You're the Creator!
When it comes to sculpting faces using the new oven-baked
clays, there's no better teacher than former Disney "Imagineer"
Margene Crossan. Because she's a full-time RV'er, Margene
is known as The Gypsy Artist. But her teaching style is anything
but Bohemian. In fact it's simple, direct, and easy to understand.
In "Sculpting Whimsical Faces," part of the latest
series of Master Artisan videos from Mindstorm Productions,
creators of the Master Dollmakers and Master Miniaturists
series of videos, Margene teaches you how to create some delightful
characters with a variety of expressions, using the same generic
"Have fun. Relax. Take your time," says Margene
as she guides you into the exciting world of new clays. "One
of the nice things about having a video," she says, "is
that you can rewind and go over the same step over and over
again until you get it right."
To make sure you get it right from the start, she begins
by offering you a detailed look at the simple tools and easy-to-get
materials you'll need to work with the variety of faces you'll
"People often ask me where I get my ideas," she
says. "Actually, they're everywhere!" Among her
favorite idea-generating places are the children's section
of bookstores and the greeting card section of her grocery
store. But by far her favorite reference tool is her own face.
"I keep a mirror on my desk when I'm working,"
says Margene. She then shows you how she makes faces while
she's working and encourages you to do the same. "You'll
be surprised and entertained at the same time," she jokes.
Once your tools and materials are laid out, you'll learn
how to make a simple press mold using a small doll's head
and Sculpey. You'll see now easy it is to press the clay to
create the mold, and smooth out the rough edges to bring out
the features of the face. You'll now use this generic mold
to create whimsical faces with a variety of expressions.
If you want to learn how to make a doll's head from scratch,
Margene suggests you study "Sculpting Miniature Dolls"
with Evelyn Lenz Flook, also available from Mindstorm Productions.
In the next section of the video Margene teaches you how
to use a chart to make sure the ears are proportionate to
the rest of the head. And she offers tips to make the ears
look realistic. And if you find the ears aren't perfect, "don't
worry about it," says Margene. "A face is not symmetrical.
If one ear is higher than another, that's O.K. It doesn't
have to be perfect."
Once the ears are in place, you're ready to begin creating
the first of your whimsical faces... the Toothy Smile. In
this section you'll learn how to make sure the teeth are even.
Margene also teaches you a simple, yet very effective way
to make and paint your doll's eyes.
Then with a few simple strokes using your various tools,
you'll create an embarrassed face, a sad and tearful face,
open mouth cry, and an angry face.
Once you've mastered these whimsical expressions, Margene
will show you how to mix different colored clays to create
realistic flesh tones for Asian, Mexican, and Native American
Need a grandma and grandpa to add to your doll collection?
No problem. On this video Margene will show you how to age
your dolls and even how to make them gain a little weight.
And if you want to add a little fantasy to your dollmaking
skills, she's demonstrate how to make an Evil Witch, complete
with pointed nose and chin, using evergreen Fimo.
Once your faces are complete, you'll learn how to add the
finishing touches, such as hair and makeup, using common lipstick
and a garlic press or clay gun. You'll even learn how to correct
Although the faces that you'll make with this video are primarily
of women, in the final section of this video Margene shows
you how to use the techniques you learn for making men's and
children's faces. The video ends with a video collage of dozens
of examples of dolls you can create using the techniques you
learned. These same techniques can be used to create expressions
on any size doll, simply by altering the size of the tools.
In conclusion, Margene offers the following reminder as inspiration.
"Do anything your imagination tells you to do,"
she says. "It's all up to you. You're the creator."