Friday, February 3, 2012

Making a Poseable Art Doll: Part 4

I still can't figure out how I want to do his ears.  So for now I will put that on hold.  Instead I worked on the paws of the dragon.

First off I made a bunch of nails.  I made more than I needed so I could pick the best suited ones to be used.  These nails were baked first.

My plan was to make a 4 claw per paw dragon.  Three claws in the front and one claw in the back of each paw.

The paws were baked onto the wire armature.  I tested the head on the body to see if the proportion and balance was good.  If you look closely in the picture you can see his back legs raised off the ground because of the weight of the head.  The head itself will be heavier after I add the ears.  That shouldn't matter much since I plan to add some weight to the back end when all the sculpting is done.  His paws are not complete yet.  But the basic structure is there at least.


  1. Hi Juli,
    sorry I've got some questions as I'd like to understand your sculpting method better as its quite different to my all in one approach so my symmetry etc just is not as lovely as yours.

    The head is attached by drilling a hole into the finished head and gluing the body armature in place?

    when adding more detail like horns and barbel, you have again drilled a hole so the added wire armature added can support the added detail? or did you just added the wire armature for support on top and build the clay around to hold it in place?

    also you mentioned the liquid polymer for the repair on his head, is this how you build up the layers to ensure they hold? What I guess I'm asking is with the feet, as they were baked in stages, did you need to join with glue/liquid polymer or did you just build the feet around the nails?

    and last question! since you have been baking the parts multiple times did you bake to the manufactures specifications? or only half bake it? as I know I tend to follow instructions and it often becomes almost brittle? wondering how it holds up with multiple bakes?

    Thanks again :)

    1. Yes, the head is attached via glue to the wire on the frame to the back of the head where there is a hole. My problem is the whole is slightly bigger than the wire diameter. In the future I would prefer it to be a snug fit so when I use super glue it would be more secure. You could also sculpt the feet separate and glue it to the wire frame.

      I did drill holes to add the extra wire armature. In the future I prefer it to all be done BEFORE sculpting. Adding it last minute caused problems such as rotating barbs and breaking part of the sculpt with the horns. The wire armatures were 'glued' into place with fimo deco gel and baked. NO super glue. I don't think it is a good idea to bake super glue. The fumes?

      I only used Fimo deco gel (liquid polymer clay) to do repairs to help 2 parts hold together. Using regular clay would just make it bulky. Having more of the surface touch during repair would help ensure the break won't happen again as easily.

      The built up sculpting was all adding clay on top of existing baked clay. The nails were pushed into clay and baked. No liquid polymer used. The only time liquid Fimo Deco Gel was used was during repairs and to temporarily connect the wire armature to the paws. Clay was later built up around the base of the paw to make the connection secure and thick enough to withstand pressure.

      I actually baked at a slightly lesser temperature for a little shorter time. I wasn't being scientific at all. I don't know if doing what I did would make Super Sculpey more brittle. In a previous experience I still found this polymer clay to be a bit brittle, especially when used thinly. I don't know if this is characteristic of all polymer clays or not. The reason I did multiple bakes on this project is because I lack the skill to sculpt as one piece to only bake once. Anyways, my sculpt head is so thick it would have probably had to be in the oven for an hour or more...haha

      Keep the questions coming if you have them. :) I am more than happy to share my experience.

      - Juli

    2. Thanks for sharing (sorry for the million questions :P)

      I'm keen to try out your method of multi-baking. I'm pretty new to doll making and haven't been using sculpy long, so just been winging it for now :)


  2. hello my name is Amanda and I wonder: what is done with the head and feet? how to do or where to purchase?

  3. Hello. I have a ton of questions on making these poseable animals. Could we talk over email?