needed for this course, however if there is something of your own you wish to incorporate please bring it along. If there is a particular theme you would like to make lets us know so we can source some themed elements
This course is suitable for all experience levels from total beginners to guests already experienced in doll making.


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