P.Aewsiri is the artist behind DollGru. She also goes by her nickname ‘Kappa’. The Thai artist works as an illustrator for a living, but in her free time she also loves to sculpt. She is self-taught, learning mostly from books, magazines, and websites. Kappa chatted with us about how she started out, and about her current and future plans for doll making.
A: I’m not a major in art. I studied plant diseases as a major, but I like to draw art in manga style. Since I was young, I used to draw illustrations, fanart, dojinshi, and since 2005 I have worked as novel cover illustrator with Jamsai Publishing.
Q: How did you start sculpting BJDs?
A: Around 2004, I saw BJD art in S-Magazine .(The volume of magazine I saw is Vol.6 and it has BJD as main theme.) The first BJD I saw that made me fall in love is Hizuki’s doll. Her work is my inspiration, but I didn’t know how to sculpt, didn’t know what is a BJD.
One day I went to a stationary store and bought clay, wanting to sculpt something. I thought about sculpting a BJD, so I began to search all about it. I found a BJD making guide book by (Japanese artist) Ryo Yoshida-sensei and some guides on a Japanese doll maker’s site. I was very happy, and learned from them. (I never learned about sculpting before, but I thought I could sculpt because I draw.) I finished my first doll in 2007, and do others until now. I’ve not made many dolls, I make only 9 heads and two bodies in 3 years because of some problems. I’m allergic to the clay’s dust and spray. they make me sick, but I still love to do it.
Q: Can you tell me more about Hizuki?
A: Hizuki is a name of a doll artist, and most of Japan’s doll artists I really like, and are my inspiration. They make me want to do my own doll. I very much admire them. (Note: Hizuki’s Website can be seen HERE.)
Q: Can you tell me more about the book you mentioned?
A: The Ryo Yoshida’s book shows how to making a BJD step by step.(in Japanese language, but I can understand by pictures, they’re very clear.) Another making guide I found by internet is Aimi Doll.
A: My first doll head disappeared, sorry. I learned to sculpt dolls by sculpting again and again.
My #01 doll is the 10th doll-head I made. #01 is a full clay doll (50cm). Because #01 can have damage, I can’t play with him as I want. I want my doll more durable, so I learn to cast them by resin. I made 2nd body for #04-Reiv and #05-Hann (cast resin by myself) in 47.5cm size (with head). Not for sale, because I couldn’t cast resin in good quality, it’s had a lot of bubbles. I didn’t find a casting company at that time.
Q: Why did you choose the name “Kappa”?
A: My friends call me “kappa” as my nickname instead my real name, so I used it as pen-name when I (began to) draw over 10 years ago.
Q: Do you ever do your own face-ups?
A: Yes, but I do not do face-ups frequently. I do only the dolls I play with. It’s not good enough to promote. Most face-ups which are on my website are done by my friend, but only #08’s face-up I did by myself.
Q: How did your beautiful #9 head Rebirth doll come about? Was it displayed at an event?
A: Rebirth was done for a show event: International Doll Festival#2 2009 December 2nd-11th, at Seaconsquare, Bangkok, Thailand. I and my friend aya&ume of HappyDolly were invited to show a custom doll, so my friend came to invite other Thai artists too. Wings by MoneDesign, Outfits by GreensLeaf, accessories by SecretSmallRoom, and display by aya&ume. I was really happy to work with them, they’re so talented.
Q: You cast your heads in Korea, correct?
A: Yes, I cast my doll heads in Korea. I tried to cast by myself, but it not good enough for selling. Around 1 year after I try by myself, I found a casting company in Korea. I was really really happy and sent #09 head to cast.
I can’t find Polyurethane-resin cast company in Thailand, and Polyurethane-resin(which used to make doll) is not for sale in Thailand too. not enough people use Polyurethane resin, because it’s very expensive. Polyester resin is more prevalent. The resin which I used to cast was imported from USA. Shipping cost is very high!
Q: Are you working on anything new?
A: Now I almost finished modifying #06 head to cast again, and I am beginning to make #10-tiny doll size, full doll, and maybe to sell in the future.^^
Photos above: #09 head with face-up by HappyDolly, #04-Reiv (left) and #05-Hann, hand=cast by the artist.