I am still in week 1 of my workshop. I am surprised I have accomplished this much so far. However, this has been the only project I am working on at this time. I take many breaks to sit back and think about next steps.
Her legs and arms are sewn and stuffed. I chose to use wool for her stuffing instead of synthetic fibers. I love touching wool and stuffing with wool was just such a pleasure. The hardest sewing aspect was the fingers and thumbs. She is not yet assembled as there is much left to do on her head. These next steps are easiest to do without the arms and legs on the doll. Right now I am working strictly with the torso.
I have just about finished sculpting the face and will do a bit more sanding on her. Sculpting a head this large was truly a challenge for me. I usually work on a much smaller scale. The largest size head/face I have done is probably 1-2 inches. This doll is a 17″ doll so her head is about 11″ circumference at widest part of skull. I must say it is easier to sculpt larger. For the most part I used my fingers and thumbs.
Her face turned out sweet however I am unsure if I captured the original Izannah Walker likeness (most likely not). However, she is a blank canvas at this point; unpainted. Perhaps after painting her face and her hair she may have more of a resemblance. Her eyes look like they are closed/sleeping but they will be painted to be open eyes.
Up next is the stockinette covering for the face/head. This adds a nice texture to the head and a soft covering. This is where soft cotton knit is adhered to the sculpted clay face. It is an optional step however I need to attempt it because I want to learn this method. I am a tad concerned doing this step and think it is quite possible to totally wreck the doll head if done incorrectly. However, I like the look this gives to the doll. Since this is my first doll I must learn all aspects of her creation and just take that risk and see how it goes. The best time to test this step is on this first doll …. although she is cute, she will not be a masterpiece IW doll.
This weekend I hope to complete the stockinette, then paint her face and her hair. I will then work on painting arms and legs. Assemble her and then work on her beautiful dress.
This is so exciting because I have never owned a handmade doll of this size. I will most likely keep her since she is my first one. I have another body ready to go and undoubtedly I will be forging ahead on more Izannah Dolls.
… stayed tuned this weekend for more progress.