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MD11: Sculpting Ms. Rabbit

w/ Sylvia Lyons


video sleeve image

$29.95 + S&H

Table of Contents:

Tools and Materials
Hands and Feet
—Basic Form
Stuffing Body

Approx. Running Time: 90 minutes


Ms. Rabbit Is Just One Hop Away From Your Kitchen Table!

When Sylvia Lyons first started making dolls in 1974, her kitchen table served as her workbench. Today, Sylvia is an internationally renown Master Dollmaker specializing in the creation of both large and small scale dolls, teddy bears, and miniatures. Sylvia was also the former president of ODACA (Original Doll Artists of America) and is a fellow in IGMA (International Guild of Miniature Artists). In "Sculpting Ms. Rabbit", Volume 11 of the multi-part Master Dollmakers Video Instructional Series, she teaches you how to use sculpting materials and wire to create a soft body bunny that you can pose and dress any way you want.

The video is divided into three easy to follow sections: Sculpting, Assembly, and Painting. But as all the videos in the Master Dollmakers Video Instructional Series, "Sculpting Ms. Rabbit" begins with a "Tools and Materials" section that outlines everything you'll need to create your doll. The detailed list includes sculpting materials, exacto knife, tweezers, and paints. This video also comes with a pattern which you'll use as a guideline to size Ms. Rabbit and cut out the material you'll use to form her body.

Once your materials are laid out, your first step will be to create Ms. Rabbit's hands and feet. You'll begin by rolling, cutting, and molding your sculpting material. Using a ruler as her guide, Sylvia demonstrates how to measure and cut the sculpting material to the exact amount you'll need for the individual pieces.

She also shows you how to position and use your own hands and fingers to help mold the material into Ms. Rabbit's hands and feet. And if you should make a mistake, she gently reminds you, "It's only a piece of clay. You can pull off another piece and start over."

After shaping the clay into hands and feet, you'll work on the details such as toes, fingers, and "fur." Sylvia stresses the importance of using a gentle touch so as not to break or deform your clay. And camera closeups are there to capture each step of the process in focused detail, leaving no doubt as to how it's done.

You're now ready to sculpt Ms. Rabbit's head and ears. "The head is nothing but a series of balls and cylinders," says Sylvia. She then shows you how to measure and cut the exact amount of clay you'll need to create your rabbit's head and neck. Finally, you'll bring the head to life by attaching the nose, eyelids, cheeks, lips, and ears.

Since sculpting material tends to be a little brittle, you'll learn how to use 20 gauge wire to give the ears the reinforcement they need. "The wire doesn't have to be the length of the entire ear," says Sylvia, "but just enough to make sure that if it gets bumped it stays attached to the head."

After the head has been sculpted, it's time to make corrections. For example, in this particular project, after discovering that the rabbit's eyes aren't level, she goes on to demonstrate how to correct the problem. "Sometimes when you make corrections," she says, "you just have to keep making them until you get it right. Just take your time."

Once your corrections have been made it's time to add the details to Ms. Rabbit's head. Once again time and patience will be the key ingredients to the success of your project. This section also includes tips for adding whiskers to your rabbit and making sure they come out of the face at the correct angle.

Now you're ready to add the wire that will form the base for Ms. Rabbit's body, and bake the clay. Again, you'll use 20 gauge wire for this procedure, and you'll learn exactly how to measure and cut the wire and attach it to the individual pieces before baking.

In this section Sylvia also warns you about the fumes the baking process will produce. And she shares her secrets for protecting yourself and your oven from the potential damage these fumes can cause. She demonstrates the same techniques for sculpting that she uses to create her original dolls, and that can later be used to make molds for porcelain dolls.

Once Ms. Rabbit is baked, you'll apply the glue, and proceed with the assembly, using the pattern that's included with the video as your guide. The final step will be to assemble Ms. Rabbit's body. You'll learn everything from cutting and sewing the fabric, to gluing it to Ms. Rabbit's arms and legs. Then you'll watch as Sylvia uses needle nose tweezers to stuff the body with the polyfill stuffing that adds shape to Ms. Rabbit. Then she'll show you how to and create and attach a tail to your rabbit.

But wait, you're not done yet! Now is the time to bring out your acrylic paints and brushes and add the finishing touches that will make Ms. Bunny come alive. "You can add expression to the eyes and mouth," says Sylvia. "And it's an exciting finish to a fun project!"