Friday, May 30, 2014

Monster Madness Gatecrasher! WIP Day

Well, I messed up the instructions for

So, now I'm looking in the windows
and trying to get past the doorman...

If you're here, you're coming with me
as I go through my day
making a new commission
for a two-headed doll.

 Is she a monster?
Is she a they?

This is my second conjoined doll
and she's (they're?) a big girl.

(This was my first two-header.)

Design for the first head.

Design for the second.

The girls will be looking at each other.

The paper is crinkled because
I sketched this with watercolour pencils
(a gift from Wonderful Hubby)
and then washed over everything
with a damp calligraphy brush.

Sketch paper hates getting wet.

This sketch is drawn full scale,
about 19 inches,
on my BIG sketch pad.
(Thank you again, Wonderful Hubby!)

Two heads, stuffed legs,
torso and arms  sewn.

Everything stuffed.
The arms are only stuffed to the elbow
to allow for a simple cloth joint.

Heads joined to body,

This is a very satisfactory process
of making the paper clay wet
and smooshing it into the fabric.
When it's dry, it's there for good.

Hands and boot shapes sculpted.

Head painted and painted and painted again.

Arms and knees, painted (and sanded)
and painted (and sanded)
and painted again.

Freckles! My first ever!

Freckles and blushing.

Real brush strokes,
from real paint.

The two personalities emerging

One of them
is definitely trouble.

Sitting in my hand,
to show scale.

The drawers, pinned on for size.
They will have vintage lace, ribbons and roses
and the legs will be floppy and loose inside, to allow for posing.

Base of the boots.
Actually a pair of old doll shoes
covered in paper clay.

Yes, I know. I'm cheating.

The light's going, so these
are the last few photos.

Here they are, trying out their 
chocolate brown wigs.

Green eyes + pale skin + dark hair = freckles!

And this is how far I got today!

They'd have their hair attached,
but, as you can see
with 100% humidity
I can't spray any varnish or sealant
over the paintwork.

(Doesn 100% humidity mean I should be under water?)

Here they are, as a tintype.

Thank you very much to everyone who
came along and joined in!
It's been wonderful to have you here,
following my work-in-progress day.

See them here,

Just a reminder...

Last few days to join the Oliver giveaways.

Don't forget to visit MMM


  1. I'm pretty sure she, um... they, can be whatever they like. Even quite monstrous. Or just darlings. Although I've met darlings who are monsters. Hm... I guess, the answer is yes. To everything!

    1. I think, as they're still kids, they're at least as monstrous as any two kids who think alike. So, yeah. Pretty monstrous.

    2. They have my hair! And I mean "they," as in both of their heads together show exactly what my hair looks like on a humid day in the morning. They are precious. I love their rosy cheeks and large eyes. Sooo precious!

    3. Thank you! They do, indeed, have your hair. Only I like to think of it as gloriously ringleted and full of bouncy curls. And a bit of fabric conditioner is going to keep it like that (I hope.) For them, not you. I don't advise fabric conditioner for people. You'll smell like a spring morning, but itch like chickenpox. :(

  2. Oh, I am going to love being watching this process, Rhissanna. Thank you for inviting us along.

    1. My pleasure, Eliora! I like watching how the bits of cloth and lumps of clay become somebody: it's always a surprise to me the characters that emerge. (Does that sound like Dr Frankenstein?)

  3. OH MY!!!! I didn't know paper clay melded with fabric...she/they are amazing!! :D XXX

    1. I need to do a tutorial about this, Gina. I'd seen pictures online, but I thought it was some secret process. When I made a doll a pair of dominatrix boots, I realised the clay just bonded perfectly to the cloth and could be painted over to seal it. Easy smooshy peasy!

  4. Another amazing work of art, I can't wait t see her/them when she's/they're complete :)

    Glad you crashed the Monster Madness ;)

    1. Thank you so much! They now have four eyes and are clearly two entirely separate personalities (I don't know how that happens with dolls; it just does). And it's been decades since I gatecrashed, so, yeah, I have my Sainsbury's bag full of Newcastle Brown Ale and I'm ready!

  5. Yay, I'm glad you managed to gatecrash too. I think the young ladies are a they, two individuals forever bonded as one.

    1. I think you're right. they're emerging from their paperclay and cotton cocoons as two entirely different girls. And yah! I do feel wicked, gatecrashing! Glad you're here with me!

  6. "Well, other than being of two minds about most things, the girl got along quite well with herself." She is wonderful!

    1. Thank you so much, Sharon! And yes, that's probably exactly how she thinks!

  7. I am In Awe! and amazed! Thank you for sharing your process! You must have bionic eyes and nibble finger tips ( like Gina) to get the tiniest detail just perfect! I will dream about this now! xoDebi

    1. Thank you so much, Prudence. It's exciting for me to keep adding images. This is the best part for the dollmaker, seeing who the doll is as she (they?) emerge.

  8. Loving these young ladies, they're most definitely mischievous little things. I can't wait to see how they turn out.

    1. Thank you so much! They do look as if they're plotting something, don't they? Probably going to shave the bearded lady while she's sleeping...

  9. I love the facial expressions, that is what really makes it! You are exceptional at faces! To me, most dolls don't look alive and some look really evil, but yours always look sweet and alive, and sometimes, like these girls, a little cheeky, but still good underneath!

    1. Oh, Laura, that's the nicest thing anyone could say. Thank you so much! I always feel the dolls themselves decide who they are and how they feel, and that I really don't have much say in the matter. I just paint and dress them how they tell me.

  10. Sooooooooo pleased you joined the party!! A two-headed dolly was just what this affair needed! They are divine!! :D

    1. Thank you so much! I messed up my sign-up for the linky, but I was so looking forward to this party and kept Miss Conjoined here specially to make. It's been a lot of fun, and now I need to hurry around everyone's blog and see what other Monsters are out there.

  11. They have such beautiful faces :)

    1. Thank you, Mary Ann! I try to keep the faces sweet, to cut down on the creepiness factor!

  12. I agree their faces are so beautiful! You are so incredibly talented, and it is a talent I certainly do not have so it is all the more wonderful to see. They are very unique, I just love them!

    1. Aww, Jennifer! Now I'm blushing! I have to admit, the impetus for making conjoined twins has come entirely from commissions. I'm lucky that people have encouraged me to explore new ideas like this.

  13. I love the freckles! I love everything!
    Your posts are always so much fun! I can see the girls talking to each other, when you do your captions!
    You are truly a brilliant artist!
    Big Hugs ;o)

    1. I'm so glad you like the freckles. I think I'm going to have to do more be-freckled dolls. And that's the sweetest thing you could say, Magic Love Crow, that my posts are fun. I'm grinning! :))

  14. Replies
    1. Yes. Yes it is. Like drowning, very, very very slowly.

  15. Thank you for showing the progression from sketch to stitch, it was fascinating and educational. They're beautiful and it's incredible to see their personalities emerge. You're right, one of them is definitely going to be trouble, but I wonder if it's the one, you think it is.

    1. Thank you, Jo! It was a lot of fun, getting the posts out on the same day and showing the progress (and very frustrating that the humidity was too high to get the girls sealed and the wigs attached!). And that's the thing with sisters, it's never clear who the instigator is!

  16. lovely doll,I just wanted to thank you for the love when Speedy was Poorly,xx Rachel

    1. I'm so glad to hear he's better, poor bunny. They are a worry when they're sick and rabbits can get very poorly, very quickly. Here's to Speedy's speedy recovery!

  17. I love these ladies! Great coloring Rhissanna!

    1. Thank you so much! I love the soft,slightly dusty finish of these paints before they're sealed. Always reminds me of those Cadburys Mini-Eggs that appear every Easter. Can't leave them like this, though. They have to be sealed or all that paint will chip!


Thank you all for the wonderful and supportive things you say! I'm thrilled to read them and I reply to each one.