Saturday, 13 April 2013

Perfect firing.....

This morning the kiln had cooled enough for me to carefully open the lid and see what had occurred inside.....

Only a perfect firing.... WOOHOO!!!

Each tiny piece fired to maturation, with just the faintest flesh like bloom.

This is the topmost shelf, which gets hottest, so that's where I place the heads and bodies.



The middle shelf has mostly arms.....


Bottom shelf has the legs....


I know what you're thinking....

"Blimey Sandra, that's an awful lot of tiny doll parts!"

And you'd be right.  It is.  But there are around 12 different types of dolls and each is destined for a different purpose.

Some will be used to re-stock toy doll kits, including some new kits in the pipeline.

Others will be transformed into vintage china dolls, or marionettes, or teeny tiny ballerinas, or 1" babies, or pierrots, or Georgian-style dolls...... my ideas list is l-o-n-g.

However, long before I can get to the fun part.... dressing and wigging, each and every doll's face must be china painted then fired, painted then fired, painted/fired.... up to 4 times.

Which will take some considerable time........

Each face will be subtly different.... cheeks can be pale or rosy.  Lips might be tiny rosebuds, or exaggerated bows, again in every colour from the palest pink through to vermilion.
There must be eyes in every colour.... blue, green, grey, hazel, brown, violet, green-grey, blue-green, jade.....

Eyelashes, eyebrows, lid lines, pupils.... all must be meticulously painted using the finest 00000 (5/0) sable brushes, some of which I trim down even finer.

Each tiny doll is lavished with love and care to be as perfect as I can make her.

The journey from small puddle of liquid porcelain slip to fully costumed and wigged toy doll's doll, ready to nestle in her box is long and complex, but I'm proud to know that my tiny creations have found homes in many countries all around the world.

So on days when things aren't going quite right, I should remind myself that mostly, I really enjoy what I do and give thanks that I can do what I love every day.....



4 comments:

Jane Smith said...

Its really cool to see that production, it may seem to be a lot but we all know what it feels like when you are missing a piece and have to wait around/buy/make something that takes up our day.

Grab from the pile! Awesome ;)

Susan said...

I've been holding my breath for you! It's such a relief upon opening the kiln to find all has gone well isn't it? Alas, I sold my kiln some years ago due to health issues. I shall enjoy seeing your little blanks come to life under your clever hands!

Amber Dawn Inventive Soul said...

WOW! That is all I can say, Sandra!
(((amazing)))

Sandra Morris said...

The technical aspects of producing porcelain dolls are fraught with potential problems.
However, once I get to this stage, with perfectly fired blanks, the rest is purely artistic, and much more fun!