Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Out of my comfort zone


After making several clothespeg dolls, which are great fun (and there are many more in my future), I got an itch to try something different.  There are dollmaking techniques that seem far beyond my ability:  making a porcelain doll from scratch, carving a doll from wood, creating a resin BJD with all the joints.  Some of these techniques require a financial investment that is simply beyond me, especially to find out it isn't something I want to pursue.

But carving a doll from wood; what do you need?  Some wood to carve, some carving knives, and hopefully some help from those who know how to do this.  Enter Judy Brown's 'No Excuses' Hitty carving kit.  It contained the blank (on the left looking a bit like a robot from the 1950's), the knives (Warren whittling interchangeable knives), and that all important ingredient, instructions!

My kit arrived last Tuesday, and for the rest of the week in the afternoons, and some on Sunday, I've been whittling away to make a presentable Hitty.  If you are unfamiliar with this remarkable doll and her adventures, you can find some of her history here:

Hitty from Wikipedia

Judy Brown's Hitty

Other Hitty Resources

The original Hitty

Hittygirls yahoo group

I was inspired by one of my Flickr friends, Lorraine, watching her turn a blank into a sweet little doll, and I knew I had to give this a try.  Thank you, Lorraine!

This is Virginia, named for Judy Brown's home state and one of my favorite Aunts.  At this point, she has been carved, sealed, and painted, but not antiqued or fully assemble.   The pins are in place to make sure of the fit.


Unfortunately the light in my work room was not the same on the two days I took these pictures.  On the left she has not been antiqued; on the right she has.

Here she is, finished and antiqued, and wearing some borrowed unmentionables from my Gail Wilson Hitty, made several years ago.


Having never carved a doll before, I'm amazed to have gotten this far :-)  As with any first doll, there are things that can be improved; her arms should be more slender and her shoulders less broad.  Same for her hips.  But, I am pleased, and she is very dear to me.

Now to make her some clothing of her very own!

18 comments:

  1. She's wonderful! I strted one in a hard wood but she got left behind when we were coing home from a stay in a hotel When I phoned to ask for her, they had already thrown her out. I was struggling with the egs, for soe reason but the hear/body was OK.
    It isn't easy for we beginners tough, is it? Your girl is lovely, well done!

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    1. Jenana, I actually found the legs and arms more difficult than the head and body as well. The limbs should be more slender, but I was afraid of making her too fragile.

      I can't believe that your doll-in-progress was thrown out by the hotel staff! Geez, what a shame. I hope you start another one; I am sure that each one will be a little easier than the last one :-)

      warmly,

      Beth

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  2. Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Sandra :-)

      warmly,

      Beth

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  3. I think that you can make the sun come out on a rainy day. Hitty Virginia is a work of art. To take a blocky robot and turn her into a doll is simply amazing. You did a fabulous job in creating her. And to think there will be a second one is just wonderful. I'm so proud of you my dear friend.

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    1. Oh how I wish! If I could, we would not have had four straight days of rain :-)

      Thank you, my dear, for your good words; this is one of those things I thought I could not do (like knitting!). Always room for improvement, but that is part of the magic of make.

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  4. Replies
    1. Thank you very much :-)

      warmly,

      Beth

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  5. Es muy bonita, Bet, y muy especial! No conocía esas muñecas pero le he tomado cariño a la tuya :)
    Un abrazo!

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    1. ¡Gracias, Zuuleta!

      con gusto,

      Beth

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  6. She's amazing as are your various artistic talents!! I am wondering how to purchase this kit as nothing on website for buying??? Thanks in advance

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    1. If you click on the link to Judy Brown's site, you will find her email address. Email her your desire to purchase her kit and you should be able to go from there. My guess is she saves a lot of money not dealing with shopping carts and all that. The kit is well worth sending her an email about :-)

      Thank you for your good words.

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  7. Well done with your Hitty, she is stunning! I have been in love with Hitty for years, and have carved my own from scratch. Can't seem to attach a picture to comments, so I can't show her to you. Also have a look at Gail Wilson's Hitties. I bought some of her kits, and clothing patterns. They are a real treasure!

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    1. Megan, thank you for the good words, and I am in awe of anyone who can carve this doll from scratch! I'd love to see a picture...you could email me at: dollmaker46203 [at] gmail.com.

      And I am familiar with Gail Wilson's Hitty; I made two of them several years ago, and they are very special dolls as well.

      Thank you again!

      Beth

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  8. Beth,

    Virginia is sweet and adorable! I think you've got the knack and you know what they always say, practice makes perfect! I love her unmentionables too! You and I share the concept that all dolls need underwear! As for Porcelain dolls, I've made many, and the cash outlay is staggering. Plus, unless you have your own molds and kiln, you always have to rely on someone else! So, your idea of doing something that is within your budget is a sound one!

    Keep on carving! You're an inspiration to us all!

    - Momma Cat

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    1. Thank you so much, Momma Cat! Yes, I want to keep the costs reasonable, as I already own a small fortune in yarn :-) This is fun and doable. Small dolls are always so dear.

      warmly,

      Beth

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  9. Replies
    1. Muchas gracias a, Isabel!

      con gusto,

      Beth

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