So, what's different?
Firstly, the bodies. When I started the backbone was made from sticks I found in the park and then dried out, now I use bamboo skewers. This change happened because I couldn't find enough sticks that were the right size, and straight! My first dolls were very skinny, then I started adding bigger bums so they sat better, then I started building up their bodies more. so they've gone from this -
to this -
The first dolls definitely needed to lean against something, this young fellow is self supporting.
Then there's the skin tones. I still use the same tissue paper and glue, but I've just become a lot better at using them! My first dolls had rougher skin, like Anna here -
Though there is something rather lovely about her imperfections, these days my dolls' skin is a lot smoother -
Another difference is in their clothes. For a while I used glue a lot to make their clothes, I don't really know why, perhaps because I was coming from a theatre background where it's more about the overall effect than the teeny tiny details? Maybe because the dolls were so skinny back then stitching clothes onto them was harder? Anyway, now all their clothes are completely hand stitched, it's easier and much nicer.
Then there's their eyes. I started out using tiny beads, then trying to break up tiny beads, then I used fabric backed with glue and cut to shape, then thread rolled into a ball with glue, then I started doing what I still do now. I colour in a patch of my palm with the desired eye colour, I splodge a little pva into my palm, then I rub and rub and rub. The glue picks up the colour of the ink and forms into a rubbery doughy consistency. Then I cut it to size with a scalpel, and roll it into a ball. I use a little more pva to glue them to the doll while they're still soft. They then dry rock hard.
So there you go! With every doll I make I perfect my techniques a little more.
I'd love to hear how your work has evolved over time....