The Armature

This is a wire armature suitable for 12 inch tall dolls. The armature will be 9 inch, with head, hands and feet the doll will be 11-12 inch in total.

You take a piece of wire of 2 meter (80 inch) in length and fold it in half. You make a loop of 2 cm (0.80 inch) and twist the wire 1,5 cm (0.60 inch) for the neck. (pict. 1). Bend the wire to the left and the other end to the right, measure 2 cm (0.80 inch) from the neck for the shoulder, bend the wire a little so you can see what the shoulder is and where the arm begins. (pict. 2). Now measure 15 cm (6 inch) from the neck, fold the wire and twist it until it reaches the shoulder. The twisted wire of the arm should be about 11 cm (4.5 inch) (pict. 2 + 3). Now do the same with the other arm.

Now cross the wire as on the picture (pict. 4). Twist the wire for 4,5 cm (1.80 inch) (pict. 5).The distance between neck and middle should be about 2,5 cm (1 inch). For the hip you have to measure 1,5 cm (0.60 inch) and bend it, then measure 17 cm (6.70 inch) from the hip down. Fold the wire (pict. 5) and twist the wire until it reaches the hip (pict. 6) Attach the ends of the wire about 1,5 cm (0.60 inch) above the hips (pict. 6).

Now you have to cut off the loops. Cut the arms at 9 cm (3.55 inch) from the shoulder and the legs at 11 cm (4.50 inch) from the hip. (pict. 7)

After this you can start giving the wire a body shape using foam. Cut a block of foam in the size of an arm or leg, cut it open in the length till halfway, so there is room for the wire inside. Make sure the ends of the wire will stick out about 0.60 inch (for attaching hands and feet later). Use a glue gun to close the cut. Now use scissors to cut the foam into shape.

You can also use other material, like "fiberfil"( the material you use inside coats and jackets, or the stuff used inside bears and pillows) with bandages. Or you can use kitchen paper with paper tape. When you want to make a whole body sculpture, you have to work directly on the wire frame (with tinfoil). You could shape the rest of the body after baking if necessary, with foam. When you use paper clay I would recommend a wire frame with kitchen paper and paper tape, because it is firmer and you can use the clay directly on the body.