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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Latest Project--Doll with a Recycled Head

I was heading to the garbage can with this big doll head, thinking even the Salvation Army would NOT want it. And then I had an idea. I'd read about Judi Ward covering heads like this with wool felt, to make a Lenci type doll.  I thought, "Why not cover this head with cotton knit and make another big Alabama Baby type doll.  Here are pics of steps one through four:

 I started without taking a proper "before" pic, so this is the best I could do. It looks even worse with the glue on the eyes, I know. I cut off the eyelashes before I put Elmer's glue on the eyes.

Then I coated the entire front of the head with Elmer's.

The next step is to cover the head, all around, with cotton knit fabric. I usually use an old tee shirt for this but someone had given me some new knit scraps, so this time I used that. You make sure the stretchiest direction of the fabric goes across the face, not down. I brush more glue on the underlying head, as I work my way around it. I stretch gently as I go, and have to cut darts to take up slack as I go. I try to keep the darts to a minimum, but you don't want wrinkles on your doll's head. You can see that when I finish with the face and back of head, there is a "bald spot" on the top.
Step three is to cover the top of the head with a piece of knit fabric. You must work carefully to minimize the gathers around the edge of the patch at the top of the head.  Adding more glue helps.
Here is the top of the head finished.  Alabama Babies can be identified by a round patch on the top of their heads.
Here is the covered head, drying. From the ruler, you can see that this doll will be large.
Tomorrow, when the glue has dried, I will coat the entire head with gesso. I may sand it and then add another layer of gesso, if necessary. After that, I can begin to paint the face/head. That is the part I enjoy most!! I will need to decide if he/she will have painted hair or a wig. Most Alabama Babies have painted hair, but not all of them.  Stay tuned for pictures of the progress on this doll.