Ball joints, oh there’s a thought

I'm fascinated with making critters that are poseable, and my search is always on to find and refine my creations… And I am always getting distracted by other crafts, there is only one way for me to “work out” how things are constructed and that is to “play” take things apart or build things up.

So the search was on, find a ball joint doll “EEkk” the prices… that was a bit of a shock, I wasnt expecting the range of prices I was seeing for “bits to build”. I can understand the prices on the finished, beautifully modified ones but I just needed to explore …

Not to be dishearted, I looked for something that wasnt quite a collectors piece and of course if I was buying a “doll” then I always had the excuse that it was for my granddaughter, always a good excuse….

I located an AI doll, it had all of the basic ball joint atributes of course it was in hard plastic a sort of cross between a BJD (ball joint doll) and a fashion doll.

Karin Ai Doll


This wasnt the most attractive one, it was however the cheapest, a necessity considering I was going to dismantle and mess around with it (in bjd circles they would consider I was going to destroy it! lol)

I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of this little doll and it had a resonable range of movement.

So the butchery, er exploration began….

A few snips of the elastic and there it was in bits.. doubts began from that point, I hoped that I would be able to get this tiny thing back together …

dismantled doll

Sealed, and then pastels and paints at the ready, the work began….

I wouldnt say it was a labour of love, more the fact that I knew if I managed to rebuild it my granddaughter would love it, just because it was small and posable.

Well after much cussing, messy spraying I did manage to get it back together, easy to get one elastic through the tiny holes but double??? I completed her with an alpaca wig (had to try) eyelashes and mini teddy bear.

I did build up too much colour on the face, but Ive no intention of taking it all back off again, shell just have to have a permanent flush … (insert a chuckle or two here)

Completed doll

However I couldnt work out how I could adapt the type ball joints on this doll to my needle felt or fabric critters… on the plus side my granddaughter loves it…

Then I discovered a micro 3D printed ball joint doll kit, oh my a technology produced kit, very reasonable cost… had to. It would satisfy my curiosity about tiny joints, and just what 3D printing material felt like… Im like a kid at christmas, all these toys. Well you have to suffer for your art sometimes dont you?

I will let you know how I get on …


2 responses to “Ball joints, oh there’s a thought

  1. David Currell gives a series of instructions on different joints, including ball joints, in his book Making and Manipulating Marionettes. Lots of diagrams and discussion.

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