Monday, 7 September 2009

Miniature Babies Part 1

Taken from Camille Allen's
I live in Powell River, in British Columbia, Canada. I am 28, married to a wonderful husband with no children yet.
I work in a large studio in a bright and cheerful heritage building built in 1916. I have filled it with dolls, doll parts, dolls-in-progress and sculpting supplies! This is a great place to work, with the ocean out of the window and mountains in the background.
I use various kinds of professional doll sculptors' clay to make the babies. The babies have soft English mohair to imitate fine baby hair and are blushed with paints for realism to enhance their tiny wrinkles and creases.

Starting from detailed photographs and a lump of clay, sculpting a lifesize or miniature baby begins. It takes many, many hours of patient concentration to form a realistic baby and finish with fine details - including wrinkles and fingernails.

I am privileged to have learned the art of doll making from my husband's grandmother just over 8 years ago. She taught me how to sculpt large lifesize dolls in polymer clay.

A year later when I had some bits of leftover clay from a larger doll, I formed the bit of clay into a miniature baby. When I held the tiny baby in my hand I had the feeling of protectiveness and fascination. I loved it instantly!

The first miniature baby I made was curled in a fetal position, and I even gave it an umbilical cord, as if it was still in the womb. The shape and size of the baby seemed similar to that of an egg shell. I tried this, and the baby fit perfectly inside an egg!

This was how the idea of "Egg Babies" was born. I think the fragile newborn baby is complimented by the egg shell, reminding us of how fragile new life is and how gently they must be treated and cared for.

Later I tried sculpting a baby inside a seashell - thus the "Shell Babies". The shapes of and textures of different seashells either echo the soft curves of babies, or they provide an interesting contrast to emphasize them. Some Shell Babies have pearls in their navels or are holding a pearl, like two little treasures found in one shell!

I feel like there are thousands of babies I could sculpt before I would ever run out of ideas. Babies come in so many shapes and sizes, and I love cute chubby babies as much as fragile preemies. I hope in the future to expand into more facial expressions and positions, as well into a variety of skin tones and nationalities, as well as more "to scale" babies for 1:12 Doll Houses. I have an Ostrich egg which I plan to make the largest egg baby in! I am also having limited and large editions of resin copies made so that more collectors can enjoy the babies, and so the babies can become available in all price ranges!

All babies vary in price, but here is a rough estimate of the ranges: Resin Limited Edition Babies: $99+
One of a Kind: $300 - $4000 (US dollars)

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