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Video Review #1

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Video Review #1

Post  LMPartdolls on 19/7/2009, 13:43

Well, as promised, I would give my opinion on the Judith Klawitter videos. So far, I've only managed to get through the first one "Anatomy of Age 1".

Judith is a very informative teacher. She takes her time and explains every step of the process of building and sculpting the face with all the little nuances. She describes exactly what she is doing and when, where, and why she is doing a certain thing. She is very thorough. At times, I thought she was a little long-winded and I wanted her to get to the point. But, that is just because I'm antsy pantsy and can't wait to get on with the next part. Shocked If you are looking for a video that is direct and a good tutorial, this is a good one. I believe, a beginner would have no problems with making a very nice Santa or elderly face by following her video.

I will also say, that if you decide to use her technique of a Santa head, come prepared to use a LOT of clay. I think her head piece alone, (head and neck plate) probably used around 4-5 bars of super sculpey clay. Crying Since I'm used to working on a smaller scale, I generally use about 1/2 a bar to 3/4 bar on a sculpt. So, this project could prove to be a little painful in the pocket. I would wager that each hand piece also takes about a bar of clay each...but, I haven't gotten that far.

But, aside from that, she has some pretty nice techniques and her video does in fact teach what it says it will teach...anatomy of age. In my opinion, I think it was worth the money. And, I think I can apply her techniques on a smaller scale for the 18" size santa that I normally make.

I'll post more later on the "Anatomy of Age 2" once I look at it. Excited

Hugs to all,
Lori

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Re: Video Review #1

Post  DianeExpress on 19/7/2009, 17:14

Lori...Thanks for telling us about the video! Clapping I'm wondering Question ...how big are the Santa's she's showing you? I KNOW she knows what she's doing, Rolling Eyes but there are so many "ways to do it" out there. If you make even a life-sized Santa, couldn't you use a lot of foil for the head armature and just cover it with the clay? I believe that it was Jack Johnson who said that thick clay can crack over the years. Never having made a Santa that size before I could be jumpin' the gun here with the question. Bottom line is...does she use a lot of foil for the armature and still have to use that much clay? Just wondering.
I hope that you'll tell us more about the other videos. But I warn you! Fear There'll be more questions!
Hugs...Diane

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Re: Video Review #1

Post  LMPartdolls on 19/7/2009, 18:10

LOL no worries, Diane. I'm happy to answer them as best I can. Very Happy

I think the Santa ends up coming out about 32-36" tall. It has a 4" head roughly, so that is what I think she said. If you figure it on a head ratio scale, and the human size being 8 heads tall that puts us at 32". By the time all the clay has been put on there, then it may put you at roughly 36".

She does use an aluminum ball/egg shape for the armature made out of heavy duty foil. Roughly the egg shape is about 4" to start with. It is the same principle as Jack Johnston's video as well. The difference between his santa and hers is that he makes the neck only. On hers, she comes down with the neck and begins a "breastplate". Basically, she just develops the neckline a little further down to incorporate the tops of the shoulders somewhat. Which, actually, I prefer that method moreso than Jack's because I remember having a heck of a time trying to make my clothing come up and cover the baseline of the neck. So, I had to depend a lot on the hair coverage. Rolling Eyes

Anyway, if you have ever bought Super Sculpey, and I'm sure you have. A 1 lb. box comes in 4 slabs. The base layer of the head sculpt uses 2 complete slabs to start with. Then, 1/2 a slab for the nose, a full slab across the brow line and forehead area, 1/2 a slab for each cheek, 1/2 a slab for each ear, 3 slabs for the neck and shoulder plate...etc....etc. That will give you a rough estimation. I guess in all, I would say there is about a 1.5" thickness or 1.75". So, yes, there is a lot of clay used, but at the same time, these are created using pockets in the clay. (for the lack of a better term here) For example, she domes out the cheeks somewhat and applies it to the face. So, air can move around beneath it while baking. This could be the reason she has had so much success with no cracking. I'm sure on occassion she has cracking, but at the same time with all of the "aging process" due to the deep folds and wrinkles some of the cracking, if any, may not be that apparent to an untrained eye. That, and it would be easy to fill in a crack inconspicuously again, due to the aging of the doll.

She did mention something about a life-size santa and the armature...but for the life of me I can't remember it right off the top of my head now. But, I would wager, you would just double the size of the armature creating an 8" egg for his noggin and shape around that. And use heavy duty aluminum foil. But, that seems more like a question for Paula since she has already made a fantastic looking life-size head. Excited We'll have to pick her for her secrets. hehe My only problem at the moment is where to bake something that size? Even a 4" is pretty big once completed and I don't think my convection over will cut it for the baking job. I know when I ordered my videos I talked to Judith for a bit and she mentioned a roaster oven. The brand she told me about is a "sunpen town SO-2000 super turbo oven". I really hate to invest in yet "another" oven. But, Shrug I might have to if I want to go to a larger scale doll. It would be nice to have a couple large santas ready for the november event. They would definately draw the interest of the crowd more than anything I would think if they were gracing my table top. Very Happy

Anyway, I hope this helps ya! Feel free to ask as many questions you like.

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Re: Video Review #1

Post  DianeExpress on 20/7/2009, 22:10

Lori!
Thanks for the explanations! Very Happy You had mentioned a November show. Where & what kind of show? Had you done that one before? You know...more details!! Excited
Hugs...Diane

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Re: Video Review #1

Post  LMPartdolls on 21/7/2009, 11:58

Hello there, Diane,

The show is a local one for me. It's at the Lakeridge Winery. www.lakeridgewinery.com . They have all kinds of special events throughout the year. I have never done a show there and to tell you, I'm not sure it's really a big show. But, it will be a good "starter" show for me since I have never done a show with my dolls. That is why I picked it.

The fee is reasonable. $75.00 for a 3 day event. I have no idea how big the November and December shows will be, but I know that during the year they have arts/crafts stuff sometime and I have seen maybe 15-20 vendors then on an off season type of thing. The nice thing is that it is local, and I'll not have to pay for hotel expenses and gas expense will cost me about a 30 min drive, pack a lunch and drive home for dinner, not to mention the show will be geared around the holidays so that is a bonus. And, I left out the best part: since it is a winery with free taste-testing...people will be in good spirits with good spirits! Excited I guess I should add that it's a good way to get local exposure as well. So, it will be a small gamble. But, if I sell even one doll...I've made up my time and my fees for the weekend. And, too, since I'm used to traveling with my clay and sculpting in my lap, I can sit and sculpt more stuff while I'm just hanging out. It is a nice added touch as passer-bys like to see the artist at work. :-) A little trick I learned back in my fine art days when I did pastels.

Anyway, this is why I'm in the middle of making a butt-load of santa face ornaments. I figured, even if the economy is down, people will generally add one special ornament a year to their tree. And, since it is a festival, people like keepsakes to remember their time spent some place. Not only that, but it will help to fill my table with wares. Very Happy I have close to 50 sculpted now. I'll have to paint, add hair, and their hats still. I also am going to add a batch of african-american faces as well.

Hugs,
Lori

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Re: Video Review #1

Post  DianeExpress on 21/7/2009, 13:17

Thanks, Lori! Very Happy
That kinda makes me miss shows. Well... miss the good ones, forget the bad ones! Wink
You're very wise to make the ornaments. They'll be great (I'm
sure)...and they'll sell.
I had a craftshow partner (in the 90s) and we
started out with quilts...didn't do so well. She made one little Santa
figure out of clay and a house or something, and that's what started us
off with SantaMaking. The second year she made smaller Christmas items
(did very well) and together we did the Santas. She made the hands and
faces from molds and tweaked them and I pretty much did the rest. That
year we actually had people waiting in line to buy a Santa!! It was
GREAT! The following year we made more expensive ones and the more
expensive they got the fewer sales we had. Go figure! Shrug
ha Our third... and last... year we sold Santas, charging between $250
and $1200. It was wonderful to sell ones that high, but we spent so
much money in travel and overnight expensives and the booth fees (one
was $500 and that was ten years ago!!! Fear
) that we barely broke even for all the work. Between Santas and
homeschooling I physically broke down and that was the end of it. I
thought I could never work with clay...tried it for 10 minutes wallbash
...but about 3 years later I still had the drive to make Santas, so I
tried again on my own. I bought books and tapes and practiced and
trashed countless heads and...........actually made a couple good ones,
but never did another show and never sold one of "my own". I DID make
one
for my sister, thou. I used one that we hadn't sold at the shows...took
the "cast" head and hands off, and made my own. She loved it. My sister died of
cancer and I now have her Santa on
my piano...year round. The original SantaMakers have seen it, but I'll
post it to show you.
Now all this wonderful talk and great
friendship has me wanting to do it again. Thanks for the posts...I've
certainly enjoyed them. I'd love to see a photo of some of your
ornaments! Hope you have fun making them.
Hugs...Diane

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Re: Video Review #1

Post  DianeExpress on 21/7/2009, 14:42

Lori,
After much todo (figuring out a new camera systerm) I got two photos posted. Smile Diane

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Re: Video Review #1

Post  LMPartdolls on 21/7/2009, 14:55

Oh, Diane,

Friendship is a warm-heartfelt feeling that comes from the inside outward and affects the people who are near and dear to you. Sometimes, the stories told are so powerful that you can get a wonderful warm feeling inside that bring tears of joy. Your story is one such as this to me. Smile I would be so proud to see the special santa you made for you sister. What a wonderful memory you have in that Santa.

Doing a lot of shows and traveling can be a LOT of work. Especially when you have small children too. So many times I have heard ppl talk in the crowd at festivals and such saying..."must be nice to sit around in a tent all day". rofl tease wallbash If they had an inkling of an idea what it was like....pft....I'd like to slap a few of those ppl. lol I used to do fine art pastel shows. Let me tell you about the horror of framing a piece of work on paper behind a glass the size of 36" x 40" !!!! Shocked Fear I think I needed my head examined for those 2 that I did. lol They were definately statement pieces...but OMG I'll never do that again. Traveling with work on paper behind glass leaves to multitudes of ulcers. hmm I was younger and dumber. rofl Live and learn.

I figured a couple good sized santa dolls about the 36" hieght would be appropriate to draw in the lookers. And, the smaller size about 18" to be the standard. The ornaments...are just fillers, they'll be what makes the bacon that weekend.

If you go back to shows....just do some local ones. Although, doing a show is a lot of work and preparation, but, it is nice to get your work out there and noticed. I'm counting moreso on return customers to my website or on etsy than anything else. So, we'll see how it goes.

Once I get the lot of ornaments finished up that I have currently in the process, I'll post a pic of the lot of them. Popcorn

Thanks again for a wonderful memory, Diane. It was very thoughtful of you to share such a nice story that was near and dear to your heart. I can't thank you enough, because my heart needed to hear it.

Many hugs,
Lori

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Re: Video Review #1

Post  LMPartdolls on 21/7/2009, 14:58

OHHHHH WOW Woot He is beautiful! I love him. I love everything about him. He is wonderful. I'd keep him out all year long too. Smile

Thank you for putting him in the gallery for all the world to see. He is too beautiful not to show him off.

Hugs,
Lori

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Re: Video Review #1

Post  DianeExpress on 21/7/2009, 15:18

Dear Lori,

Thank you for the thank you!! Wish we could visit over some (iced?) tea! It would be such fun.

I live in Virginia and my sister lived near Baltimore, but we managed
to get together often. Our kids grew up together (8 total). Her husband married
again and her youngest (the only one left at home) just couldn't abide
by the new wife. (For one thing we all thought it was way too soon,
but I won't get into that). His dad pretty much kicked him out of the
house (his home) right before he was to graduate from high
school. I got a phone call, "Aunt Diane, can I come stay with you?"
Jonathan lived with us for a year and a half (sleeping on the couch in
the basement) and then joined the Air Force. He's going to visit this
weekend (haven't seen him in almost a year!) and then he's being sent
to South Korea. He's a good kid. Karen did a good job.

Anyway, I'm very glad that you liked the post...and Karen's Santa! She was very proud to own him. Thank you.

Hugs...Diane

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Re: Video Review #1

Post  LMPartdolls on 21/7/2009, 16:11

Diane,

Please do me a favor when you see your nephew this weekend. Give him my heart-felt and sincere thanks for his services to our country. If there were more like him in our country, we would have far less problems.

Many hugs to you and your family,
Lori

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Re: Video Review #1

Post  darel on 21/7/2009, 19:06

Diane,

Great Santa I would have that out all the time also. You should do more Santa's you have too much talent not to. My hat's off to you for taking your nephew in like that. Give him a pat on the back from me also. It takes a lot of courage to go straight out of high school and into the military.

Darel

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Re: Video Review #1

Post  DianeExpress on 21/7/2009, 20:25

Dear Lori and Darel,
You're both so very nice to say such kind things. I will definitely
tell Jonathan that I have good friends that wish him the best. His Dad
flew C130s for four years, my husband (his uncle Smile
!) flew A10s for almost 25 yrs, and his grandfather (my dad) flew in
WWII, so I guess he kind of fell into it naturally. He's not in as a
pilot, but I know that that is what he'd like to do.
As to the Santas...I do so much want to get back into it again. I've
had a myriad of physical difficulties for several years, but am good
enough now to sculpt. If ever I feel like I just can't do it I'll call
on you both to keep me going. OK????
I'll look forward to seeing your new creations, too! Who would have
thought, back when we were growing up, that it would be possible to
make friends through a keyboard? Glad I took typing!!!!!!!! Clapping
Big hug and a thank you....Diane

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Re: Video Review #1

Post  LMPartdolls on 21/7/2009, 21:36

Diane,

I'm glad you learned how to type too. Very Happy It would be a shame to miss out on such a friendly soul such as yourself. Smile

Many hugs,
Lori

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JK video

Post  Hoopie on 31/7/2009, 13:32

Its a good thing we all have such different opinions on matters or you would have missed out .

I would have told you not to waste your money on that video. Where she is of course a good artist unto herself, I thought the video was quite poor, and quite costly. She uses a terrific amount of clay which is not necessary, and leaves little to no room for the artist personal style. There are many video/tutorials out there which are about 49.00 as opposed to 300.00 she was asking and are as or more informative. That is the short version of my opinion.





.

Woot bag roll

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Re: Video Review #1

Post  Hoopie on 31/7/2009, 13:42

I also make santa face ornaments every year, though the past year I didn't sell nearly as many as previously. I started making witch face ornaments and they sell fairly well too.

My boy was stationed in Korea for a year with the US Army. he met a gal who was also stationed there and came home with wife & babe !!! that was 18 years ago..oh my



There are so many parts to this group I'm not sure I will keep up with it or even find my way back here.......duh.. huh

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Sherry

Post  Hoopie on 31/7/2009, 13:44

Anyone seen Sherry from CO.

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Re: Video Review #1

Post  LMPartdolls on 31/7/2009, 15:02

Thanks for your opinion, Hoopie.

I do agree she uses way too much clay, and that she doesn't leave much open to (while following her video) artist personal style. But, once you learn her basics, you are left on your own devices. For a beginner, the video might be helpful, but, again, I also agree that there are other videos out there that are probably better, especially for the price. Personally, I learned a lot more from Jack Johnston's santa video than I did hers. The fact that she really focuses in on the "aging" which is the theme of the video anyway. She teaches what she says she will teach..."anatomy of aging".

So, yes, there are other videos out there that are cheaper and teach you a lot more. Personally, I would recommend Jack Johnson's video before I would recommend Judiths. But, I took the plunge because it was 50% off. It's a risk you take when you buy a video because you dont' know how you will like it until you see it. I would much rather have "rented" the video instead. Shrug Unfortunately, that was not the option.

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renting video

Post  Hoopie on 31/7/2009, 16:10

Wouldn't it be awesome to have a video library for such purpose. Maybe put a deposit on it while you have it, and refunded when it's returned !! Excited

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Re: Video Review #1

Post  psclaus on 31/7/2009, 16:29

I agree Lori, Judiths style is all her own. The vids she sells give you the basics as how to start out, but if you stay with her technique, your sculpts will always look similar to hers. The point of her vid is really how to start a head, but the way it looks is totally up to you. You have to use a little creativity. I also have Jacks vid, he sticks with a smaller profile and its much to tedious for me. I also have Wendy Froud dvds and these have taught me alot, plus I have a bunch of Brian Frouds book and I study from them. You have to develope your own special style which by the way I am still working on. Patricia Rose is the one that made me see this and I started out with one of her molds. Course it looked just like her sculpts but it gave me a sort of map to look at. After that I was a sponge and soaked up any bit of info I could find.
The point is books and vids are perfect to get you started. After you develope a feel for it then your hooked, and you no longer need them.
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Re: Video Review #1

Post  LMPartdolls on 31/7/2009, 18:07

Paula, I couldn't have said it better! Very Happy

You know, Hoopie, I do think that there is such a thing actually now that I think of it. I seen it some place. I need to look around for the link I seen and post it here. Wink

Hugs,
Lori

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Re: Video Review #1

Post  DianeExpress on 31/7/2009, 23:01

Lori and Darel!
Jonathan left us today and will be going to South Korea in a few days. He stayed with us for almost a week instead of just the weekend and I'm glad that he did. I told him that you both sent him your best wishes and he kinda blushed. Told me that he didn't know what to say. I suggested a thank you and that's what he sends back to you both. "Thank You!"
Hoopie, I was wondering that just the other day! I was even thinking about writing to several of our old SantaMaker friends and inviting back on to this site! I just don't know where they've all gone!! Crying Glad that you're here, though!! Very Happy
Interesting discussion about the different videos. It's true that you have to find your own style. For me, I also studied drawing books which, if you want to get more into realism, is a great way to learn bone and muscle structure. Each to his (or her whistle )own!!
Big hugs all around! Diane

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Re: Video Review #1

Post  LMPartdolls on 1/8/2009, 16:26

Thank you for the update, Diane. I will keep Jonathan and his comrades in my prayers for a safe and speedy return. Smile I'm very glad that you were able to spend nearly a week with him. That is fantastic news. I'm sure it did a world of wonders for him as well, as it did for yourself. Nothing more comforting than to know our babies are safe and sound....seeing is believing. wub

Hugs,
Lori

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Re: Video Review #1

Post  darel on 1/8/2009, 21:25

Diane,

I am so glad that you got to spend the week with your nephew, and we will gladly keep him in our thoughts and prayers.

And Happy Birthday!

Darel

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Re: Video Review #1

Post  DianeExpress on 1/8/2009, 22:30

Thanks again to you, Lori and Darel. Jonathan left a birthday card for
me, which I opened tonight. (A little early celebration.) He thanked
me for everything and said he didn't know what he would have done. I
got so chocked up I couldn't read it out loud. I'm sure that Karen
knows we're being family for him. How could we do otherwise? We'll
miss him. I could always hear Jeff and Jonathan howling away at
something they found uproariously funny. It was good. I'm glad that
we were here for him. We'll miss him. (sniff)
I covet your thoughts and prayers. Thank you, both.
Diane

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