Friday, February 25, 2011

How To Use A Push Mold - Baby

For Guild members that choose to use a polymer clay push mold to help them with their doll making, here is a you tube video that I found. It shows how to fill a mold, pull the clay out of the mold, refine the features and remove the flashing. The molded clay is series baked and then there is a demonstration about how to attach raw clay to cured clay (an excellent tutorial, thanks to White Gothic Studio). Check it out at:

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Armature Tutorial

Check out this video tutorial on making a simple wire armature and an under-sculpt using a two part epoxy:

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Why Pre-wash Fabric?

When fabric is manufactured, threads are stretched on a loom, pulling fibers into an unnaturally straight position. Coatings are added to help stabilize the threads and keep them taut. Fabrics arrive from the manufacturer coated with sizing and other chemicals that give them a crisp feel and make them easy to rotary cut. Pre-washing relaxes the fibers and removes most of the chemicals from fabric.

How to Pre-wash Your Fabrics: Wash your fabric in cool water with a mild non-alkaline soap (like Ivory Liquid or baby bhampoo). If you have hard water, you can add a spoonful of borax. While rinsing, add a few tablespoons of distiled white vinegar to dissolve soap residue.

For cotton keep wrinkles to a minimum by drying fabrics with low heat and removing them from the dryer as soon as they are dry. Either press fabrics right away or press them when you are ready to use them. After removing fabrics from the dryer, use clothespins to suspend segments from hangers until you are sure they are completely dry before they are folded and stashed away. If you prefer to work with stiffer fabric, use spray starch or sizing to reintroduce body.

For silk fabrics, do not dry in your dryer as it can cause damage; heat dulls the fabric and may shrink it, and friction from the dryer drum might cause yarn breaks or white streaks. Most wrinkles can be removed by hanging the fabric in the bathroom during a shower. The humidity will do the work for you. If necessary, pres on the back side while the fabric is damp with the iron on the low heat or silk setting. Do not wet in spots as that will leave rings.

You will be glad you did not skip this step!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Sculpting a Pretty Face

Most Guild members have a favorite tutorial that has helped them learn how to sculpt a doll’s face. My favorite one is a four page follow-along photo tutorial on sculpting a female face. I wanted to share these links with you. These pages are detailed step-by-step photos for you to follow along (many thanks to Patricia Rose for offering this free tutorial)

Don't forget to bring your sculpt for Show and Tell!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Got Moonies?

Moonies are imperfections on the surface of cured polymer clay. We have read that it is mostly trapped air and/or moisture. Moonies look like little whitish blisters (some resembling a sliver of a moon) on baked clay. Moonies seem to be a common problem for all polymer clay doll makers.  

We think it is best to try to avoid Moonies. Here are the many suggestions I have heard about on how to eliminate trapped air; be sure to press the clay tightly onto the wire armature ; when adding clay to the sculpt, press and roll the edges firmly; examine the clay surface carefully before baking and If you see a little pale spot on the sculpt, prick with a pin and press to expel trapped air; when using crumpled foil as an under-sculpt, be sure to compact the foil to expel all trapped air; and when using a press mold, push the clay halves together and seam firmly so that no air gets trapped inside. Some say that the longer the uncured sculpt sits around, the more you end up with dirt, Moonies and other imperfections that show up on the surface of the cured clay.

So what to do if you have Moonies? You may want to try to save your sculpt…First use a knife and carefully scrape out the imperfection. Then, wet the area of the repair with Liquid Sculpey. Fill the void with the same blend of polymer clay you used on your sculpt. Be sure to feather the clay into the surrounding cured clay. Then use your heat gun to set the fresh clay. Hold the heat gun about six inches away from the fresh clay and keep the heat gun moving to avoid overheating the clay (it only takes about 30 seconds). Sometimes you can cover a Moonie with the costume. Or, if there are many Moonies, you could paint the entire sculpt with several layers of heat -set flesh colored paint, covering them up. No solution that we  know of really 'fixes' Moonies.