This class is designed to introduce both doll makers and mixed media artists to a variety of different types of quick and easy mold making techniques for use in reproducing their work. There will be step by step instructions with pictures for molds made with Flexwax and 5 minute silicon mold putty. Detailed overviews of plaster and 2 part mold making are also included. Both 2 and 3 D sculptures can be reproduced and applied to all kinds of surfaces as well as saving sculpting time in doll and accessory making. It's going to be messy and it's going to be a whole lot of fun!
You will be amazed at the things you will think of to make molds from. You will look at everything with a new eye after you take this mold making class.
Sign up and use the code ArtDoll Blog and you'll get a free present from me! You enter the code as you go through the checkout process. But anyhow, read on for a interview with Kathryn in which she gives us a detailed overview of this class:
Why did you develop this class?
I developed this class because the longer I used these techniques the more versatile I realized they were and I felt that many artists could use them in their work. While I'm not a master mold maker I've been doing it a long time and think that I can present the information to people like me in a way that will make it easier for them to use. I wanted to develop techniques that a person could get together with few materials on hand. Some forms of mold making can be complicated and time consuming and while we'll talk about the advantages and disadvantage of some of those techniques in class I named the class Guerilla mold making to imply doing things the fast, simple, easy and effective way!
What will the students learn?
In this class we will learn a number of techniques mainly using Flexwax and 5 minuet mold making putty. Both of these materials are widely available and can be ordered online, by phone or mail.
Flexwax is especially suited to reproducing objects which can be cut apart to remove from the mold thus creating a 2 part mold. These molds are amazingly durable and while a bit messy it's quite fun working with warm wax. A little bit like the candle making many of us did in elementary school. Flex wax can also be successfully used to make 2 part molds from polymerclay sculptures although it's best to sculpt models for mold making as there might be some slight damage to the original.
Five minute mold making putty is just a revolution for both doll makers and mixed media artist. We'll learn how to make impressions of finished dolls, relief sculptures, parts which can later be combined into finished artwork. You can even cast paper into these molds.
Also include in the class is just about everything I know about making plaster molds which certainly have their place in the picture especially if you would like to cast pourable paperclay such as Flumo. We'll also go over how to make formal two part molds with pourable silicone which is important if you require tight control over how the two parts of your mold separate. We will make 2 part molds with the 5 minute putty but in a more informal way.
I hope everyone will complete the class with a working understanding of the different types of molds and how they can use them in their own work and for those who wish to work along with the class some completed molds.
How long have you been making molds?
I started making molds about 16 years ago. I started making 2 part silicon molds and as new products became available experimented with them too. Since most of my work is one of a kind I came to see that formal 2 part mold making was perhaps more trouble than it was worth to me. I began to see that what I wanted from mold making was a fast and easy way to create simple molds I could use to make duplicates of my sculptures but then go on and make that reproduction unique in it's own way. I've been using the Flexwax and 5 minute mold putty for about 10 years and finally learned how to make plaster molds about 5 years ago so I could try casting Flumo a pourable paperclay which requires plaster molds.
The types of mold making I do now really helps me to make leg, hand and head "blanks" by pressing clay into my molds. I then go on and refine these. When using paper clay in the molds the resulting parts are so light weight that they can be used as additions to all kinds of mixed media work to give dimension. It's especially fun to make flower and leaf part molds and molds to make accessories for dolls. I now have a large collection of molds of faces, textures, plant and body parts which I can mix and match to create unique artworks.
I've put many years into developing and learning about this type of mold making and am looking forward to sharing this info with my students on Doll Street.
So that's it! The low down on the class - I don't think you can go wrong taking this class - the possibilities of what you can do sound endless!
Oh - and no permission is given to copy this interview and reprint it. All copyrights remain with Kathryn and Doll Street.
So, bro, did I do okay?
Hey - have to tell you that there's some great classes upcoming at Doll Street. I've had a sneak peek at the class files and they are very cool! We have Sherry's Charmed One - which I've already made one of - that's her photo with this post - she's so cool. A literal canvas for your art. I know that I'm preaching to the choir to some of you but Sherry's classes are great fun! Then Fran is teaching her Treasure Chest of Memories - a doll mounted onto a box - totally neat - silk ribbon flowers, painting techniques, collage, all kinds of stuff. If you're wanting to learn about doll faces then Judy Skeel's class is for you - hundreds of photos. You can't go wrong. Finally we have Michelle's beaded pin dolls - she'll show you how to use a few basic stitches to make some very fun pieces. Go take a look at the classes ...
I'm working on a project for Doll Crafter and Costuming so I can't show any progress reports right now. Instead I'll post the front page photo of the doll my student made. I need to get in touch with a couple of these gals and see how their dolls turned out in the end. This one just has a skein of yarn stuck on her head for the photo shoot, LOL. I really do love this cherry fabric!
I had a fantastic time teaching beginning doll making at the 13th Annual Quilting on the Kenai extravaganza. I had a great bunch of women in my class who made some fabulous dolls. Which shouldn't have surprised me because some of them are award winning quilters and fabric artists. Matter of fact my hostess, Karen Fogarty, won a 1st for her chenille jacket, a 1st for her fairy doll, and a 2nd for a purse. Phew. Out of the 11 women in class, two had made dolls before. You'd never have known that by the time they were all done though. Click here to see lots of photos of their dolls. Much better ones too - where you can actually see the dolls! The photo here is lousy - I have no clue what my camera decided to focus on. I took my old camera and that was a big mistake!
The quilt show itself was a blast - lots of fabulous eye candy, a treadle sewing machine race, antique quilts, and great vendors (more fabric!!). Saturday evening we went to a wearable art fashion show. Lots of inspiration there! I was on the run from the minute I got there to the minute I left. If you ever come to Alaska at the end of June you will have to see it for yourself.
I taught my severed hand pincushion class last night at the quilt shop. I had four students and we had an absolute blast. We just laughed and laughed. I think everyone had a great time and they all learned something new. One of the gals had her camera so when she sends me photos I can share. I forgot how much I enjoy teaching - it's been nearly a year since I gave a class. I'll be looking forward to my next one !
Diane recently bought my e-class on how to make scissor fobs and I think she went a bit overboard, LOL. She has made over 60 fobs - and in only two days! Now that's getting your money's worth from a class. You can make these too - my class is only $5.00 - or if you only want one then you can buy one of Diane's fobs - she is selling them for $3.50 plus shipping.
Here are two that she made. The red, white, and blue one is my favorite!
This past weekend my club hosted Sherry Goshon for a class in costuming. Sherry teaches the Illusion of Costuming - meaning that the clothes are NOT constructed as proper outfits that will come off. I always love to see how different we all think and how we interpret a concept ...
Sherry had an illustration of a woman in an outfit from the late 1890s/early 1900s - a two layer skirt with a Gibson Girl style blouse. That was what we worked from for all our outfits and here is a picture that shows how we gave it our own twist. It's too wide of a photo to put on the blog so you'll need to click on the link. The majority of the girls used Arley Berryhill's Le Femme pattern for their body. It's nice and big for this type of work. The little one in the middle of the table is a wooden mannequin with a face mold - wonderful idea! Here's another one, the orange doll is made by Sarah - who is 14 years old. She's been coming to our classes for a couple of years now - she's always the first one done too!
This is my gal - all the pieces were rectangles of some sort. The sleeves are two parts - not connected to each other or anything else for that matter. Shashi should recognize the fuchsia material - she bought it for me in India! This isn't done. I don't think I'm going to keep the black ribbon on the bodice and she said she doesn't like her hat - she wants a really huge one. Not to mention that there is no embellishment at all. So lots more work to be done!
This was such a great class! Sherry is a wonderful teacher and everyone just loved her! We are already plotting how to get her to come back here.
I'm running out of time ... I am supposed to teach this doll as an on-line class next month and I haven't even started to write the class. I have to make another one of these so I can take step-by-step photographs. I've managed to get out the pattern pieces and play around with them - moving the arms around like it's a paper doll - but that's it. I haven't touched a doll in a while. Think that means something?
By the way - this is the doll that Art Doll Quarterly kept for 9 months and never published. I wonder what they were doing with it? Keeping it in a dark closet to see if it would wither?
Today I finished up the piece from the Friday night class. This is a paper and fabric confection. They make up really quickly - you can probably get one finished in a couple of hours and they can be made to fit any theme. I think it's really pretty.
I took a couple of photos, the detailed one shows all the notions I hung from her. She has a couple of old bobbins, a thimble, a scissor button, a couple of tags we made with paper and cardboard, and some safety pins. The fun part was making the button sandwiches. I've stacked buttons on another couple of projects and forgot how much fun it could be. Check out the detail picture (which I've changed the colors on so you can see the notions better), if you look at the Sew Lovely tag you'll see an embellishment that is made of three buttons. I used two flat buttons and one domed button - just glued them together with Fabri-tac. Then there is a clear button framed with silver that I glued a magenta button on. Both bows by her hips have buttons glued to them too - I just snip the shanks off with wire cutters. The center medallion on her torso is also two buttons - I just glued a fancy button on top of a flat one. So there's an idea for you - if you need an embellishment of some sort go through your button jar and see what you can stack.
Barbara Willis sells kits to make these - one in ivory and one with a mermaid theme at her website.
You don't realize just how much energy you expend when you spend three days in classes. After all, all you do is sit, you listen, and then you create. But it's draining. We finished class early because Barbara realized everyone was getting tired. After I got home I had some supper, sat down to relax and promptly fell asleep. I didn't even unload all my stuff from my car. The doll isn't done but she's within a couple of hours of being finished. This photo shows how much I've got done.
She nearly had arms but I had a couple of blow outs. I am so used to using a high thread count or a batik that I must have trimmed my seam allowance too close on the material I'm using and it didn't stand up to stuffing. I never had a forearm blow before so that was surprising. So I still need to make another pair of arms, wrap her head in ribbon (this is temporary) and attach her tassel, a little bit of embellishing, and she'll be done.
Wow - today was great! We spent most of the day learning to sculpt a face. It's not easy! If it wasn't for lots of help from Barbara we'd all have aliens or monsters for the most part. Our faces aren't delicate by any means. After we cooked the faces we made molds of them and then made a paper clay mask from the mold. Tomorrow we're going to learn to put the lycra over the face, paint it, and start to assemble the doll. Unfortunately mine won't have arms for a while as I managed to blow the seams on both arms and I don't have any more of the fabric I used. I think my machine burped and made such a tiny stitch that it perforated the fabric because I've never had a forearm blow open before, the back of the neck on the torso blew too. Strange. Anyhow - here's my sculpt:
2005 is off to a great start - I finished a class from early in 2004!
One of the best things about on-line classes is that the teacher always makes herself available even if you don't finish on time. Well, that is all except one that I've heard of.
I didn't have to contact my teacher with any questions for this little fellow but I know she would have been there if I needed her. One reason I didn't have any questions was because her class was so detailed. I printed it out and had a book full of photos showing each process step-by-step. Way better than a pattern - of course it costs nearly 6 times as much! I didn't finish the class I signed up for in December either but Anne said that whenever I was ready to pick it up again she'll be there for me. I think that is so cool! They don't have to do that - I mean really, contractually, they only have to be there while the class is in session. Probably one reason I keep signing up for these things!
I think I've only finished one doll during the time the class was given and it was a pretty complicated one. But anyway - this is a Wood Knot and was designed by Allison Marano. Everything except the ladybug on the mushroom is made from cloth. The tree stump was made by crinkling fabric, fusing it, and then glueing it to the support. Ferns were made with a couple of different batiks and floral wire. We had patterns for 3 different types of mushrooms but I only made one. Even the moss is made from fabric. It was fun to see what we could do with cloth. Cute, eh?
Click on the thumbnail to see him a bit better!
I recently signed up for an on-line class with Ann Maulin of Australia at Lisa Risler's site. Today I received an email from Ann that said I am the only student in the class. I was quite surprised at this because I think she is a wonderful designer and I've heard great things about her as a teacher. But that said, now it's like getting a private class with her, I'm really excited about it.
Why would you want to take an on-line class? Many reasons - but my main ones are 1) ability to learn in-depth from designers I admire but know I will never meet in person for a class, and 2) to learn a specific technique with more than surface details. They are also great for tackling something that you may think is too complicated to do on your own.
Have you wondered how on-line classes work? They are all run pretty much the same way although the software used gives each one a different appearance. The classes are broken up into sections, usually one lesson a week. Those lessons are posted on a website, and may be in the format of a Microsoft Word file or, more likely, a .pdf file (Adobe Acrobat). Once you sign up you will receive a website address and password to use to access the class area. You go to the website, enter your password, and click on the week/lesson you are on. You can download (save) the lesson to your computer and then you have the choice to either print it or just read it on your monitor. I tend to print out the lessons and put them in binders. Don't be surprised if you end up with a book - these classes are way more than just a pattern and simple instructions. The best thing about these classes is the dialogue between the students and the accessability of the instructor. On every class I've taken there has been some sort of bulletin board to post questions to and to share pictures on. You work your way through your lessons and if you have a problem just post a question to the instructor. They usually check in daily so you don't have to wait long for help. The last class I took had 67 students in it and there were lively discussions on the bulletin board.
There are lots of doll web sites that teach classes, just do a Google search on "online doll classes". All the sites I've used show up - although you do have to go back about five pages to see them all.
Give it a go - you'll learn something, maybe make a new friend or two, and end up with an awesome doll!
Today brought an epiphany of sorts for me.� �In my Art Dolls as Self Image class we were given exercises in journaling to help find a theme for our dolls.� We were supposed to look at what we like to do, what colors we like, and a few other things to guide our thoughts.�
I couldn't think of anything I was passionate about.� I mean, there's things I like to do, but reading books just didn't translate into a doll for me.� Then this evening I was over at a friend's house working on a mystery doll pattern for our doll club's next round robin when I realized, during a conversation, that I do have a collection of sorts that I'm passionate about.�
I just didn't put it together because the pieces are so unrelated.�
My wedding dress, some framed artwork, my favorite type of art, an old dance group I belonged to, and even some vintage postcard images I recently bought all have the same theme running through them.� The Belle Epoch - end of the Victorian era - from about 1895 to 1914.� Toulouse-Lautrec, the Impressionists, Moulin Rouge, mutton sleeves, walking skirts, S-shaped corsets.� I can see the doll forming before my eyes!�
Do you have a theme running through your life that you're not aware of?� Look around, see what you can find - you might surprise yourself.� I certainly did!