Ballerina Project 2 – Part 5


Using Sculpey III in the color pink, I added a very, very thin layer of clay and built up a body suit for the ballerina.  Try to get it as smooth as you can so you will only have a little sanding to do when you half-bake the doll.


You can sand each section as you go, or you can wait until this time to do your sanding.  I prefer to sand as I go.  Starting with 60 grit sandpaper, sand off any large bumps and lumps.  Then move to 100 grit sandpaper to create a smooth finish.  There will be sanding marks still on the doll after this, but it will be much smoother.

Using 220 or 320 wet/dry sandpaper, sand the doll smooth.  This grit will start to remove the sanding marks.  It will be pretty smooth using the 220 or 320 grit.

Then I finish sanding at the sink using a drop of water and a drop of liquid soap and sanding with 400 and 600 grit sandpaper.  This will give you the porcelain finish that you want.

If you need to sand the hands and head, you can do them at the same time.

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Ballerina Project 2 – Part 5

Ballerina-Project-2-apply-ears-onto-headBALLERINA HEAD & EARS:

Smooth out the ballerina head from the mold, and emphasize the features from the mold, poke nostril holes into the bottom of the nose, cut the lips apart with your xacto knife and put in two holes in the sides of the head in order to apply the ears after the first half-bake.


Then add the ears onto the half-baked head, and using your dental tool, impress in the ear channels.  You may have to cut some of the ear off if it is too big.  Since the head will be hard, it will be easier to form the ears while you do not have to worry about squishing the facial features.

If you have any problems with the ears sticking to the sides of the head, use a little Liquid Sculpey as glue to apply the ears.  This will hold the ears in place and help with a good and solid attachment.

Once the ears are applied, half bake the doll head again.  Be sure that you have poked a tooth pick hold into the head from the neck area so that there will be a hole present in order to attach the head onto the top of the ballerina body.

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Ballerina Project 2 – Part 4

Ballerina-Project-2-hands-arm-channelsARMS AND HANDS:

The arms and hands are also done separately, as you can see from the picture to the left.

Add a wire channel inside each side of the arms so you can easily put them onto the arm armature wife.  Then Ballerina-Project-2-smooth-arms-onto-wireBallerina-Project-2-smooth-arms-into-posesmooth them onto the wire and thin them out into nice arm shapes.  This is the time to pose the arms.

If you have extra clay, you can remove it.  Don’t worry so much about the shoulder area.  You can perfect the shoulder areas in the next sculpting session.

You can see how the ballerina is taking shape now.


Ballerina-Project-2-hands-on-toothpicksThe hands are done separately.  They are sculpted into hand shapes, posed and put on toothpicks for a half-bake.  Be sure to twirl the toothpick so that it is removable so you can add the hands onto the ends of the arms.

Be sure to make the hand poses believable on both hands.  Once the hands are half-baked, you can scrape the wrist areas very thin so that when you attach onto the arm armature wire, you can connect both with fresh clay.




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Ballerina Project Two – Part 3

Ballerina-Project-2-channel-in-upper-torsoTHE UPPER TORSO:

We left off in Part 2 where we added the legs onto the skewer and formed the ballet slippers.  We also added the upper torso channel that will remove enough clay so that the wooden skewer and the armature wire can fit between the front and back of the torso sections.

Be sure to add a channel to add a separate armature wire for the arms, which will be put on in the next section.

The mold makes tiny breasts, so I added a little padding to the breasts.  Smooth the upper torso onto the bottom torso.  I also poked a hole through the arm area and inserted the twisted arm armature as you can see in the picture above.

Once the torso is fully smoothed, you can half-bake the doll again and allow to fully cool.  Next we will add the arms.


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Ballerina Project Two – Part 2


Ballerina-Project-2-armature-channelFor this project, we will again be using the doll parts in sections.   Once you fill the doll mold, remove both sides (front and back) separately.

Using the dental tool, carve in a channel that will be big enough on one leg to encase the bamboo skewer, and big enough on the other side to encase the twisted armature wire.

If you need to see a video on how to make the twisted wire armature, you can view it here.

The picture to the upper left shows the white twisted armature wire in one side of the leg with tiny pads of clay on top holding it in.  The other leg shows the wider channel thatWh will encase the bamboo skewer.

Ballerina-Project-2-channel-in-upper-torsoWhile you are dragging in the armature wire channels in the lower leg sections, you can drag in channels for the spinal wire as well as the arm wires.

As you can see from this picture, the arms have also been cut off and they will be applied separately in another part of the project.

Ballerina-Project-2-smooth-both-legs-and-poseAdd the leg onto the skewer and bend the wired leg into position.  Smooth the leg out and form the feet into a ballet-shoe shape.  I used the dental tool to add a shoe top line into the clay.  This will be painted into a shoe later when the doll is fully baked.

Once the legs are both formed, be sure to twist the leg on the skewer to make sure that you can remove the leg from the skewer at this point.

You can see that the skewer extends up into the torso section and I have the twisted wire wrapped around the skewer for a little added strength.


Each polymer clay manufacturer has a specific recommended temperature it recommends to fully cure the polymer clay.  We will be baking the doll several times before the final bake, so when I say to “half-bake” the doll, I mean to bake the doll at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes in a preheated oven or 15 minutes in a cool oven.  

Above you can see the doll from the front and the sides.  Once she is half-baked and cooled, we will move onto the upper torso.

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