Sculpting a whimsical doll's head with Marlaine Verhelst

81 minutes

Spend time with and watch art doll creator extraordinaire, Marlaine Verhelst, show you how she sculpts her award winning whimsical doll’s heads.

Watch close-up as Ms. Verhelst walks you through step-by-step the process of using a Styrofoam egg and air dried clay to achieve porcelain like results. Air dried clay is a perfect inexpensive material for beginners that requires no additional kilns or ovens.

Marlaine’s sculpting techniques can be applied to a variety of clays, so this class is for you if you want to achieve professional sculpting results, regardless of the clay medium you use.

Ms. Verhelst will show you how she creates her own unique look.

Discover how you can achieve correct proportions using air dried clay that looks like porcelain.

Learn the techniques you need to create your own whimsical doll heads.

No experience is needed, so don’t miss this opportunity to learn from a master and get the techniques and skills to start adding sculpting to your creative expression.

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During her studies in Art School Marlaine Verhelst had a teacher, the Dutch illustrator Margriet Heymans, who made dolls not meant to be art but just for her own pleasure and for her (many) children to play with. These dolls had the same simple but strong expression as her illustrations. Margriet Heymans brought these dolls with her to school for the students to make water color paintings after them. After more than 35 years these dolls are still a source of inspiration for Marlaine to "Keep it simple". Marlaine's other motto is: "Don't stick to conventions".   Marlaine Verhelst doesn't want to create existing people but with her dolls she tries to make a fantasy world of her own. Her Art School department was Illustrations and she still considers her dolls being 3-dimensional illustrations to stories that viewers can make up themselves. The dolls are hand sculpted directly into porcelain, fired once and painted with water color. The animals and attributes are made out of papier maché or air dry clay.

Marlaine enjoys teaching very much, mostly in air dry clay: her Holiday Workshop week in Paris, classes in Holland and online classes.

Together with Ankie Daanen she teaches the "Meet the Dutch Touch" class in the US. Marlaine Verhelst is a proud NIADA artist and board member and a proud DABIDA member.

Covered In This Class: 
  • the right tools to choose
  • building your base
  • best tips for working with air dried clay
  • how to achieve correct proportions
  • what to avoid when planning your piece
  • easy repair solutions for cracks and shrinkage
  • techniques and tips for successful sculpting
Materials Used In This Class: 
  • Air dry clay (Darwi, Creative Paperclay, la Doll, Formo)
  • A cardboard toilet paper roll
  • A Styrofoam egg, size appr. between 2.8 and 3.2 inches (7 or 8 cm)
  • Sculpting tool

Included is a class handout filled with photos, notes and all the resource information you need to get started.