Ball Joint Doll, Custom Dolls

So this is part 4 of my doll making process. In this post I will go over cutting open the head and torso. For anyone that might not know about ball jointed dolls the head, torso, arms and legs are hollow to allow for the stringing of elastic through the doll.

First I used my Dremel  hand drill to cut open the top of the head. Place a mark on the skull to make it easier to fit the two pieces back together. You don’t have to worry about being too neat as you will be putting the pieces back together. Once the top was removed I gently pushed the inside form away from the walls of the head until I could pull it out. I was left with a pretty consistent depth of clay around the form. At this point I carved out the initial shape of the eyes.

My next step is to hollow out the torso. I used my Dremel again to cut along the sides, shoulder, neck and bottom of torso. I finished off using my Exacto knife to separate any areas that I missed with the drill. Gently I pulled the two halves apart and removed the inner core. I was happy to find that it came apart fairly easily. In the next post I will cut the torso in half to give the doll more movement and I will add features to the face.


Ball Joint Doll, Custom Dolls

If you have been following these post welcome back and if you are just seeing this for the 1st time you might want to go back to part 1. I received the 2 packs of La Doll Premier stone clay that I ordered and began the process of building up the body and legs and also starting the head.

I have to say that after only working with it for a short time I really do prefer working with the Premier stone clay over the regular La Doll. I find that it is more pliable and easier to work with and sculpt. I added definition to both legs and built up the anatomy of the torso. I also added the first layer of clay to the head and pushed in the area where the eyes will go so it almost looks like a skull.

In part 4 I will be hollowing out the head and torso.


Ball Joint Doll, Custom Dolls

Here is part 2 of my ball joint doll project. I started with the body and legs using the straws and body form shown in part 1. I started off using La Doll stone clay and quickly realized that I would be needing way more than 1 pack of clay. After kneading and rolling out the clay to about a 1/4 inch depth I wrapped it around the body form and smoothed it out as best as I could. I found La Doll clay a little hard to work with even after a lot of kneading and misting with a water bottle. With the clay that I had left I repeated the process of rolling out the clay and I covered the the straws for the legs with a first layer of clay.

After doing a little more research and watching a few more videos I decided to try La Doll Premier stone clay as it was recommended for being smoother and more pliable. I have ordered 2 packs and will post more progress when they come in. I also ordered fine sand paper and a pack of metal files. I will continue in part 3.

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Making My 1st Ball Joint Doll part 1

Ball Joint Doll, Custom Dolls

A friend of mine introduced me to ball joint dolls a few years ago and I was immediately fascinated by the beauty and artistic qualities of these dolls. I looked up all the information I could find on making a doll on YouTube and the web and little by little I started to collect the materials. Unfortunately it was difficult to find the process documented from start to finish. I think it’s because it is a difficult and time consuming process that gets interrupted by life all too often. I had a few false starts myself and almost thought that I might not be able to do it.

Due to unforeseen circumstances I find myself with time now and so I pulled out my tools and decided to go for it. I’m going to do my best to post all my progress from start to the completed and dressed doll. I will be making a male SD 1/3 scale doll. I will be using air dry stone clay for the body and I will not be casting it in resin, it will be a one of a kind doll.

I started by making a body form out of wire, straws, paper and masking tape. I will be using straws for the arms and legs. The form for the head is made out of paper paper and masking tape on a straw.  A lot of people use Styrofoam or aluminum foil but after looking at a lot of sites and videos I decided to go with the masking tape, paper and straws. I’m not sure it will work but that is the point of this blog. Below are pics of the plan that I am following and the skeleton. The next post will be the first layer of clay.


Classic TV Mystery and Detective 1/6 Scale Figures

Custom Dolls

I’ve always been a big fan of the classic TV mysteries and detectives like Columbo, Quincy M.E., Murder She Wrote and Matlock. One day while watching Columbo I thought to myself how cool it would be to have a figure of Peter Faulk. I did a brief search online but I knew that I probably wouldn’t find anything and that’s when I decided to try and make my on custom figure. My 1st try was with some Sculpy I had around the house and I was able to achieve a likeness of Columbo but it wasn’t quite what I wanted. I did some research and purchased a better grade of Sculpy that had a more translucent flesh tone and was extremely happy with the results. I was so happy with Columbo that it spawned my classic TV mystery collection.

Brushing Up My Skills


I’m taking an online class at to brush up on my digital painting skills and I’ll be posting my works in progress, studies and finished pieces here. The first assignment is called Fancy Animals and is a mashup of a classical painting with an animal. For my assignment I chose a cow and a Rembrandt painting. Here are the cow studies.