People have a lot of questions when they see my little people. For the billions of Dollface fanatics out there ;), here are some of the most common questions regarding my work:
1) Q: What is sculpey?
A: Sculpey is polymer clay, a synthetic material that can be hardened in the oven at 275 degrees. It is remarkably life-like because the skin color is semi-transluscent. You can buy sculpey in a rainbow of colors. It is soft to the touch but hardens permanently upon baking. So, you could say that my little people ‘get baked’ pretty hardcore 😉
2) Q: What other materials do you use for the dolls?
A: Thin bendy wire serves as the ‘bones,’ while aluminum surrounds the wire for the ‘organs’. That is why Dollface dolls are light and portable, and often pose-able! For the costumes, I hand sew everything. Sometimes, depending on the complexity of the costume, I’ll mix sculpey for buttons, trims, etc., with fabric or leather. Every doll is different. Usually I let the images of the costume percolate in my mind for a few days before deciding what material will work best for each little piece. Hair is styled from wigs (often re-curled or straightened,) and those luscious lashes you see on some lady dolls?- made from the same eyelashes you wear for dance performances.
3) Q: How did you learn to make dolls?
A: Good old-fashioned trial and error! It has literally taken days and days of work to honing my ability to capture people’s essence in doll form. Sometimes I have made a very nice face that doesn’t resemble the person I am emulating. It’s frustrating putting all that work into something, and then having to scrap it and start over! But it always works out to be worth it to put in the extra work.
4) Q: Is anyone else making dolls like this?
A: Nope! No one else makes dolls that are so precisely tailored to an individual, and handmade from scratch. (Except the people at Madame Tussauds….and they are wax…and SLIGHTLY larger ;)….and also not available for purchase…)
5) Q: What kind of tools do you use?
A: I use only 2 basic sculpting tools. One cuts and has a sickle-shaped shaper, (say that five times fast!), and the other has little ball-shaped metal ends, about the size of a ballpoint pen. Sometimes a paintbrush handle comes in handy for rolling. That’s about it though! So if you see me sculpting on the subway in New York, that’s why- because it’s super easy to take my materials with me. Ah, the joys of working in miniature…