I was lucky enough to spend the past few months in Mexico, where I was able to find a wonderful little creative space on the beach. This is where my new little wood elf Cassie unveiled herself to me.
She is on her way to being whole, and I have found a love in sculpting through her.
I am working now on drafting her a body, which is going to be a bit unusual, yet suiting to this wonderful little creature.
Although I have just arrived back in Canada, over the next few months I'll plan on re-filling my suitcases with clay and other dolly goodies, and then return to the beach in February to finish Cassie, and if all goes well, will possibly do a second sculpt! (either SD or Yo-SD size).
I'm sorry I haven't been posting as often lately, but promise to post new updates as I have them from now on! 🙂
Since our e-store here on the website is a bit of disarray right now, I'll be posting some goodies on eBay very soon.
Cassie Wood Elf – BJD Sculpt – Work In Progress – Part 2
April 26, 2012
Well here I am, I never made it back to Mexico, but instead moved my house and studio. Everything is settled now, though I did leave alot of sculpting tools and clay in Mexico — thinking I was returning there right away to get back to work on Cassie.
I have since found that some of the best tools are homemade ones, and Cassie is once again on her way to being whole.
I have her body drafted and start today to sculpt. I'll be shaping a styrene core and sculpting over that in paperclay. I sculpted Cassie's head in polymer clay because it's easy to work detail into and holds its shape well.
After sculpting the head I found myself with no oven or way to bake/cure the clay conventionally. So, for any of you that have ever wondered about boiling polymer clay, I can attest it works wonderfully! At first I panicked, because now I had this fragile sculpt that I was very happy with, threatening to squish if I dared try to transport it back to Canada in it's raw state. I was armed with a one burner hotplate and a small enamel pot, so off I went into the front street that was comprised of flattened stone and huge craters…mostly craters, to find the perfect sized stone for the bottom of my pot.
I eventually found a couple under the guiding light of my cell phone, because I usually choose the oddest times to do things.
After adding enough water to cover the sculpt as it sat atop the stone, I cranked the heat up to bring it to a gentle boil for 15 minutes and then left the head in the water til it cooled, checking it periodically to make sure it hadn't slid from it's perch.
Once cooled I removed the head, happy to find it solid as a rock, no cracks …perfectly cured and no fumes! All of my future polymer sculpts will be boiled. YAY!
Oh yes……I recommend NOT doing anything as crazy as this without first testing on just an old lump of scrap clay 🙂
Cassie has had me all to herself the past couple weeks and we are making wonderful headway.
Phew am I glad she practically sculpts herself cause I have no idea what I'm doing LOL!
The rough body sculpt is finished, and over the weekend I will work on detailing her upper torso and fleshing out her arms, as well making shoulder joints and elbows so I can string her upper body.
I'm anxious see her start to come to life
Cassie Wood Elf – BJD Sculpt by Rhonda/CreamSoda BJD – Work In Progress
Well here we are, soon to be a year since Cassie began to emerge from her lump of clay.
I have been so busy with faceups and fullsets this past year that Cassie has been getting little bits and pieces of time when I could find them.
Since my last update for May/2012, I have made her breasts smaller and done some refining in the upper torso and done a lot of adding, carving and sanding to her belly.
I wanted this extra joint for Cassie, it’s been quite a bit of extra work, doing and re-doing to get it working right and smoothly. By the end of the day I am usually covered head to toe in white clay dust.
Cassie’s rather rotund bottom sits atop sturdy thigh joints which I am so far very pleased with. They have wonderful mobility and these along with the 2 torso joints are going to give this girl such life…..I can hardly wait to play with her!!
The next undertaking will be the rough work for the elbows and knees
Thus far I am planning 19 points of movement, a cute little outie belly button and feet with 4 toes.
EEeeee, so excitingggg!
This girly makes me want to sculpt 24/7
Cassie got her start in Mexico and I think she really likes it down there so I have booked us tickets and we’re packing the bikinis.
Well she is…I don't quite fit into mine anymore LOL.
So after the first week in November I will have regular progress updates
So check back often to watch her evolve.
PS. Cassie is my first BJD sculpt and really I am pretty much winging it with Cassie’s guidance. So feel free to make comments and suggestions if you like.
If you see me using a butter knife when I should be using a screw driver, not to worry ….it happens lots in my studio 🙂
Updated pics here:
Well Hello There, Hola, here I am still kickin' and enjoying the sun and sand in Mexico again!
My agenda is sculpt, sculpt,sculpt.
When I was here last I started work on Cashttp://www.creamsodabjd.com/cassie-preorder-update/sie (SD) as well as 3 other sculpts and put them all away in a dark, rather large box for the trip back to Canada where they sat for some time with the exception of Cassie coming out for a little one on one time when I could get to her.
Once back in my studio my days were packed with faceups and full sets for some great customers, but no time to sculpt.
With my sanding needing to be done outside there is no possibility of that happening in the frigid Alberta winter so my husband packed me and the girls up and sent us on our way for a six month stay. How great is that! Yep, I know what you're thinking right now….but I'm pretty sure there is only one of him out there and he's all mine 🙂
He loves the dolls as much as I do and is anxious to see the girls all come together. It's so exciting to see them little by little gain their individual personalities.
I arrived about 3 weeks ago found a wonderful little casita in the midst of a ton of banana trees, an amazing creative workspace. I knew right away it would be where the girls would come to life!
Next on the list was an internet connection….hmmm not the easiest task without Spanish beyond asking for the washroom LOL.
I was able to find a vendor on the beach that volunteered to take me by the shop and be my translator, YAY!
We got that task done and the crew of 2 arrived 10 days later in the dark armed with ladders and tools to wire my little place. Me being used to how things are done in Canada was surprised to see them ready to work late in the evening and they quickly had the wires laid and just like that I was online about an hour later. Who knew.
The next important thing was a work table, which I needed made for me the right size to fit through the door so I could wheel it inside off the terrace at night. Well I tell ya my Charades and Pictionary came in very handy when I found a little carpenteria. For $120 my table was built and delivered 10 days later, I'm sure 10 must be the magic number down here.
Very sturdy and well made I couldn't be happier with the new table. Excited I promptly loaded up the table with all my goodies, and thought to myself….
"ok now let's see if my measurements were right and this will fit through the door"
That's when I realized that the castors didn't rotate and they were on facing the wrong direction, haha my Pictionary skills weren't that good after all. Come to think of it , I usually lost badly at that game.
Soooo, I unloaded the table, called a friend with a screwdriver, the problem was quickly remedied and the maiden voyage was successful….woohooo it fit through the door.
The weekly artwalk was that evening so off I went to mingle and celebrate my victory!
While scoping all the beautiful wares from talented artists of the area I happened to notice a box full of the cutest little puppies wanting to be adopted.
I can imagine you already know how that story ended 🙂
Yep, you guessed right, a 6 week bundle of mischief came home with me and he was named "Raza"
The little guy is learning English and I am working on my Spanish, I can tell you he is learning much faster than I am
We take frequent play breaks and he is happy to curl up on my feet when I work, the perfect relationship. It makes me miss my husband, he likes to do the same thing 🙂
Now that I have everything I needed, including Raz it's back to work.
Cassie has had her torso revised a bit with girl parts added and a cute "outsie" belly button. After much working and reworking I got the basic double jointed elbow joints done for her right arm and her hands almost finished.
The left arm and joint should be done tomorrow so I can do a test stringing on her torso, I can hardly wait!
Today I also messed around with her feet and got the basic shape done with 4 cute toes. "Don't toes usually come in fives?" you may ask.
Cassie tells me that it's much easier to hop from toadstool to toadstool if you have rather large big toes, I'll just have to take her word on that one.
I added more shape to the legs too, sculpting and carving until I was happy with them and then held my breath and closed my eyes while I cut them apart at the knee. No blood either…I mean mine. Raz was keeping a close eye out.
I plan to have new posts on Cassie every few days now that things are in full swing with her being finished in a few weeks. After the major sculpting is done I still have a lot of refining, joint testing and sand, sand, sanding to do.
I hope to see you back soon!
Well here we are again.
I spent most of the past week fixing imperfections and working on hands and feet, almost finished.
The elbow joints are working well though I might make them a tad bigger.
I fixed her butt, making it larger so she sits properly.
The knee joints need to be refined and I may just redesign them completely, at this point they are a bit kicky
The wrists need a bit more work as well for better posing.
Today I fixed a crack that was making it's way up the seam in one of the lower leg pieces and enlarged the neck ball a bit
I also reworked her upper torso for better posture and balance (after the photos)
Work is done for the day and it was PLAYTIME with Cassie…YAY!
Tomorrow will bring more sanding to the head and face along with any adjustments there.
Also more work on the wrists, ankles and finish the feet
After this weekend I should have another progress update for you ….STAY TUNED
Well here I am again 🙂
Still in Mexico for 1…2…3…4…5 more days, eeek time flies!
I spent the past two weeks helping out in a dental office after getting a frantic call because the regular assistant was sick.
Well, I've never been a dental assistant before but I HAVE used all the same tools in the making of Cassie so I was up for the task!
I had a lot of fun and met some great people from all over so it was a wonderful experience if you don't count the time I passed out and fell down the stairs during a surgery, LOL.
Anyways I was glad to get back to Cassie and made quite a bit of progress in the last 2 days with her.
I realized when she was sitting her posture was not so good so I overhauled all 3 parts of her torso a bit.
It made me think of grandma who always tried to drill into me …"chest out, shoulders back"!
Next I reworked her knee joints so that her regular lower legs and elfie feet could be interchanged with the Kaye Wiggs "Nelly" lower legs and cloven feet.
No reason really except that I have always loved hooved feet of all types and I happened to have some….YAY me!
I may even spend some extra time and sculpt a pair of her own hooved legs, can never have too many girls with hooves I say 🙂
I also added a ball joint to both wrists (after the pictures) for more range of movement, I want Cassie to be very expressive in her posing. I am really happy with her thigh and torso joints so far, she's a joy to play with. I have to remind myself that we can't have a play break more than a few times a day or I'll never get anything done!
Now it's time to rework the elbows because I'm not quite happy with those yet. Then it's coming down to the small refinements and final sandings, inside and out and priming.
She is getting close! I already have an idea for a dress design for her.
Well here I am , I’m sure some of you wondering if I expired in the heat of Mexico.
Nope…..I got back to Canada at the end of March (mental note….March is too early)
An update for Cassie is far overdue so here we go.
I have been making a ton of small adjustments and one or two big ones
I found after a test stringing that Cassie was pretty well balanced except for her being a bit “butt” heavy. She on occasion wanted to tip backward.
These are the kinds of problems I don’t mind….the easy to fix ones. I grabbed my dust mask and goggles, started up the tools and with dust flying I went to lightening the “load” on the inside of Cassie’s butt.
I opened the inner well more, taking out excess clay…PRESTO….SOLVED
I made small adjustments to her bust as well as changing up her elbows a tiny bit, though I'm not sure they're perfect yet.
HMMM….. What elsssse?
OH YES, grrrr, how could I forget that?
Well it hasn’t been all roses and without mishap, LOL
Admittedly, I have a side that is very impatient, though after spending more than a year sculpting a dolly who would have guessed? HAHA
I had been dying to get a temporary faceup on Cassie just for a peek of what she might look like with some color in her cheeks, not to mention I was getting a bit bored of looking at grey primer.
Soooooo….I added a final coat of primer to her head, then 2 coats of white primer, then 3 coats of a flesh tone acrylic paint….good huh??
Ohhh, forgot to add I painted all those layers in, ummm…. about an hour.
NOT so good.
I picked up her head and all the layers shifted under my fingers making a giant mess and then I made it even worse when I started to take it off with remover. I made an ucky, sticky, gooey mess that took about 2 days to clean off and sand down to the raw clay again.
EWWWW…guess I learned my lesson. At least til the next time
OK, then I carefully did it all again, and painted her fleshy again. Not only Can I be impatient but also stubborn.
Cassie looked great with her temp. faceup and it gave me a chance to see all the detail in a different light. I noticed a few tiny spots that needed slight adjustment.
So I got what I needed from the experiment and sanded her face again and once again she was in primer.
The next big change came a bit further down at the knees. I had struggled from the beginning with the decision of …single or double jointed???
Well I finally made the decision and went single jointed. I went this way mostly because… I LOVE HOOVES!
I really want Cassie to have hooves, even if I don’t end up reproducing her with them, I wanted to sculpt her with some. Maybe because I hadn’t sculpted hooved legs before?? I love a challenge and the chance to give it a try …I couldn’t resist!
The rough sculpt for the lower legs and hooves turned out better than I expected , first try and I just have to adjust a bit to clean them up a little
Knock on wood.
Today I stopped to do a test stringing for the hooved legs to see where I needed at make changes, AND I need to get some play time in too!
Today I redid Cassie's wrist joints so they have more mobility. Expressive hands and the best possible posing are pretty important to me.
I also added a bit of clay to the shoulder joints.
Now that her whole torso is pretty much finished except for a little more sanding and priming I decided to stop for a few hours to play and get some pictures of her mobility so far.
ANY excuse for playtime is a good one I say 🙂
It's exciting to see Cassie as almost a completed doll now rather than a pile of miscellaneous parts and pieces.
I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and soon Cassie, my very first completed doll will be a resin reality.
I say, "first completed doll", because I have 3 others that were started a couple years ago even before Cassie was and I never got around to finishing them with other projects and "life" in general taking me away. Soon they will be back out of their boxes and on my studio worktable again.
So here she is, Cassie posing for the camera lens again….she loves to be in the spotlight….and I love to take pictures of her.
There were a few Cassie fans anxious to see her with a faceup.
Here she is with a quick, temporary one just to give an idea of her potential. I have to admit it's nice to see her in something other than , grey….grey…and oh, more grey.
If you look at the primer in differing shades of light it's more exciting ….really 🙂
Haha, anyways, now that we have had a quick preview, her head will be getting a sanding and a couple more coats of primer then it's ready to be sent away.
I have made the decision to make Cassie's elbows double jointed. After much deliberation……actually it was more me being afraid to cut off the existing single jointed ones that worked perfectly fine. What if the new ones sucked?? Then I would just have to make them back to the way they were…..uhhgggg.
I gave myself a little talking to….
"Really you can't wreck the doll, just add more clay and change what you don't like, easy peezy…silly girl"
OK normally I don't talk to myself…..well Ok maybe I do, I just don't admit it LOL
Anywayyys, I have one arm almost done and I am soooo glad I made the change! Cassie was a great poser before but now she is even more fun!
See ya in a couple days with another update and THANKS for stopping by….HUGS!
The time is getting close for Cassie to get packed up to travel to Asia to be mold and cast.
I spent some time with her today to do some final pictures of her with her new double jointed elbows, which I am very happy with. For now we are still seeing her in in primer and acrylics for her temporary faceup.
Cassie, being my first completed master doll, has taught me a lot and it has been an amazing journey.
This special girl came straight from my heart and I hope you all have enjoyed the trip as much as I have. Everyone around me, her followers and friends have all made it possible to see her to completion and we love all of you.
I will keep everyone updated over the next few weeks as things come together and resin color samples and sample dolls come from the factory.
I have had a very talented friend offer to make custom crafted wooden boxes for Cassie and will be posting pictures of those too as I get prototypes.
See you soon!
Jun 27 2013
First of all a quick note to let Cassie's fans know her priming is all finished and I'll be carefully packing up all 23 pieces of her for her journey to China. I hope to have sample resin dolls in hand about the end of July or mid August.
Preorder is almost here! View the update post here http://www.creamsodabjd.com/cassie-preorder-update/