...........small dolls by using papier mache? If so, would you please give suggestions on how to begin to shape? Many thanks.
I have never tried it but am thinking about doing paper mache easter candies, etc using candy molds, or any kind ofmold I can ifnd that I like
Is there molds for dolls, or doll shapes?
You could probably start with a wire armature; then cover with foil, then with paper and paste. Good luck.
I have made some things and I also have a friend who made wonderful figures using paper mache. There are several ways to do this. I'll start with the easiest since that's the one I did.
The first thing I made a was duck decoy but the proccess is the same. You can use a wire armature but what I did was take aluminum foil and some pipe cleaners. (do they still call them that? I just looked at a package I bought and they called them chenille stems.) You can make a basic shape with the pipe cleaners and then squash some of the foil to make it more three dimensional. The foil acts as filler. I used the kind of papermache that comes dry in a bag from a craft store. You just add water and squish with your hands. There is no need to add glue because it already has it in it. Don't add too much water, you want it tacky. You start by pressing small amounts of mushy stuff onto the form until it's completely covered. You don't want it too thick or won't dry and or too thin or you'll see the foil through it. Before it dries you can mold it like clay. Let it dry completely once you have the shape you want. Then you can sand it after it is completely dry but make sure you use fine grain sandpaper. That will give it smooth tecture rather than the lumpy texture of the papermache. Then paint it with gesso (that's the white primer that artists use to prepare a convase in case you aren't familiar with it. I wasn't). After the gesso dries you may need another coat of it if doesn't look white enough. Then paint with acrylic paint. The duck decoy came out very cute.
My friend made wonderful figures that were about 3 1/2 to 4 inches high. One was a bag lady, one was a street musician and there were others I can't remember. I think she was more careful with her armature but still used something as a base. Maybe crunched newspapers. But when she creating the figure, she used the traditional form of paper mache with strips of paper. She cut out sentences from the newspaper that related to figure she was creating. They were positioned all over the figure. She used a bit of the dry paper mache for details. Her figures didn't have faces but they sure had personality.
I hope that was helpful. I haven't done this in years but now I want to try again. Just remember the trick with paper mache is to go slowly and don't make any layer too thick to dry or it will rot before it dries. Or it might mildew too depending on what your climate is like.
Have fun. What type of doll are you thinking of making?