CUSTOM DOLL: How was that doll made?

Hello Beautiful People,

Have you ever looked at a one-of-a-kind (OOAK) doll and wondered how much effort went into it? Actually, this is the same type of effort that goes into making a doll–even a doll for play. Sorry, I don’t know why the video isn’t playing, but if you click on it, you will see the artist, Juliana Lepine, sculpt a doll/figure of Beyonce.
Sculpt of Beyonce doll/figure by Juliana Lepine Sculptures

RAW STATE: Dolls begin in a state that I refer to as the “raw state”. This is when an artist transforms them from a drawing or image in a his/her mind to a 3D form. This raw state can take many forms. The most common are: computer-aided design (CAD) files, clay, or wax.

BUILDING THE PROTOTYPE: An artist then transforms this raw state by printing out a doll with a 3D printer or molding it. If the doll is going to be produced by a 3D printer–and not mass produced using a mold–this is the final stage of making the doll’s body. The details, like hair, eyes, and paint come later.

For dolls that are going to be molded, this first doll is called a prototype. It is the doll that will be used to make a mold. Artists normally make a few prototypes. Thus prototype varies in many ways. One of the most basic variations depends upon how much of the doll the artist is creating from scratch. Usually, the choices are 1) is the artist creating just a new head that will be added to an existing body; 2) is the artist creating just a new body that will be attached to a new head; or, is the artist creating a whole new doll? The prototype will be made of whatever part of the body they are creating the new part for. Combining a prototype head with an existing head or body is probably the most common type of prototype.

MAKING THE MOLD: Molds are then made of the prototypes. Often the prototype is cast in wax, and a mold is made from the wax casting. Molds can be made from a variety of materials. The most common are metals. The type of metal used varies in cost based upon its durability. A doll maker wouldn’t have a mold made  from something like wax if he/she planned on making tens-of-thousands of dolls. Wax wouldn’t have the durability of a metal mold.

chan_park_tattooTattoos painted by artist, Chan Park. This detailed work in on the back of a doll the height of a Barbie doll!

DETAILS: The details vary depending upon the number of dolls produced. For instance, a limited edition of 50 dolls might all be hand painted by an artist. While, an edition of thousands is painted by many people who use standard stencils of via a method that is more automated. The same logic is used for adding hair and clothing to a doll. Limited edition dolls may have hand-rooted hair, painted-on hair, or a wig. Larger numbers of dolls tend to have hair that it painted-on, sewn on using a huge sewing machine, or added using another automated method.

CHAN PARK: I have included photos of the back of a doll by artist Chan Park. Park is one of my favorite doll artists–when it comes to the detailed intricate work. If you choose to look him up, please be aware, his dolls are made for ADULT doll collectors; so, they include genitalia. Here’s a link to Chan’s store, Plastic Guy ( )


Much love & Many blessings to you all,

Curiositeej Dolls & Collectibles: Please visit my online doll store. I carry an eclectic assortment of dolls from the early 1900’s through today. My site is updated weekly; so, please visit often!



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