BJD Artist Kaye Wiggs shares her inspirations for her sun-kissed, fresh-faced Australian girls and discusses the actual doll-making process.
BJDmagazine: How did you start making dolls? Why did you fall in love with BJDs?
Kaye: I first started making porcelain dolls in 1989. I stopped making the porcelain dolls around 2002. I had a couple of years break from making dolls, and then decided to try making resin dolls. I spent a couple of years researching and testing resin, and teaching myself how to make the silicon molds. Initially, I intended to make resin dolls in the same style as my porcelain dolls. But then a friend showed me an issue of Haute Doll magazine with pictures of ball jointed dolls and I was instantly enthralled!! The BJD’s looked so much more interesting than the dolls I had made before! I loved the way the joints allowed them to be positioned in more natural poses. I realized right away that I wanted to make BJDs.
BJDmagazine: Kaze Kidz is a very interesting name. Tell us more about it.
Kaye: Most of my dolls are sculpted to represent children, so I started calling them my “kids”. Then, when I started making the ball-jointed dolls, I was looking for a name to give them. I initially wanted to call them Aussie Kids, but that name was already in use, so I compromised and decided to call them Kaze Kidz.
BJDmagazine: Your first BJD sculpts seemed to be of more mature characters. What drew you towards the younger figures you now sculpt?
Kaye: The first BJD’s I saw were adult characters, and I liked the SD size dolls best myself, so I decided to try and make the same size dolls. As I became more familiar with making BJDs and more confident to “do my own thing”, I started to sculpt less mature dolls. I have always enjoyed sculpting children rather than adult faces, so I have gradually reverted back to making children dolls with more realistic features.
BJDmagazine: Your faces have a unique style. Big round eyes, button noses, plump pouty mouths with tremendous expression. What is the inspiration behind them? Are your girls Australian girls?
Kaye: I usually don’t have any inspiration…but occasionally I will see a face in a magazine or a cute kid on the street or I see an expression I like and I try to recreate it in my dolls.
BJDmagazine: Your dolls have a sisterly resemblance, but each has a unique character. How do you approach the creation of each character? Do you plan ahead (sketch), or do you let your fingers and the clay work until a character emerges?
Kaye: I think most (if not all) artists have their own style and their dolls look like “family”. No, I don’t plan ahead or sketch before I sculpt. I just sculpt and see what comes out!
BJDmagazine: If Nyssa could speak, what story would she tell us?
Kaye: I have no idea .. I don’t have stories for my dolls .. I have no imagination for stories!!
BJDmagazine: What would you say is the most important thing when sculpting a face?
Kaye: I think the most important thing is to make the face appealing.
BJDmagazine: Can you describe the process involved in sculpting a face?
Kaye: I start with some Sculpy111, and I make a ball of aluminium foil. I make a thin flat sheet of sculpy and wrap it around the ball, shaping it to resemble a head. I leave a hole where the top of the head will be, and then I bake it in the oven. I then pull the foil out and I sculpt the features and so on.
BJDmagazine: Can you describe the casting and sanding process? Do you do that yourself?
Kaye: First I tint the resin, to whatever colour I want to cast .. then mix two parts together and pour into a mold. I then put the mold filled with resin into a pressure pot to get the bubbles out. Once the resin is set, I then take the part out of the mold and sand it smooth. Once I have finished sanding, I polish the head and wash it and prepare to paint it. I used to cast all my dolls myself, but I became allergic to the resin, so I now only cast the first doll or two and have the rest of the edition factory-cast.
BJDmagazine: In your opinion, what is the most challenging part in the creation of a doll? What is the most rewarding part?
Kaye: Without a doubt, the most challenging part is sculpting the joints!! The most rewarding part is seeing the end result. I get really excited to see a new sculpt completed.
BJDmagazine: Your dolls have the most wonderful, unique face-ups. Do you do the face-ups? Can you tell us more in terms of your choices for the face-ups?
Kaye: Yes, I do the face-up on the first couple of dolls, then I send the face-upped dolls to the factory and they copy my work. I particularly love giving my dolls freckles so, often, they will have freckled faces!
BJDmagazine: How often do you release a new doll? Do you create constantly, or in spurts?
Kaye: I am constantly creating. We have been offering a new doll every month for pre-order.
BJDmagazine: Of all the BJDs you made, which one are you particularly attached to? Why?
Kaye: Nyssa. She was originally sculpted to be a little Aussie aboriginal girl, so she is kind of special to me.
BJDmagazine: Do you play with your dolls?
Kaye: Yep … sure do. I think that’s the most attractive part of BJDs .. you can play with them!! Doesn’t matter how old you are, you can play like a kid again!
BJDmagazine: What advice would you give to those of our readers who would like to create their own dolls?
Kaye: Go for it! It’s fun making your own doll, and very rewarding when you can look at a doll and think “I made that”!! It never ceases to amaze me that I can actually make dolls, and if I can do it, anyone can!!
BJDmagazine: What do you see in the future of Kaze Kidz?
Kaye: Hopefully I can continue to make dolls and sell them through www.jpopdolls.net. If I can find the time, I may start to make an OOAK doll occasionally, as I find that very rewarding.
|You can find Kaye on:
Her Website: http://www.kazekidz.com/
Her dolls are sold at: http://www.jpopdolls.net/store/home.php