This weblog is also based on emails I write with other ScoonimDoll enthousiasts. Of course I only publish an email or a part of it with permission of my respondent.
Subject: Update on the new model and… a book!
Another year has passed and finally I am writing an update in my blog here. Those amongst you that follow me on Facebook, that is follow my doll Stellai there,
will know that a lot has happened since then, but that the model I was writing about in my previous blog is still not finished. I know, this does not sound much promising
for the future. But you will have to believe me that I am still working on it, making progress, even though it is slow. In fact I have recently finished the skeleton and
the moulds for it. I also have developed a special kind of clay mass to be used as posable cores inside the new body. Soon I am going to make the first tests. Obviously
this should have been done already many many months ago. But I have a good excuse. I have spend last year on making a book about my dolls. Actually I am working on two books.
The one I started with is about Stellai. But this book is currently stalled because of the second book, which is about Rosaleintje. Now this book is about to be published. It is
a book with photo series about little events in the everyday life of Rosaleintje here at my place. Stellai has written most of the text for it, giving background information,
comments and telling stories that in my opinion are often more about Stellai than Rosaleintje…
It is has become an amazing book and it will be published in several languages. The first editions will be in English, German and Dutch, but we are also already working
on translations in French, Spanish and Portuguese.
Subject: My first TV interview
Another interesting event that is about to take place is the broadcasting of an interview that I have given this week to the most important primetime actuality program on
Dutch national television ( to be seen tomorrow 20-3-’17 at 18.15 hrs. in ‘EenVandaag’, NPO-1). Even though the overall subject of the topic in which the interview will take
place is not about dolls, the interviewer mainly focused on my work as doll maker. I think that also a number of shots of the dolls that I had specially displayed for this
occasion, together with a number of photos of the book that I have send to them afterwards, will be used in the program.
Next to the ScoonimDolls that I have made myself, you can also see a full size lifelike doll sitting in my workshop. I borrowed this doll (her name is Rebecca) from a
friend of mine. It was part of the deal I made with the makers of the TV program. So please do not think that I have made this doll myself, or even will consider to start
making entire lifelike dolls in my workshop. My interest in them is mainly based on technical similarity. I can also tell you that I am offering now my expertise in developing
special features like the special hand skeleton and posable face to a company that manufactures lifelike dolls, but these are just parts, not entire dolls.
Subject: A separate Head
There is one more thing I should tell you before I upload this blog....
I have developed a separate posable ScoonimDoll head to be used on a Phicen body. For those amongst you
that have never heard of Phicen: this is a very successful company making production dolls much similar to ScoonimDolls. They are manufactured in China and therefore much much
more affordable than my own work. And even though they do not offer the special features that I have, their ‘new’ metal skeleton casted in silicone is really very good. Because
the head of a Phicen doll is a separate part it can be exchanged. And because ScoonimDolls are for most people simply too much expensive, I now have a cheaper alternative. Of course
it is not the real work, but because ScoonimDolls will only become more expensive, this might be an acceptable alternative for anyone who would like to have something of my work for
collection, but cannot afford it, or for photographers like me that enjoy making dolls look really alive on photo.
Next blog I will tell you more about this project and I will make sure to add some photos.
Subject: Making progress on the new model
Finally! I can show you some progress on the new model. I am only a bit more than half a year behind on schedule, so I am doing great. With
any luck the new model will just be finished before I step into my coffin.
A month ago we have finished sculpting the clay model. But before that we also made the supporting shell for the main mold, though it
still needs some work. I have made the pre-master mold and last week I have casted the master model. Now we are already for several days working on
perfecting the master model.
Master model.... hmm, there is a very masculine sound in that, but the model is anything but masculine. the new model is female again. Chubby
female to be precise. I know, chubby is not main stream and certainly not high ranked when it comes to sales, but I feel that is all going to change.
Once this model is ready she is going to cause a little thunderstorm in doll art world.
For the sculpting of the model I have myself inspired by the works of the best fat-woman-sculpture worldwide. His name is Vladimir Sushkevich and
you really need to google that guy. I think his sculpting technique is mind boggling. Even if you do not like fat women, then you still will have to
admire his work, because it is absolutely perfect.
Making a chubby ScoonimDoll is an incredible challenge, from which I currently only can hope that I will be able to succeed. Not only the sculpting
of a chubby is more difficult than a slim model, that is when you want to do it right, but especially the technical part will become a real challenge.
Other than for humans skinfolds on softskin dolls form a serious weak spot in the skin. This because the skin of a doll does not have a strong and
self-regenerating top layer ( 'leather' layer). Especially where the skin has pre-formed skinfolds the risk of tearforming is considerable. For this
reason softskin dolls are designed with a minimum of skinfolds. Chubbies however characterise themselves by extra mass and.... skinfolds.
So, in order to design a convincing chubby looking ScoonimDoll I will have to come up with a design that creates skinfolds when skinfolds are
expected to occur in a pose. But they dare not to be in the base position of the doll, because that would weaken the skin too much. This means that
the forming of the skinfold needs to be based in the skeleton. I have some ideas for this how to accomplish, but honestly speaking I have no idea
whether it will work. I will find out in a couple of months.
Another aspect that I need to take care of is the illusion of weight/gravity.
As you know I have for this reason invented the posable breasts. By adjusting the position of the breasts in the 2nd generation ScoonimDolls
several poses became more convincing and made the dolls look more lifelike on photo. But in sitting position the skin of the buttocks and upper legs
still appear to be quite stiff. This because weight of a ScoonimDoll is not by far enough to have the buttocks and upper legs truly form themselves
to the surface. Even though the chubby model will be certainly be more heavy I reckon that this will be the same in this new model. But this is a
chubby model and chubbies do not have stiff buttocks. That is not a presumption, no, that is a fact and thus an aspect to be taken care of in the
new model. Therefore I am going to make test with special compartments in the buttocks and upper legs filled with a fluid or perhaps a clay-like
substance. I hope to achieve that this way it will be possible to pose the bumbs of the dolls in sitting position so that the sitting will look
more natural. If i succeed then, well, as said, this model will cause a little thunderstorm.
Subject: I need to focus on priorities
So, I did write te article and I did send it to the newspaper from which we daily have a fresh copy lying on our kitchen table. But they
did not print it. Perhaps my writing was too long, too boring, not enough new, too new.... Maybe it was the wrong newspaper, maybe the editor
is a selfish prick. Who knows?!
I have considered sending it to other newspapers as well. And I may still do that. After all I have put a lot of work in it. But at this moment
I fail conviction. Every newspaper has its own format and style and I fear that I will have to rewrite the article again and again and again.
And as much as I think that somebody needs to stand up, I also am painfully aware that my time is limited and that my income is currently under
serious pressure. So I need to focus on priorities.
The crisis has reached me already quite some time ago now, sweeping my cherished waiting list clean in the blink of an eye, leaving me with only
a few that still intent to buy later. Not now. Later. And I cannot blame them. In fact I cherish them even more, because they are the ones that
really make an effort in getting a piece of my work.
I need to stay sharp and make new innovations. I intent to create a new model this year. It will be a chubby doll. Solving the problems of
keeping pose because of the extra mass around the joints and keeping the skin free from tearing because of fold indentation and overstretching
will become the new challenges. But if I succeed then you are all going to love her. That is for sure.
There is also an increasing amount of questions about the finishing of Adam, the male model ScoonimDoll. Unfortunately I suspect that the people
that now show interest are not the ones that are going to buy and that it will be very hard to find enough real buyers for this.
Stellai’s page on Facebook is gaining popularity. Till now I have made it my policy not to have her search for friends to avoid misunderstandings.
People do not expect a doll to be active on Facebook and for a long time I feared that they would become upset when i would have lured them into
Stellai’s world, which is not a human world. Therefore till now I only accepted friends that did send a friendship request to Stellai themselves,
presuming that they had taken a good look ate her page and knew that they would be talking to a doll.
But there is a growing number of people that want to be friends that do not realize that they become friends with a doll. The converstations
that arise are usually hilarious because they are filled with misunderstandings, but I make sure to have Stellai respond sufficiently respectful.
So far nobody has complained and that is why I am now considering to have her more active looking for friends to promote my work.
Also other texts with Stellai and her friends are frequently little treasures. I make it a habit to copy them all and save them for a book.
Making an original and funny book out of my promotion activities....Cool!
Below you can see a recent conversation that I thought was really funny. Stellai is responding here to her new friend Nancy who wrote ten posts
with rules to live by:
Face them head on. No, it won’t be easy. There is no person in the world capable of flawlessly handling every punch thrown at them. We aren’t
supposed to be able to instantly solve problems. That’s not how we’re made. In fact, we’re made to get upset, sad, hurt, stumble and fall. Because
that’s the whole purpose of living – to face problems, learn, adapt, and solve them over the course of time. This is what ultimately molds us
into the person we become. AND makes us stronger!
Stellai Yeah Nancy, good point!!
Héé, you there with that giant shark doll on your tail... yes YOU! ...STOP running from your problems. ...What?.... Yeah, you heard me!
Nancy I guess you're supposed to make friends with it . But that is a real big shark
Stellai Ok, I will give it another try.......... HÉÉÉ YOU WITH THAT SHARK DOLL OVER THERE..... STOP RUNNING AND MAKE FRIENDS! .... WHAT?? .... YES,
FRIENDS WITH THAT SHARK BEHIND YOU. WHO ELSE!
Nancy Maybe if the shark wore a pretty bow he would look more friendly
Stellai Great idea! .........HÉ SHARKY!.. GOT A BOW??.... PUT IT ON! .... WHAT?....YEAH NOW! ..... WHAT? HOW DO YOU MEAN IT SUNK?
Stellai The bow, it sunk.... That sucks! Any other ideas?