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In The Library
Suggested reading, Books and Instructional Information for the Doll enthusiast.

Over the years, I have collected MANY books about doll making. Each served as an instruction or enlightenment to me during my learning process. Listed below, you will find just a few that have been most valuable to me.

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These are some of my favorite reference books for sculpting and mold making.

I've had this book for years. If you're attempting portrait sculpture, this is a must. Daisy Grubbs takes you through the steps necessary to sculp a likeness in clay.

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Modeling a Likeness in Clay

This book, along with the other titles in the series: "Modeling the Head in Clay" and "Terracotta," is an excellent resource for beginning sculptors. In fact, if I could buy only one book on sculpting, it would be one of these three (and most probably this one). The book is a walk-though of a single sculpture, which is instructive, but it is also a great reference. Mr. Lucchesi's style is realistic with natural poses.

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Modeling the Figure in Clay

This is a beginner's book, but one I've had in my library for years. It was written by someone who has taught as well as practiced & focuses on the sculpting process rather than on artistic technique. Some of the mediums he covers (casting stone, glue molds) have advanced in ease of use since this book was written, but this guide has stood the test of time.

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Sculpture; Principles and Practice.

Jack Johnston's excellent book on making dolls in Polymer Clay. Jack walks you through the steps necessary to create a character doll. Head, hands and feet, as well as making a body and costuming. He also covers marketing strategies and techniques.

The Art of Making and Marketing Artdolls

This book is a must-have for those interested in making your own molds. It was my "Bible' when I first started sculpting and making molds. If you can find it-it's worth the search. NO IMAGE AVAILABLE. Out of Print, Limited Availability

Plaster Mold and Model Making

This book simplifies realistic anatomy for amateurs so that they get over their fear of anatomy drawing and study anatomy. If I am looking for "action" figures to apply to my sculpting, I use this book to show correct placement of muscles and masses.

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Dynamic Anatomy

If you're looking for a book specific to hand configurations, I recommend this book. The pictures of the drawings depict many hands in action. An invaluable resource for sculpting hands.

Drawing Dynamic Hands

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Another invaluable book by Burne Hogarth. You can apply his renderings to accomplish sculpts which depict accurate facial features. His description of the "planes of the face" was most helpful to me.

Drawing the Human Head

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Making Original & Portrait Dolls in Cernit by Rotraut Schrott

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Dollmaking with Papier MacHe and Paper Clay by Doris Rockwell Gottilly

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Where would we be without master doll artist Robert McKinley? Most of his books are out of Print Now. You might want to search elsewhere as this is a pricy item..but worth it!

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Sculpting Dolls in Paperclay

My favorite of Robert McKinley's book. It takes you through making a breastplate in polymer clay.

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Dollmaking: One Artist's Approach

P.S...I've heard Noni Cely has some of these books on her site. Follow the links to her books and instructions. Good Luck


Susanna Oroyan has definitely made an impression on the doll world today. I have all of her books, definitely a must-have for doll artists alike.

Susan takes us through many aspects of designing a doll in a variety of mediums. She teaches us to be an "imagineer"..to imagine and then engineer the doll we want to create.

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Designing the Doll: From Concept to Construction

Anatomy of a Doll, The Fabric Sculptor's Handbook

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Fantastic Figures, Ideas and Techniques using the new clay

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Finishing the Figure: Doll Costuming, Embellishments, Accessories

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These are my favorite costuming and doll restoration books.

This series of books by Janet Arnold is an indispensable resource of period cut and construction techniques. The highly informative text and detailed illustrations are wonderful tools for creating authentic garments.

Pattern of Fashion 1: Englishwoman's Dresses and Their Construction c1660 - 1860

Patterns of Fashion 2 : Englishwomen's Dresses and Their Construction c1860-1940

Patterns of Fashion 3 : The Cut and Construction of Clothes for Men and Women c1560 - 1620

This is the most comprehensive book on making baby and little girl doll clothes in a variety of sizes.

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The Doll's Dressmaker : The Complete pattern Book


Published in encyclopedia format, this book covers historical and cultural costumes and accessories. Most of the definitions are accompanied by illustrations, which show wonderful detail. The detail given to accessory item is particularly helpful, as this is often overlooked.

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Encyclopedia of World Costume

This nifty little book shows how to repair composition and other types of dolls.

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How to Repair & Restore Dolls by Barbara Koval

This is a responsible book, subscribing to the view of true doll collectors: Do nothing to an antique doll that will compromise the authenticity and reduce its value. The exquisitely detailed step-by-step directions make it possible for collectors, dealers, even those who own just one or two treasured dolls, to make necessary repairs without reducing value.

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The Handbook of Doll Repair and Restoration


The following books are very useful for selecting a collectible artist doll for purchase, and for appraising your collectible dolls.

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Antique Trader's Doll Makers and Marks:...

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Kestner, King of Dollmakers

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Doll Values : Antique to Modern (Doll...

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Collecting Antique Dolls : Fashion...

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Insider's Guide to Doll Buying & Selling...

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200 Years of Dolls : Identification and...

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Blue Book of Dolls & Values (Blue Book...

An excellent source if you collect Chinas and Parians.

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China, Parian & Bisque German Dolls :...

A large (9.5x12.5"), lush history of the doll--chiefly western. Splendid color plates and an authoritative text by Tosa that tends to focus on clothing. For collections on costume and dolls (of which there are many). No Image Available

Classic Dolls

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The Doll: By Contemporary Artists

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Ultimate Doll Book

Soul Mate Dolls, Dollmaking as a Healing Art

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cover Contemporary American doll Artists and Their Dolls

By Kathy Witt

Kathy Witt is a freelance writer who has written a variety of books about dolls including Contemporary American doll Artists and Their Dolls, and

The Doll Directory: A Guide to US Doll Museums, Collections and Hospitals.


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