Saturday, June 11, 2016

The Question About Push Molds

To mold or not to mold, that is the question! Much is said about that in the doll world so we are going to add our thoughts. To us, it is simple. If you are selling your doll as a one of a kind sculpture, no mold should be used. However, if you are not selling your doll, or not selling it as a one of a kind sculpture, it doesn't matter if you used a mold or not. 

There are reasons for using push molds. One is that when beginners are learning to sculpt dolls it is helpful to use a mold to shape a doll’s body and to learn proportion. Another reason some doll makers use a mold is that they use it as a sculpting tool. Used that way, it is a 'body-blank'; a stating place for sculpting. That is, a body or body parts are pulled from a mold and are then reshaped and detailed to form the figure type of the doll the sculptor is trying to create and facial features are sculpted on the blank head.

There are commercial doll molds available that you can use to pull the entire doll's body from or you can use it to just pull various body sections, such as the head and/or the torso. Some doll makers make their own 'body-blank' mold of a basic torso shape that they sculpted for that purpose. See the blog Index for the topic 'Push Molds' for more information about making and using molds.

One famous doll mold maker said that if you change your sculpt (that you pulled from a mold) by 30% you can call it your own. In the end, it is up to you, the doll maker, to decide for your self - will you mold or not mold?

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Reviving Old Clay

Have you ever opened a block of new clay and you couldn't get it to hold its shape?

Here is what to do when you open a new package of clay; take a small piece, like the size of a marble, and roll it out, twist it and roll it out again. Do this many times. The clay should be conditioned and ready to use.

If it crumbles or won't hold its shape, then add a tiny amount of clay softener. If after you added softener, it becomes soft and pliable, then you have old clay but it is still good.

If after you added the softener, you fold the roll in half and it cracks and won't hold together, then you have damaged clay that is no good. It is possible that your clay was exposed to heat, either in storage or transit. It is impossible to revive damaged clay.