Oscarcrow's Page on FaceBook

Monday, December 19, 2011

Doll Restoration 101 Making new from old broken parts.

When a treasure like this box shows up in the mail I spend a lot of time sorting and looking for similar or hopefully matching heads and bodies. This time I hit pay dirt.

Among the 350 pieces in that box was this pair of matching doll parts..a head and shoulders and a body. To recreate the original doll form that is over 100 years old is the goal. I start with a mold box and place a layer of non- hardening clay in the bottom. Next I place the doll part into the clay and embed it halfway paying attention to undercuts. In order to remove the doll part later we have to fill any undercuts with clay and fill voids in and around the doll as well.

After pouring a layer of plaster, curing it and spraying mold release and pouring again we get a 3-d mold. Fill it with liquid clay and allow it to dry over night. This is what we have. Complete with air bubbles, pour lines and flash around the seams.

The next step is to remove the fettle(seam lines) and flaws by carving , filling, and smoothing. The pieces then are cut to match. In this case I used the v-neck of the shirt as my cut line and cut off the body from the head, and cut away the upper chest from the body. A small amount of slip is place in the matching cuts and it is pressed together to bond the clay.

This is the result ready for more trimming and drying in a dehydrator for 3 hours. Then the clay is hard enough to sand , file and burnish further refining the surfaces. Mold marks and trade marks are removed.

The tools I used to begin finishing are a folder 120 grit sanding disk and a triangle file. After the piece is completely dry fine sanding with 1000 grit sanding pads will leave a smooth finish. Next the piece will get fired to bisque which will allow me to further refine the details using diamond tools. Next time I will show her with glaze and a few of the pieces I have recently made like the duck girl and dino man. I am working on another doll this afternoon...