Monster Kittens

1 face sculpts

In my ongoing experiments with sculpting, molding, and resin casting (like this one), I wanted to try out a more functional use for resin casts….Could I maybe make some kind of doll with a resin-cast face?

After a few rough sketches, I got some Sculpey out on an index card, pushed marbles in for eyes, and played around to see what I could come up with.  Of course, since Myla loves to be involved, I let her have a lump, with which she made the little figure on the top left, and I came up with these two monster faces on the right (people on Instagram said they looked like monster kittens):

2 sculpts

I still have some tricky times with molding and casting, and have wasted more than my fair share of molding rubber and resin…So I let Myla have a few of the wonky ones to paint herself…

3 myla paint

And I added some color to a few molds that actually came out well…

4 painted faces

(Initially, I put resin on the mouth and eyes for a “wet” look, and only sealed the faces with varnish, but later ended up sealing the whole face in ModPodge Dimensional Magic for better wear & tear).

5 layout

Aside from painting them, the most fun part was trying to figure out what sort of fabric to use.  So many options that completely change the look of each face!  And I just used scraps of things I had in my fabric bins, including fun fur, industrial felt, mismatched fabrics, and excess pieces of a patchwork quilt I once made.

I learned from talking to other artists (have I mentioned how much I love Instagram??) that the best way to affix the heads to the fabric is to use E600, and put them under a heavy object overnight.  Granted, they smell like chemical warfare afterwards, but if you let them air out awhile, the smell eventually goes away.

The first creature I made was a basic doll-shape:

6 monster1

…And Myla loved him.

Then I made a body for the one she painted herself:

6 monster2

…And Myla loved him.

I tried a more “pillow-like” one, with octopus-legs…

6 monster3

…And Myla wasn’t crazy about that one.  (Don’t worry–it’s found a good home at my friend Corrie’s house.)

I did what Myla describes as a flying fish-fairy:

6 monster6

And a sort of dragonfly-dragon:

6 monster5

But by far, my favorite was when I tried something completely different, and made a more 3-dimensional body, with three little legs on each side.

6 monster7

7 monster puppy

It was my first time making one that wasn’t just a flat front & back without using a pattern, so it’s a little wonky, but I quite like it.

Annnnnd, of course, Myla loved it.  She calls her “Midnight” and carries her everywhere lately. I realize these things are not necessarily made to be ‘toys” (how much they hold up to the wear & tear of kid life is still being determined), but she treats her dolls pretty well, so why not?

Thankfully, the horrendous glue smell has gone away.  And after repairing her chipped little resin face a couple of times, I think a good coat of the ModPodge stuff has really helped keep her shiny & new.

It’s a funny thing, though, when she takes her little monster places.  Other little girls will look at Myla and smile sweetly, and Myla will smile back…then they’ll look down at her fuzzy little monster, and their face will inevitably change to a mortified “what the HECK??”  When she takes Midnight anywhere, the comments she gets stem from either complete disgust, or absolute fascination.  And when people ask where she got such a doll, she says, with her sweet little 5-year old voice, “my mom sculpt it and cast it in wesin.”8 monster puppy

Listen, I know we like weird things.  And I know most people won’t “get” the same things we’re into.  So we could teach her to either hide what she likes to be “normal,” or take it as an opportunity to share our weirdness with someone else.

We teach her that when someone doesn’t like something, or doesn’t “get” it (like maybe her references to characters she has heard stories of and loves, like Gamora and Groot, or Storm, or Star Wars), it might be because they just don’t UNDERSTAND it, or haven’t heard about them….but that it doesn’t make it wrong.  It might just mean that they don’t know, which would be a good chance to teach them something new.  People don’t always like the same things, but they shouldn’t try to make someone else feel bad for liking what they like.  And no matter what, you should never EVER feel bad or ashamed for liking what you like, no matter how weird, as long as you’re not hurting anyone else.  If they don’t like it, that’s okay–that’s their business.

So far, she’s done pretty well with that, thankfully. She doesn’t go out LOOKING for a conflict, but so far, she handles it with grace when she does.

On a side note, people have asked if I sell these, and so far, there are many reasons I haven’t.  I quite like doing them just for fun, and as much as I’d love to share them, the thought of doing them to order is quite intimidating!  (Not to mention, the effort that goes into sculpting, molding, casting, painting, and sewing might be worth a bit more than people are willing to consider.)

I have trouble with that–the thought of custom work and getting rid of the things I make.  It really is daunting.  I worry that it might lose it’s “fun” or its spontaneity. Also, I’m not sure how well they’ll hold up.  Maybe one day, when things aren’t so busy, and I’ve got this whole resin-casting thing down pat/ Maybe I’ll make a few and put them up in a shop as-is.    (I keep saying I’m going to do that….)

Until then, have any of you tried resin casting?  Have you tried making dolls from them?  I’d love to see your creations and hear from you about your resin-adventures!

16 responses

  1. Wow! You are so creative! Amazing!! Nicola Beeson | Artist

    Live a good, honourable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time. -Dali Lama

    1. Thank you! I end up with some strange things, but you’ve gotta follow what you like!

  2. Ich mach´ mich mal schlau. Meine Katzen haben ja keinen Freigang mehr, wegen einem fiesen Nachbarn. Denen habe ich einen recht großen Auslauf am Haus gebaut, in den sie jederzeit können. Mal sehen, was ich raus bekomme. Gibt´s vielleicht ein Foto für neugierige Interessenten? (ich bin garnicht neugierig, nein, ich nicht) Karin

  3. Those are both awesome and the face of terror. I would have loved one of those as a child (though I don’t handle conflict with nearly as much grace as your daughter)!

    1. Hahha! Thanks? 🙂 Yes, thanks! She’s pretty good about it. I hope she keeps that–I didn’t have that much grace when I was a kid–I often got my feelings hurt, too!

  4. I just love the part about loving weird things! Sounds like me as a kid! I always wanted to dress up as the villains from Disney movies instead of the princesses. And my favorite movies were Labrynth and Edward Scissorhands 🙂

    1. That’s awesome! Funnily enough, she is going to be Edward Scissorhands for halloween this year. She’s never seen the movie, but she’s heard of the character. We went to the halloween store looking for a starting point to make a Nightcrawler costume, and BOOM she fell in love with the scissorhands costume. (We’re going to customize it a bit, though!)

      1. That is amazing!! I am currently in the middle of hand-making my costume for this year! Hedwig from Hedwig and the Angry Inch…..so excited 🙂

  5. Love how you and your girl are having fun making these little creatures. How funny to imagine the reaction must be like from some of the people around her!

    1. Yes, it’s funny! They either love and are fascinated by it, or are totally creeped out. Still, she TOTALLY gets involved in the whole process. She loves it!

  6. I think girls and boys would like them, there used to be “My Pet Monster” dolls, these are much better and have so much more interesting…I think they could catch on!

  7. I think all you do is click on the subscribe option on the blog? I’ll see!

  8. Wow these are amazing! Nice work, you’re such a good sculpter.

  9. That’s a cool project. You’re very good at your craft. You can’t go wrong with kittens 😀

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