Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Asian Ball Joint Doll

A year or two ago I got my first BJD (ball joint doll). This is a type of doll popular in Asian and with a moderate fan base elsewhere. They are an extremely expensive hobby! I first found out about them accidentally when I saw a cover of Haute Doll magazine on the shelves of a Borders bookstore. They all had that Gothic-Lolita look to them that I was attacted to and I became hooked.
The most common BJS is Super Dollfie by Volks, they have a distinctive "anime-ish" look to them. Other brands vary from extremely life-like to cartoon-like. People discribe my doll as looking "anime". I bought the cheapest brand - a doll by Obitsu, called Haruka - I kept this name for my doll since I always liked the name.

Most BJDs come blank and need to be customized - face painted, glass eyes inserted, you need to buy a wig, etc - when I customized Haruka I wanted to make her distictly Japanese with long black hair and glossy brown eyes. I wanted her clothes to be all traditional Japanese kimono and sweet lolita dresses.

The first outfit I made for Haruka was a furisode kimono.

I found the fabric as clothing at thrift stores. The kimono and under kimono is from Chinese silk robes, the obi is from an Indian top. The bear is from ebay. :-)

A closer view of her face. I don't really think she looks anime-ish - but rather like shes from that movie Dark Crystal. These pictures were taken on my cell phone at work, you can see my Puffy Ami Yumi poster in which they are wearing kimono punk-style - their kimono are the only reason I have the poster! I've made more kimono since this one - mostly yukata. Her first yukata was a lolita yukata - with a short puffy skirt!

One day browsing the thrift and antique stores in my area I saw that many porcelain dolls are similar size in the shoulders, so I thought their pretty dresses may fit my Haruka, so I picked up some cheap broken porcelain dolls from the thrift store that had lovely dresses. Here is the first find:

Poor quality picture, sorry! She's underneath a shelf at my work desk flanked by some Japanese temari balls I've made (I'll share about those later). This only picture I could take on my crumby phone that showed any detail to the pink baby doll dress.

Other than the lolita style yukata, this is the first lolita-ish dress I got. That day I took some pictures outside. Here she is sitting on a grassy hill. In such a short baby doll dress you can really tell how long her legs are.

I tried to get some good pictures of her standing next to a rock, but the lighting wasn't working on my cell phone.

I have some more outfits that I've taken off old broken dolls that look good on her that I have yet to photograph. Last night I worked on altering a very fine dress. I found this one at the Crossroads Doll and Teddy Bear show at the Puyallup fair. Its an antique dress for French dolls, I believe it is a reproduction. I saw the bonnet and was reminded of the Japanese sweet lolita look that I'm so drawn to and I had to get it, despite it's expensive price tag. I'm glad I got it! This time she has a curly blonde wig on that I took off a porcelain doll that had shattered. The wig is too big, but the bonnet keeps it on her head.

I'll publish more pictures of other outfits soon. I'll probablly take more pictures of Haruka in this outfit today!

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