Wednesday, January 20, 2021


       About a week ago I got an email from a woman asking about a custom doll order. This isn't unusual at all but her request was. Her daughter has a limb difference, symbrachydactyly, and she wanted a doll customized to look like her daughter. Well, at least to have the same look to her hand. At first I thought she was looking to get a 1:9 scale youth doll and I told her that I wasn't able to sculpt hands, I have tried, and I am bad at it and they are brittle. But she said she was really looking for an American Girl type doll or a soft doll. I nearly said no then. I probably should have said no. That is not the size I work in, and modifications like she wanted are not what I do. But I didn't say no. I really could not bring myself to say no. I said I would try, but warned her it might turn out badly. 
      So I got a doll, just an inexpensive 18" doll from Joann's, and I set to work modifying 3 of the fingers on the left hand. I had ideas on how to do it, I still had no idea if I could do it. I also didn't know if the fingers were hollow or not. 
      The beginning was easy. I took an Xacto knife and sliced off the tips of the fingers to save them in case the fingers were hollow. Then I took my small rotary tool, and a fairly smooth sanding tip, and went out to round the edges of the fingers. 
       There was the tiniest suggestion of a hole in 2 of the fingers so I put a tiny piece of the leftover material in the hole and covered the whole top with super glue to even everything out. I let that cure for a day and a half and I added a bit of matte polish to the tips. 

      It is not perfect, but I think for never having done anything like this is came out pretty well. And I think it looks like the little girl's hand.
       This was not super hard to do, though it was definitely not as simple as just shortening the fingers. This really is not the type of work I do but I really wanted to try. I think everyone should have the chance to have a doll that looks something like them after all. 


Lynn Isenbarger said...

Having two dolls from you that are me as a girl, I know how special a doll that represents yourself can be. That girl will love the one you are making of her. You are amazing.

timaru star ii said...

By venturing out into a related side branch like this, you are improving your skill's flexibility, not to mention imagination. Staying curious is so important. These are hallmarks of great talent.