HOW BABY FACE WAS BORN...
20. Learning Process

A model shop in Pennsylvania, I believe it was called "Paramount", pantographed the heads, which involved removing the wig of one doll and the tops of the other two doll's heads. What a mess! They were sent to me, along with what was left of my original dolls heads. The orange scalp was lost! I made plaster molds, of the pantographed heads, which were carved out of hard ultramarine blue wax, and working with Sculpy re-created my three original heads, 20% larger in size. For eyes I used the next larger size up of the same kind of plastic eyes, I'd used on the smaller heads, so that the eyes would be 20% larger too, and all the elements would be in the same proportion to each other, as before. (This turned out to be a mistake!)

Working side by side with the originals, I came as close as I could to duplicating the original heads exactly, only larger. And, I did a pretty good job! No one but me, would be able to sense any differences. I breathed a sigh of relief as sent them off. And the "Ball" as far as I knew, was back in Judy's "court". She would, now oversee having the three heads, transformed into wax, from which molds would be made and vinyl heads, cast. I imagined, I might get pressed into service again, when it came to enlarging other heads, but other than that, I assumed, my job, at least for now, was over!

A few weeks passed, and the first vinyl heads arrived! They looked "pretty good" to me, for the first 20 seconds at 20 paces. That is, until I got a "closer" look, The fact that the eye sockets were empty and that the neck had not been trimmed yet etc. Served as a diversion so one didn't, immediately, notice, that the heads were, nothing less than, a DISASTER!

First of all the waxes had been, atrociously done, all detail and nuance had been eliminated, by either wiping away or filling in. But that was the least of our problems! The heads Had shrunk, but Not as expected, They were grotesque and distorted. Worse still, the eye sockets which had been made the size of the larger eyes, I used in the enlarged heads, had not shrunk at all, and, now, the smaller plastic eyes we intended to use, rolled around with an eighth inch clearance, when inserted in the sockets!

As discussion continued as to what to do, and suggestions like "going with the larger eyes in the smaller heads", were proposed, several things became clear:

1. None of us knew what to do!

2. I had never done a doll head before, And Judy had never done a doll head, like this, with plastic eyes set in, before, either! When a doll has painted eyes the whole head shrinks uniformly and There is no distortion.

3. A doll in which plastic eyes are inserted from the front in varying preset angles, Had, In Fact, Never been done by Anyone Before! The plastic eyes I was using, which sold for $3.50 a pair, were intended to be set, by hand, from the inside, in porcelain or vinyl heads that had no plugs to cause distortion.

4. The heads would Have to be Done Over!

And, 5. I Would Have To Do Them!

 



Next Page: 21. A Week at Paramount

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