Ball-jointed doll is a complex creation that combines features of a toy and of an art object. I sculpt my dolls having several principles in mind:
My larger doll heads are sculpted with a neutral expression or a subtle smile, so applying a different makeup schemas you could achieve various looks. And even more: a good makeup can allow a doll to show a different expressions if it's shot from the different angles or in a certain light conditions. This versatility is one of the most important BJD features to me.
I thoroughly sand doll's surface to a perfect state, so it has no dents or protrusions. Makeup or blushing done with pastels reveals all the imperfections, so it's important to provide a proper surface. I spray the prototype with ultrafine matte car primer so it creates a texture that's pleasant to the touch and easy to paint on. Most sealants stick to such surface securely, and you'll have no problems with a sealant peeling off due to an over-sanded, shiny resin.
I carefully check the symmetry, so the customizer just could enjoy the painting process, and no corrections are required.
The eye sockets are made round, for the easy eyeballs positioning. The eyelids are thin so it allows the eye to catch more light and gives a natural look.
Well thought out engineering is another key advantage of ball-jointed dolls. High quality BJD should take a wide variety of poses showing natural body shape in different positions, and should be able to hold the poses securely.
Flesh is soft and pliable, and resin is rigid, so it's impossible to create a resin BJD fully resembling a living creature. It's always a compromise. Joints inevitably divide doll's body into a set of parts, and sculptor needs to balance a three contradictory aspects: sculpture, pliability and mobility.
You've probably seen the dolls with beautifully sculpted bodies, who barely stand and can't even sit without support, or their limbs are kicking. Or you've maybe seen the dolls with a nicely defined anatomy and great posability, but once the joint is moved out of its "default" position there are huge gaps between the parts, and a sharp edges everywhere. Of all cases I prefer the dolls with a pleasant body shape and flowing movements, despite of not-so-good posing abilities.
Still, though it's hard to combine all of the three features, my goal is to do that.
I choose the joint types with smooth edges mostly, and a simple spherical shapes wherever possible. Due to a precisely fitting joints and properly drilled stringing channels my dolls nicely hold the poses at many angles. Forest Dwellers were repeatedly called acrobats by customers for that feature.
I try to make the joint sockets edges as thin as it's safe for a regular play, and to sculpt the joints in a such way they provide a natural look and smooth lines when bent.
I hope that my dolls, created with love and care, would bring you joy and boost your creativity!
I offer a variety of colorful resins for my dolls, especially for the Forest Dwellers series. My casting company is able to mix colors on my requests, so I use it as best as I can. I create custom colors for every animal doll release, and my toads are truly green with some vivid colors.
More, my Khitrula Foxes have dark paws and white tail. These parts won't rub off, so my customers can enjoy extensive play with their foxes.
I also have a strong preference over the resins I use for my dolls. I prefer resin to be as opaque as possible, as every feature of the doll is shown better on opaque resins.
Producing BJDs involves casting, for which silicone molds are used. These molds have to be cut in two or at least to have a side cut, so the doll piece can be retrieved from the mold easily, without ruining it. It means there are seamlines on a ready doll parts.
Also resin should be poured into the mold through the pouring gates which are removed later. So there are sanding marks on the doll parts.
Both seams and pouring gates are the features of the casting.
Nor the seamlines, neither the sanding marks on the place of pouring gates aren't considered a defects.
There are more opaque resins and more transparent resins. Transparent resins are much better in the terms of sanding, as tiny scratches are almost invisible on them, while opaque resins might show a discoloration in sanded places.
Some companies sand the seamlines by default. My casting provider offers this service at no cost, but I prefer to have the seams at the cost of no discoloration.
Also, as recasters who steal artist's work and sell copies of their dolls, always sand the seams, having seamlines on your doll is another proof of its originality.
Please consider this buying a doll from me. If you're not OK with seams and sanding marks, please find a better option for you.
Polyurethane resin ages with time, changing colors due to UV light impact and light transparency of resin. That's another reason for me to prefer opaque resins, as translucent resins yellow much faster.
Red shade is the most unstable one, so some BJD skintones get yellower over time, as yellow shade remains and red shade fades away. Other BJD skintones just fade out, turning out paler than before.
Please keep your BJDs on display in a well shaded place, an UV blocking windows and UV protecting glass cabinet are a nice addition. If you prefer your BJDs to be as pristine as possible, please keep them in boxes or doll cases. BJDs stored in a dark place usually age nicely.
I prefer my BJDs to be playable, also they're my crafting models, so I usually keep them out of direct sunlight, and that's enough for me. Because BJDs have to bring joy to their owner, and I accept their natural aging just like I accept aging of people.
The only medium that doesn't age is porcelain, but BJDs made out of it require extra care, and most owners don't play with them much. As conception of my BJDs allows extensive play, I prefer resin over porcelain.
BJDs are strung onto elastic string. Strings tend to loosen over time as well, so BJDs have to be restrung once in a year or two. Usually using the same string is enough, just shortening its length. I try to design my BJDs so as they don't need extra tight stringing, and even being somewhat loose can be posed and balanced nicely.