It took me almost 3 full days to make the tall, Rococo wig for the Little Aristocrat Lily doll. The doll, which will be auctioned off on Ebay on Dec 27th. Here is the general idea of the process.
The construction begins with making a wig cap and attaching the padding and supporting infrastructure to it. Then, extra long hair is glued down and it is determined which parts will be going up first. Hair is spread into isolated sections. At this point I sit and look at the doll for a long, long time, visualizing what I want her hair to be and devising a plan of action and steps to make it happen.
Because a lot of wig-making methods are designed for humans or much larger dolls, I often improvise with various materials and contraptions and find new applications for my kitchen utensils, woodworking, jewelry and porcelain tools. Sometimes the least likely thing will provided the most desired results.
This wig was probably the most complicated one I’ve made so far. Because it was very sculptural in essence, I had to think of hair and treat it as a sculpting medium, sort of like a lump of wet clay or wax, which you then shape into a form. But now that I think about it, this is how I tend to approach most of my projects. I have a very sculptural frame of mind. After determining where certain locks will go and how many of them I want, I began to pin them up in their approximate locations, keeping in mind the desired size, direction and angle of each curl.
I used traditional and not-traditional hair styling products to put this hair into shape. Luckily, I have a huge arsenal of all kinds of painting, diluting, thinning, thickening, texturing etc. substances in my possession, which were acquired for various, non-hair related practices. Some are poisonous and others you never ever want to put on your own scalp. But this is porcelain we are talking about, and porcelain to my knowledge is impervious even to acid. Water was one of the main agents in trying to control the vast mane of hair that was required for the wig this size.
Pinhead. Kind of like this one.
I hate gore horror. Whenever I watch it, I’m not so muchÂ Â Â scared, as I am disturbed and at the same time fascinated by the kind of sick imagination one would need to have to write and film stuff like that. I much prefer ghost horror than blood and guts. But getting back to MY lovely Pinhead-Lily.
Ah, that’s better.
After a few hours of construction and a night of drying and setting, the curling phase is over and now it’s time to take everything apart in a carefully choreographed order and arrange it in a desirable way. The problem is getting the curls to lay on the head instead of well, curling up. For this I use an experimental method of applying a synthetic, transparent primer to the hair with a brush.
My concern was the eventual coming apart of the wig. I realized that simple hair spray will simply not be enough. That’s why I went with a much tougher alternative. The primer literally glues hair to itself, making it firm and tough, while maintaining the appearance of hair. By the time I was done, there was more plastic in that wig, than hair. Seriously, the thing is almost bulletproof.
Warning: Do not ever use this on your own hair. Unless you want a permanent hold and the same hair style for the next few years until new hair grows out. Then go ahead.
Stylin’. She has hair spray and primer all over her face. Once again, because she is porcelain and her face painting is molecularly bonded to the surface of her skin at high temperature, I can for allow all kinds of things to be stuck to her face, knowing that I will easily be able to remove it without removing her entire face. You never want to do this with a resin doll. When the wig was done, the primer was so tough that I had to scrape from her face with a surgical blade and fine sand paper to get it all off. And you would never know it.
Finished. Drying. Setting. Looking lovely. But still missing something. I had to send Chad to the drug store to buy me some cosmetic powder for her hair. Apparently they don’t really make loose face powder anymore since it’s 2010 and not 1710. All he could find was fancy moose powder and sheer cover and stuff. So, we had to get some Johnson’s baby diaper powder instead. Oh, well-if it’s good for babies then it can’t be bad for my doll.
Cough, cough, cough! There. Cough, cough, cough. Now she is complete! Cough, cough, cough.
What? I’ve sat at this desk for how many hours?! 48? You don’t say…..felt like 48 minutes to me.
Was all worth it, as far as I’m concerned.
Thank you and good night.