Looking at the Georgian House as it is now with most of it's furniture in place, there really isn't a lot of space left to pose people in. Thankfully. Even as crowded as it is unpopulated I'm still planning an average of two people per room. There are nine room in this house by the way. However good or bad your math skills, that still adds up to a lot of people. Taking into account dolls I have taken out of the house pre-renovation that could go back in and other ready made dolls that just needed dressing and wigging I still had to make ten new dolls. Even with the invaluable assistance of moulds, this took a long time.
Each doll is made of polymer clay head and shoulders, hands and feet held together on a wire armature. Despite all coming out of the same few moulds I tried to give each person different features by maniuplating the face that came out of the mould before baking the clay. Mostly this meant I eventaully had to go back to the mould and start again. After they were baked, they had their faces painted on and the "body" was then filled out with foam wrapped around the wire and tied in place with cotton thread. This only creates a rough shape which will be enhanced later on when the dolls are dressed. For example, the men will have some polyester fill stuffed down their trousers to give them more shapely legs.
The only one of the dolls I've made that has any clothing whatever is the lady I made for the bedroom. She's in her underwear, still needing hair and a few other trimmings and is one of two dolls to go in the room. This pair will be a shameless rip off of this pair made by Mary Williams: Georgian Maid and Lady. As you can see my version won't be anywhere near as splendid as that of the original artist.
One doll has been completely finished for the house. She is a $2 plastic toy lady and her face is painted with more make up than an ageing harlot's which is why I picked her to go in the hall behind the Study where she will only be seen from behind. Her dress is made out of what I think is some kind of polished cotton fabric enhanced with some metallic threads, but I'm not really sure what it was, just that is was one sale and perfect for a Georgian ladies gown. The back of the gown has a "sack back", a detail mostly hidden by her long ringlets of hair dangling down her back. The wig was pulled off a doll from the pre-renovation house I decided not to reuse. She is now glued permanantly in position at the top of the stairs as she was too unstable to stand unsecured.
So when it comes to dressing people I'm about one and a half down, half a multitude left to go.
A Randomly Selected Newspaper Headline:
The following is a randomly selected newspaper headline from many years ago:
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