Friday, October 5, 2012

What's In A Name?

When I first decided to start my blog I spent some time thinking about what I would call it.  I knew going in that most of my posts would be related to miniatures and miniature painting, but I also knew I had some other hobbies that I was into.  I decided to go with, "Mydnight's Hobby Corner," in order to give myself a larger umbrella to work under.  One of my other hobbies that I don't always have time for is working with Chainmail.

The above is a small sheet of European 4-in-1 chainmail made with rings obtained from The Ring Lord.  So I've got this nice little sheet, and it's colorful, but what do I do with it?  A friend of mine said she could use it for one of her dolls.

These are not your ordinary dolls either.  They are a hobby in and of themselves.  I pestered my friend for more information, and she was nice enough to take the time to answer my questions.

Mydnight: "So what are these dolls called?"
Rikka: "ABJD (or BJD), Asian ball-jointed doll, which is constructed very similarly to those little wooden artists models that articulate very closely to human movement for the sake of assuming realistic poses."
Mydnight: "How did you get into this hobby?"
Rikka: "I've technically been in the hobby since 2007, when I was given my first BJD as a gift. It wasn't until about 2010 that I started designing clothing for them and my fiancee sealed the deal on my becoming addicted to the hobby by learning to paint the aesthetics while I learned to adjust my sewing skills from human sized to doll sized." 
Mydnight: "They don't come like that? 
Rikka: "They do come assembled, but some are unpainted.  Companies do aesthetics if you pay extra for them.  Over half of our dolls are adopted secondhand. So when they come home, they are cleaned and sometimes sanded. They're made with polyurethane resin, so they're pretty durable. Dish soap and warm water for a gentle clean, but if there is heavy staining or we're removing a prior paint job, pure acetone is used for a deep clean.  Before any additional work is done, a specific UV protectant sealant is sprayed to protect the resin, and then begins the painting.


Sylvyr does hers in stages, sealing each layer as she goes so if she makes a mistake, she can wipe the most recent layer without disturbing what's already done. She uses all acrylic pastels, paints and shimmer powders (anything with oil in it can and will stain the resin).

Mydnight: "How customizeable are these dolls?"
Rikka: " I would very easily say that the sky is the limit with them. Resin can take additive and subtractive mods, and there's no limit to the colors of hair, eyes and paint/blushing that can be done.  Fairyland MiniFee Chloe. Came to us with completely closed eyes. Sylvyr carved the eyes half open and then painted all the features. Once coloring was decided, clothing was made.

Mydnight: "Do you buy clothes for them?"
Rikka: "As much as it kills my +5 tailoring skill to admit it, I bought clothing back when I was still new to the hobby. Further in, I realized that I could turn my sewing skills down to a smaller scale and make them whatever I wanted...and save on shipping too!"


My first attempt at sewing doll clothes were an embarrassing pair of pants and shirt, but that only made me buck up and say "challenge accepted!" with the fervor that spoke of many sleepless nights and many threats to throw my sewing machine out the window.  It all went down from there. Since then, I've constructed kimono, goth pants, frilly underthings and intricate dresses. My two favorite special projects included a Victorian dress with a little modern twist and most recently, a wedding ensemble in cream and gold.

Mydnight: "Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.  May I link to your blog?"
Rikka: "Sure!  It's Crimson Chimera."

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