Starting out hand crafting porcelain dolls can be a daunting prospect. There’s lots of preparation required, lots of materials, ie. molds and slip and china paints…lots of tools i.e. small knives, cleaning tools and pads, specialized paint brushes, pre-manufactured bodies or body parts and most importantly a kiln. Doll makers new to crafting porcelain dolls would be well advised to find a workshop or a person in the area who would be willing to guide the doll maker thru the various stages of porcelain doll creation.
Unfortunately, a lot of doll makers who used to sponsor workshops and supplied most of the materials and the kiln have closed their shops. On the other hand, the Internet is not only a great source of information, but supplies as well.
Porcelain heads arms and legs, the most common parts of the majority of porcelain dolls can be purchased on any number of web sites. SFGW parts, or soft fired greenware can be purchased individually. Unpainted hard fired doll parts, or blanks, are also available. Even fully painted heads ready for assembling can be found through select doll sites.
On line videos are helpful for gaining familiarity with the process of pouring slip and firing porcelain doll parts, but working with experienced doll makers is the best. (check “making porcelain dolls” on YouTube.com)
Starting out with just heads that can be attached to manufactured bodies is a good idea. This way you won’t have to worry about making limbs and torsos!
If you have some specific questions regarding any stage of making a porcelain doll, please feel free to contact me. Please leave your email address so I can contact you directly.
Completed dolls: millette on left and Bleuette on right.