Native American Doll
Make realistic dolls out of polymer clay with these step-by-step instructions.
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Project by Misha Malpica from Scottsdale, Ariz.
It’s a good thing that Misha didn’t give up on her craft when she was denied acceptance into art school as a young adult. This remarkable untrained artist makes incredibly realistic-looking dolls with polymer clay faces and hands, soft bodies and hand-sewn clothing. In this project, she demonstrates making an elderly Native American woman gathering her firewood that she calls "Grey Woman Gathering."
small doll wig
beadwork (for moccasins)
hot glue gun and sticks
clear nail polish
bird's eye maple wood
twigs from the desert
fabric for clothing
1. Knead clay and mix colors to form proper flesh tone.
2. Make aluminum foil armature with foil and dowel.
3. Lay clay out for forehead. Place eyes in forehead. Make sure eyes are lined up correctly. Add eyelids, nose, lips, chin, cheekbone, and jawbone.
4. Using clay tools or whatever you have around the house, do detail work--wrinkles, facial expressions, etc.
5. Make hands.
6. Put head and hands into oven for 30 minutes.
7. Measure out muslin for body and cut. Sew body. Stuff the body with filler.
8. Add wire armature. Attach head and hands to body.
9. Make and sew clothing.
10. Add wig for hair. Add necklace, and wrap doll in blanket. Add earrings, bracelet, and rings.
11. Gather sticks for basket and cane.
12. Put doll on base.