Marionettes and Steampunk

17 Dec

Now that I’m on winter break for 5 weeks (yay!), I have plenty of time to work on some projects I wasn’t able to work on during classes. There are a couple of these projects, from small fabric and clay “sculptures” of cute little things like fruit and slices of cake and pie to embroidery (mostly on clothes or bags). But the biggest project I want to work on are small clay dolls – ball-jointed (hard, since the parts have to be hollow and then elastic bands have to be strung at the right tension inside the dolls) or marionette-style dolls (easier, since the parts don’t have to be hollow and parts of the doll are made of fabric). Fortunately, I was able to quickly find an excellent blog called The Automata Blog, which provided an even more excellent link to an old article about making life-like marionette dolls! Oh, and by the way – here’s a great site to explore: The Steampunk Opera.

While looking of images of ball-jointed dolls and marionettes, I came across some excellent examples of different ideas. In particular, I found a great image of a ball-jointed doll with deer legs and the head of a stag, with golden antlers. I found another doll called the Cyborg Hare Marionette on this art website:


I don’t want to do anything quite this complicated, especially since this one is hand carved out of wood. But the idea of making a rather anthropomorphic doll rather than just a regular humanoid doll is interesting. Those back legs might be hard to do, so I’ll probably start by making a regular humanoid doll. But then I can branch out. Now, that’s not all. It’s about more than making dolls, it’s about dressing them. In Steampunk style! Examples (the pictures will take you to the page I found each picture):

29 steam web Picnik collage steampunk pullip-steampunk2 pullip-steampunk-eos

sewn dolls


Several of these dolls are also in a style I like, not just dressed the way I like. And not one of the dolls shown has a gear on them or on their clothing! I see buttons, fabric, wire, metal plate (which I don’t have and can’t really work with unless it’s thin enough to bend with my fingers or a pair of pliers …). I see leather, straps, chains (link and ball), plastic, screws, lace, string. Not counting whatever’s used for hair, or paint, or thread.

Maybe I’ll have something to show for my plans and research sometime tomorrow! I have both air dry clay and polymer clay (which needs to be backed in the oven); if I use the air dry clay, it won’t be done drying for at least 24 hours. So I might start with the polymer clay, so I can start making clothes for them as soon as possible! ^-^

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Posted by on December 17, 2012 in Uncategorized


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