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MD01: Porcelain Dollmaking, Part 1: Pouring Porcelain and Cleaning Greenware

w/ Judy Orr


video sleeve image

$29.95 + S&H

Table of Contents:

Pouring Molds
Releasing Molds
Cleaning Greenware
—Doll Head
—Small Dolls
—Leg / Shoe
—Carved Hair

Approx. Running Time: 91 minutes


Get Into Your "Work Clothes"
And Get Ready To Have Some Fun!

It's easy and fun to add the beauty of porcelain dolls to your collection when you have an expert instructor by your side. And when it comes to teaching the fine art of Porcelain Dollmaking, there's none better than Master Doll Artisan Judy Orr.

Judy's techniques are featured in Volume 1 of The Master Dollmakers Video Instructional Series, "Porcelain Dollmaking: Pouring Molds and Cleaning Greenware." And even though you'll find a series of porcelain dollmaking videos on the market, only this one contains the step-by-step instructions you'll need for creating dolls in a variety of sizes, from large to miniature. Beginners and advanced dollmakers alike will benefit as Judy shares the best techniques she has learned while training under five master dollmakers during the past 17 years to create heirloom-quality dolls.

"Porcelain Dollmaking: Pouring Molds and Cleaning Greenware" is part of a two-tape porcelain doll making workshop. The workshop continues in Volume 2, "Porcelain Dollmaking: Painting and Assembly." Both videos are part of The Master Dollmakers Video Instructional Series, a new multi-volume course featuring expert instruction by some of the country's top dollmakers.

After a brief introduction to the tools and materials you'll need to get started, Judy begins by giving you a critical lesson in the art of handling and working with porcelain. Porcelain, you see, is very harsh to the skin, and can be dangerous if inhaled. It also comes in a variety of shades, colors, and labels. Judy stresses the importance of choosing the ones that best suits your needs, the equipment you're using, and the dolls you want to create.

"Be sure that your porcelain is well-shaken and stirred," she says. "It's been sitting on the shelf at the store for a while, so you need to stir it and strain any debris that might clog your mold." From there Judy demonstrates the different vessels you'll need for pouring small, medium, and large molds, and she shows you how to thin porcelain to make it easier to pour through even the narrowest spout. It's also important to know that the thinner the porcelain, the more translucent it becomes, resulting in a more beautiful doll.

However, "If you get to the point where the porcelain is thinner than whipping cream," says Judy, "it's too thin." She also reminds us that outside temperature has a lot to do with how the porcelain will work. "The higher the humidity, the longer you'll have to leave the porcelain in the mold."

Once the porcelain is poured, you'll learn how to release even the tiniest dolls from their molds so as not to break or damage them. "You don't have to be afraid of tiny dolls," says Judy. "You just need to know how to handle them."

After the molds are released, it takes about three days for the porcelain to dry. Once dry, the dolls achieve a powdery state known as greenware. Learning how to clean greenware is a critical step to making sure you end up with a perfect doll. That's because after the first firing porcelain will shrink which will magnify any flaws that improper cleaning leaves behind. The cleaning process, however, is relatively easy if you watch how Judy does it, and follow her instructions.

You'll learn all the steps to cleaning greenware, from removing the seams created by the molds, all the way through to a final polishing of the porcelain. And while cleaning the greenware Judy reminds us of the risks of working with porcelain. "Don't work in an enclosed room," she cautions. "And always use your brush to remove excess porcelain dust. Never blow it away!"

You'll also learn how to insure that the porcelain doesn't crack, how to add your unique signature to each piece you make, how to remove the tiny air pockets formed in the porcelain during the drying process, and how to "bandage" the porcelain if you should accidentally chip or break off a piece. And you'll learn about undercuts... what they are, why mold makers leave them in, and how to remove them from your dolls. After cleaning the torso and larger sections of the doll, you'll work on cleaning the face and head. "These," Judy says, "will be the most concentrated and intense portions of the project." And once you're confident working with larger dolls, you'll be ready to try your steady hand at cleaning smaller dolls. "The techniques are basically the same," says Judy, "except that your touch needs to be lighter, and your patience needs to be greater. Ultimately, the secret to pouring and cleaning any doll is practice... always practice."

"Porcelain Dollmaking: Pouring Molds and Cleaning Greenware" is part of a two-tape set teaching porcelain doll making techniques. Once you've learned how to pour molds and clean greenware, you're ready for Volume 2 "Porcelain Dollmaking: Painting and Assembly."