006: Post-Critique #1

It’s been a couple weeks since my previous post, and I’ve been sitting on the subject of my first MFA critique for too long.

Some particular points of discourse from my peers and professor that I found compelling are as follows:

  • Interest in seeing my touch/mark on the dolls I’m making.
  • Construction of diorama/dollhouse to indicate scene, story, and aspects of these characters (Pashmina & Izumi).
  • What might my audience get out of interacting with the dolls?
  • Could the dolls be constructed by the audience?
    • “Build-a-Doll” where there is active participation from audience members to choose which parts are assembled into a resulting doll.
    • Different faces, skin tones, body shapes, and fits of clothing to create unique characters.
  • Potentially explore the collection/archive of dolls I currently have through photography.

The comments about constructing physical environments for the dolls and audience participation really resonated with me. While these types of dolls are difficult to sculpt, mold, and cast by hand, I want other people to be able to interact with and handle them. If possible, I would ideally have diorama setups as well as a separate space for people to “play” with the dolls.

Conceptually speaking, I’m interested in the subject of body positivity and how difficult it can be to accept/celebrate parts of your physical self (like weight, skin color, etc.). In conjunction with interactivity and “mark”, I thought, “What if others had different colors of ink or paint on their hands and then touched the doll?” Having a doll nude (or only partially clothed in white) would add that layer of vulnerability that we so often find in ourselves when considering our bodies and our “imperfections”. And with those marks and fingerprints literally painted onto her body…I’m curious as to how people might interact with the dolls in that context versus general play.

Further progress under the cut.

With the help of 2nd-year MFA Rich, I’ve begun molding! To test the process, I first made a one-part silicone mold for 12mm eye bases, which will fit in Pashmina’s standard faceplate (as well as future faceplates). You can see some of the resulting casts of the eyes in the first image below using an off-white resin. They are far from perfect and have a few bubbles here and there because I panicked while pouring the resin (oops). I just got some clear UV resin in the mail, so hopefully I can get some eyes properly painted and finished off this coming week.

Also finished is my first two-part silicone mold for the Palettes dolls’ “universal” headback. I’ll document more progress once i remove the clay enclosure and attempt to cast my first headback in resin. Pashmina’s standard faceplate, “curvy” bust, and “curvy” hips are smoothed and ready for molding next. Legs are almost to the same stage; remaining steps include carving each leg into 3 parts (thigh, knee, shin) and modelling the knee-joint system. Sculpey feet have been modified to fit the new leg proportions. Arms and new hands are the final pieces to sculpt for the first complete doll. Afterwards I’ll focus on molding all those parts and sculpting new faceplates (3rd-eye Pashmina, standard Izumi, and alternate Izumi).

Aside from developing their general narrative in the interim, I think that about does it for catching up! Back to the grind tomorrow.

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