Ballet With Attitude

Ballet With Attitude
Ball Jointed Doll by Cindy M. McClure

Friday, January 28, 2011

How to put a Ball Jointed Doll BJD together by Cindy McClure

There are a lot of theories floating around out there about how to put a Ball Jointed Doll together, the truth is that each doll created will be put together differently because of her measurements. But this might help. The construction and engineering of the inner workings of a BJD will consist of:
1.dowel pins epoxied into each joint of your BJD.
2. Line each joint with leather (soft side glued to the porcelain, shiny side of leather out, very important)
3. Assemble your springs, swivels, and s-hooks.The picture below is a sample of how one portion of the Ball Jointed Doll (BJD) assembly is constructed; each section will be different:

The size and tension of your springs are key. I can't tell you what size to use because each doll is different so you will have to purchase several sizes and test them for each joint. After purchasing about $600 worth of different sizes with different tensions I finally came up with the combination that works for my doll. It's a pain, but worth it. I was, however surprised at how tight the spring tension has to be.

Each s-hook for your BJD will most likely be custom, there's just no getting around it. Be sure to use round nose pliers so that the side connecting the joint is perfectly round. Round nose pliers are used by jewelers and look like this:

4. Assembling your Ball Jointed Doll starts with the hands and feet first. You must assemble each extremity separately before connecting it to the torso.
5. The most important step is to document each spring, swivel and s-hook combination you try, lay it out and take a picture. I am a professional at Adobe photoshop so it was easy for me to take a picture of my doll (actual size) and then when each section was figured out I took a picture of those combination's and overlayed them so that I ended up with a detailed diagram of her assembly. Here is a sample of what I'm talking about:

I detailed the exact size, tension, and where I purchased each piece. Many of the pieces were special ordered because few places will carry enough of each spring that you would need. My doll consists of 17 springs, 12 swivels, and 25 s-hooks.

Is a Ball Jointed Doll worth all this work? Absolutely!! Nothing compares to the flexibility and ease of posing these dolls, and they hold a pose. Here are a few more pictures I thought you might like, the first is from the original sculpt after I cut her apart to joint her:

 I'm sure there are lots of questions, please feel free to ask!
 In the mean time, I'm working on the costume design for the next one.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My NEW Ball Jointed Doll "Ballet With Attitude".

Welcome to my blog! I know, I know, it's about time. I am hoping that this will help answer the many emails I receive from collectors all over the world as to what I'm working on. I will post pictures and information here and appreciate your comments and suggestions.

Aside from my busy sculpting and designing for Ashton Drake Galleries, I have been inspired by the insurgence  of ball jointed dolls on the market (yes, a rebellion against statues dressed with cloths, and all other forms of dolls that you can't play with!!!) so, I have been working on my own ball jointed doll. For me, this is a true doll! She begs to be picked up and moved! It's hard to pass her without changing her pose.

Here are several pictures of her:

She has Solid Glass eyes, mohair wig, custom body painting, and her costume is hand beaded

 Her tights and gloves are intricately  hand painted, and this particular doll has the ballet feet.

My dolls come with three different feet options, two different hand options and several heads. I will be posting pictures of the different heads within the next few weeks. For now, I will be selling these one at a time on Ebay and these will be personally hand made by myself so their availability will be few and far between. I am currently working on my first Ebay piece and will be posting her progress. The one pictured here is not for sale at this time.

These are assembled entirely with springs, swivels, hooks and dowel pins, there is NO elastic in these dolls. The joints are independent of each other and move smoothly to various human like poses. They are anatomically correct. With ballet feet or high heel feet, they stand 16 1/2" tall, with flat feet they will stand 16" tall. A nice size for a dainty doll.