In the last few days I picked up some really good, useful books. The first one was the english translation of Yoshida Style – Sculpting Ball Jointed Dolls. This is said to be one of the best books on the market on the subject. It IS really good. (I probably shouldn’t tell you that I found it at a used book store for 8 dollars .. 😀 )
This books is super detailed and I like it a lot. I do hold an objection with it though. I can’t confirm it until I actually make one myself modelled after this style though. The premise of this book is that you carve the base of your doll out of styrene, then cover it in La Doll air dry clay. In the beginning of the book however it says that this clay is a little bit brittle. During the course of the book you eventually pull the styrene out of the doll, and leave yourself with a hollow doll. Where does the strength come from when you eventually string your doll with elastic? I would imagine that the joints would fracture if you did much with this doll. This, (to me) is troubling. I have been working out in my head where the strength comes from.
When he finishes his doll he uses an unusual ingredient, and I wonder if this is where some of the re-inforcement comes from. They use crushed shells (into powder) mixed with gesso, paint and something else (i forget). While the shell would be strong, I cant see it forming a cement bond because none of these ingredients form a glue (as far as I can tell). They do use about 4-5 layers on the doll, before painting it, so perhaps?
My own idea might be that you may want to mix up casting resin rather thin, and pour it into the inside of the dolls body, and rotate, tilt etc, to coat the inside cavity.. doing this a few times for some added tensile strength.
Also this book is good for more than just the sculpting.. It has everything from eye making, hands/feet, wigging, painting, and some clothing. It really did earn its name as one of the top books out there.
The second book I picked up was Creative Cloth Doll Collection. (I got this for $16 from Jo-anne Fabric with a 40 percent coupon, available on their website in the mapping section, good for one item, instore or online) While I am not necessarily into making cloth dolls, it is the body I am interested in, and as always, the process. This book is also well worth the money you pay. It has all sorts of patterns in it, lessons for drawing, stuffing, painting, beading, sewing, wigging, clothes making, color choices, and on and on. This book is full color and has gorgeous photos in all states of dolls made and unmade.
A book I am really looking forward to that should be out by the end of 2013 is another ball jointed doll maker, Kori Leppart Butts. Her Etsy shop is Here, and her Blog is Here. She has two tutorial DVD’s out which (in my opinion) are on the expensive side. I am sure that they would be worth getting, but I am not sure I could put out 65 dollars a piece in good conscience for them. BUT, If I can wait.. she has a book which will be coming out at the end of the year that should cover everything. This would be the first, english, American book on ball jointed dolls. Believe me, material in book form is pretty rare on this subject.
If anyone has any comments or reviews on the DVD’s I would really appreciate hearing them.