When you're trying to find the right tools for creating art, it can be tough to weed through everything. That's because there are so many different options and materials available. I've spent a lot of money on stuff that didn't work for me in the past. That's why I want to share a list of supplies for sculpting ball-jointed dolls with you.
I really enjoy using air-dry clay because of how easy it is to work with. I like to carve and sand the pieces until I get the result I'm looking for. If you're new to making things, air-dry clay is known to be very forgiving - you can sculpt and remake the pieces as many times as you need! Here are some of my favourites:
I love using La Doll clay for all my projects because it has a unique, textured quality. It sands beautifully, is easy to work with, and can even be used for small details.
Premier Clay - this clay is smoother than La Doll, but comes in a smaller package. It's lightweight and easy to string, so you can get more finished dolls without too many breaks in between.
Premix clay is a mix of La Doll and Premier, so it has all the best qualities of both. It has great elasticity and texture, which makes it perfect for making intricate pieces like those featured here in my latest review.
The tools I like to use are made of metal and can be used to carve too. They're kind of similar to dental tools, because they're very precise. They do a great job detailing and sculpting things like the nose or lips.
X-Acto knives or scalpels are very useful for shaping clay with a dry texture. If you want to make your work easier, you should get one of those knives with changeable blades - they'll always be sharp.
I don't love sanding a BJD, but it's something I always have to do. The best way I've found to do this job is through an assortment of grits - coarser ones at the beginning and much smoother ones to get an even finish.
The Dremel is a well-known brand of multitool that sells at most home improvement stores. It's often used to fix woodwork.
Do you enjoy making ball-jointed dolls? If so, then you likely know how challenging it can be to polish hard-to-reach areas. To get that perfect finish, our team recommends investing in a tool with a flexible shaft. Dremels are great for sculpting and polishing hard-to-reach spots.
Though it's not a tool, we still wanted to mention Mr. Surfacer. Once you paint on a few coats and give the clay time to dry, your dolls will have a smooth and protective coating.
Whether you need the doll for a commission or just for yourself, sculpting a ball-jointed doll will be rewarding. It does not require large amounts of supplies and is incredibly time-consuming, but the payoff will be well worth it in the end to see a customized doll that is all your own.