When asked what she likes most about working on dolls, Cristy Stone replied,” Everything, really,” and added “I love making the wigs, painting, and making the clothes. If I knew how, I would make the eyes and shoes.” Cristy is best known for her face-up work. She takes commissions through her doll customizing business X-treme Dolls. Cristy will also be working with Dollfair this year as an in-house face-up artist, and with JpopDolls working on several projects related to the new KazeKidz Annabella doll. Her artistry will also be on display in Lifelike Dolls Magazine’s January/February issue.
Cristy grew up surrounded by fashion and fabrics. Her mother owned a fabric store and also created custom clothing. Cristy learned how to sew by watching over her mother’s shoulder, and she was making doll clothing on a sewing machine at age six. By seven, she had received her first sewing machine. Except for a stint sewing bridesmaid dresses in her twenties, Cristy has sewn fashions for dolls all her creative life. ” I sold clothing for the BJD’s way before I ever started taking face-ups commissions. I did my own face-ups and for friends, but felt uncomfortable in the beginning handling the BJD’s because of their price. I kept getting emails about the face-ups on my dolls when I would put the clothing on eBay. This is how the commission part of the face-ups started. I still sew a lot and take sewing commissions on occasion.”
Cristy is one of the few face-up artists who uses airbrushes on the dolls. ” I used acrylics until I got into the BJD’s and was totally fascinated by an airbrush after looking at dolls on Yahoo Japan that had face-ups done with an airbrush. I did some research, bought one, and am self taught. I practiced every day for 8 months doing face-ups on my dolls and for friends before I felt comfortable charging anyone.” Painting with an airbrush is quite different than using pastels, acrylics, and brushes. ” An airbrush uses hand/eye coordination and it takes a lot of practice to get the color in the spot you want it.” Cristy has used the same airbrush since she started, an Iwata Eclipse. Cristy is also experienced at doing modifications on dolls. She has done a variety of mods including “opening eyes, sanding nose, chin, and re-sculpting using apoxy sculpt. Pretty much anything anyone wants.” Cristy likes working on the larger heads, but will paint just about any doll down to tiny Fairy Land PukiPukis. She is happy to paint dolls of “any size, animal or human.”
Cristy collected numerous types of dolls over the years, but BJDs have now replaced them. ” I have always loved dolls and was collecting Barbie and Tonner when my sister brought over a BJD. I took one look at her and sold all my other dolls and bought a Custom House St. Mina.” She currently has dolls from many companies. ” I haven’t really seen a BJD I didn’t like. I have Volks, Elfdoll, Soom, Iplehouse, Unoa, Supia, AOD, Custom House, and Dollstown, so I have a variety of them myself.”
Recently Cristy has been busy on several projects. Some will be for Jpop dolls.”Grace and I had a booth next to each other at the BJD Convention in Austin. We realized how much we had in common with each other then, and rolled around a few ideas.” Cristy has worked on a Jpop OOAK Shinydoll project in the past. Recently she also designed a few tiny OOAK Fidelia Firefly Faerie outfits, and is currently working on some fashions for Annabella that Cristy describes as “hip and edgy.” She is also working on making a line of mohair wigs for Jpop to sell. Additionally, Cristy will also be busy taking face-up and body blushing commissions through Dollfair for Narin and Limhwa dolls. According to Cristy, ” For the last couple years I have been doing work for Dollfair for the IDEX booth and Debut of Dolls. We just hit it off, and that’s how it came about working with Dollfair.”
The new issue of LifeLike Dolls will be hitting the news-stands shortly. Cristy’s contribution is an airbrush tutorial. ” I will give step through step directions on how to airbrush a faceup.” She will also be supplying a free face-up and an outfit with wig to the raffle items for the BJD Event at IDEX. There is only one thing that keeps her from doing more each day. ” TIME is always an issue. I work from the time I get up until 1:00 AM sometimes. You could say I’m a great multi-tasker. ” It may be only a matter of time before Cristy actually does create doll eyes and shoes. She is always ready to take on a new challenge.
Photos above; DollCatch Stella Full-set, Unoa Lusis.
X-Treme Dolls – Cristy Stone’s website