Thursday, August 11, 2016

Exploring an 1820 Mache Doll

Reattaching m'Lady's Legs

 I have a nice stash of damaged turn of the 20th c kid gloves~ they are great for making doll bodies, clothes, shoes~ and making repairs. They are quite common at flea markets, and can be had for pennies, especially if you ask if they have any singles.

 I picked a dark hunter green kid and cut a wide strip with pinking shears~it needs to cover enough area above and below the join to give the glue a nice foundation to stick to. I will position the kid at the bottom level of the dark blue strip already on the leg, and want it to extend at least a quarter of an inch above the join, so that measure is how wide I cut my strip.

  A bit of cotton padding is carefully inserted between top and bottom leg to cushion and solidify the joint.

 The glue I am using is my staple~ Gane Brothers Yes! Paste. I love this paste~ its acid free and archival, goes on where you want it, and stays there. (This is the same glue I use to mount my embroideries).  A thin layer on the back of the strip is all that is needed~

 It is wrapped around once, being careful to keep the seam to the back. One thing I  love most about this glue is that it grabs immediately~there is no need to sit and hold something forever.  I was also careful not to cover the scallop edge of the earlier strip underneath of it.

 A quick little ribbon bandage tied around to keep all tidy while I attach the other leg the same way. It will get a thin layer of cotton wadding as well at the knee.
 The cotton wadding also helped to adjust her left leg to the correct length~ so standing both her feet touch the floor evenly. (They don't look the same length in the picture because the right leg is up higher than the left on padding). If you are repairing legs like this, you must also be sure to keep the toes off the edge of your surface, and be sure they are pointing forward as the glue dries.

Old legs ready to go walking again! These old kid bodies are so rigid and stiff~ aside from the years of age, the tannins in the wood fill really dry out the kid and make it brittle. They can certainly not be posed in any way!  If I would have attached her legs in line with her upper thighs, her feet would be about 8" the natural thing would be to grab the thighs and squeeze them together....which would result in two legs broken off at the hips most likely. So I adjusted the angle at attachment, and she does look slightly bow~legged now, but not noticeable at all with her pantaloon on, and standing her feet are nice and straight, and together!

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