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kutelilkat's avatar

I want to create ball jointed dolls; can someone give me info on materials + process?

Asked by kutelilkat (279 points ) January 4th, 2010

I’ve been doing some searching online and have found some info but not enough. I’m trying to decide on a specific material and process for making ball jointed dolls. please be as detailed as u can (e.g. kiln and material type)

1: what specific ceramics/resins/polyurethanes/epoxies could I consider to use? (which are the best quality (and also some other good quality but more affordable options?)?

2: how many steps are involved when comparing plastic and ceramic material? (and what are those steps)

3: which kiln can fire the doll parts and the china paint? Or which mold rubber/supplies would be good to use?

4: I’m totally new to this, any other important information/tips would be much appreciated (e.g. good books etc)! Thanks!

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9 Answers

SeventhSense's avatar

Strung dolls are good because individual parts can be assembled separately in molds including head, arms, legs and then connected with elastic within the cavity of doll’s torso. I would consider pouring molds with a vinyl composite.
But easier still there are many generic dolls manufactured if you just want to create a certain look. You can focus on the head only.

kutelilkat's avatar

Thanks. Do u have any information about this vinyl composite? I really like sculpting so I wanted to try create the entire doll from scratch. If that doesn’t go well I will look into just painting the face of generic dolls as you suggested :)

kutelilkat's avatar

I wanted to create dolls like these (made of ceramic or plastic, but not sure what to use or how!):

http://www.enchanteddoll.com/galleries/index.html

ccrow's avatar

I find it amusing that this is the first ‘sibling’ for this question.

kutelilkat's avatar

@ccrow yeah i noticed that too haha

jahono's avatar

Epoxy is cheap as chips and strong, good adhesive to almost everything. Clay’s cheap and easy to mould and needs to be fired in a kiln. Metal bits can be bought or machined – machining businesses (trained CNC operators) can make to a dimensioned drawing. An art/hobby shop will tell you the best sculpting materials probably.

In terms of physical properties, (apart from ceramics brittleness – you can throw a plastic doll out the window I suppose?) ceramics and plastics are pretty much indifferent when being used in making a doll.

In terms of construction I dont know of any plastics you can sculpt. You can cast plastic easier if your talking about making a high number. Of course you still need to make/get the mould.

If you wanted to make ceramic you would need to fire the bits seperately in a kiln. You can epoxy the fired ceramic bits together no prob to assemble. Joints will be difficult to sculpt and brittle though.
– If you make a skeleton to mould clay around use a high temp metal if it has to endure firing temperature

Ceramic is hard to machine.

Can obviously add any plastic in your construction after the firing if you have plastic joints + metal frame or plastic + metal joint etc..

Miniature ball and socket joints would be more easily bought than made yourself. If made yourself then casting plastic easier than metal because of the temp. Also machining is hard without very good machining tools.

Are you making a kiln? buying one? using one?

kutelilkat's avatar

@jahono Thank you for the details. Your right about the ceramic joints, I would need to put leather or something between to cushion/protect them.

Not sure if I’m going to use a kiln… haven’t decided on the materials yet. I was going to buy one if I needed one, hmm.. didn’t know I could make one.

jahono's avatar

Yeah leather round the joints sounds pretty good. Buying a kiln is definitely easier than making one – but then if the Greeks were making pots etc when Troy was still around I’m sure you can make one.

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