Sculpting the Face For a Cloth Doll
I’ve been meaning to post this for a while but have been feeling kind of apprehensive about it and writing all kinds of disclaimers in my head. I’ll just go with this: This is the gist of how I do the soft sculpture for the face of most of my dolls. Not all doll makers do it this way and some don’t add any felting at all. I see a lot of questions about this process in the doll making community. So, I thought I’d share what is working for me right now.
I begin by rolling and tying the head in the traditional Waldorf manner. Using a sewing marker, I roughly sketch where I want the features (cheeks, nose, chin) to be. After that, I needle-felt the cheeks and chin until they look about how I want them. I try to felt quite firmly so the features are not compressed and lost once the skin goes on. I also portion the wool for the cheeks before I begin to help assure they will be about the same size.
Once the cheeks and chin are in place, I add a second layer of stockinette to smooth things out and tie under the chin as usual. I then re-tie the eye line and make a nose. Now just add some jersey and embroidery and a sweet face will soon emerge.
Again, I don’t mean this as a tutorial so much as a show and tell sort of post… I feel very apprehensive to give direct advice as it is important to find one’s own way of doing things. On the other hand, it is often very helpful to see how others do things. I hope this helps.
PS In case you’re wondering, the model for this post is lovely Harper (a favorite of mine).