Artist Daisy Dayes concentrates exclusively on making tiny BJDs. Originally she created human, anthro and animal dolls for herself and her friends. She now creates limited edition dolls that are sold exclusively through Jpop Dolls. Her first releases were dolls Mouse and Moth. Her new centaur Elise is now available for pre-order.
Q: Can you give be a little background on yourself and your dolls?
I had attempted to cast once before, in 2004, a small clay pony figure that I had made…and met with such a horrible failure that I didn’t touch casting again for a long long while….
buuuut… in 2007 I got the casting bug again! I really wanted a centaur doll, and the ones available at the time weren’t quite right for what I was looking for, and the clay dolls weren’t tough enough to withstand much play. So I sculpted a centaur, and studied molding/casting tutorials on the web, this was back when Den of Angels had an artist section.
(Some of the better tutorials I found were of Kaye Wiggs’ dolls. )
I bought a bunch of materials, much better quality materials than I had tried in ’04, and….again met with failure! The failure wasn’t quite so bad this time around, and I kept at it until I finally ‘got it’
Being stubborn was a good trait to have, because it really took a lot of trial and error, I mostly just made little dolls for myself and close friends while I learned.
I also found that I really enjoyed making dolls out of the scrappy casts I would get! the casts not turning out perfect just meant that I was free to play, re-carve, and make some crazy dolls, so much fun! (and with my small-time set-up, there were always plenty of scraps to play with…they ended up being my most popular dolls)
One of the dolls I had made from scrappy casts got the attention of people on Flickr….and one thing led to another, and then lead to the The Resin Cafe where Grace (of Jpop Dolls) offered to help me get some dolls made professionally! Elise the centaur is my 3rd release through JPop, and I’m so excited!!! The Centaurs are really what got me into doll making, it’s awesome to finally be able to offer them to the public!
Q: What was your interest in dolls, especially BJDs? Were you more interested in collecting them or in making your own dolls in resin? Do you have a doll collection? What dolls do you own (if you do?)
A: I saw my first BJD years ago, when one of my friends and I were poking around eBay for doll clothes for our Pullips, we couldn’t believe how beautiful the models we were seeing were! (nor how big! it was mind boggling!) I remember we loved how they looked, at first we thought we’d have no chance at having one….but I think BJDs have a way of worming themselves into our lives. Now they have taken over as my main hobby, my favorite thing to collect and photograph…and make! (I had sculpted a lot before I found BJDs, so attempting to make my own was just another part of the hobby for me)
I love collecting and making tiny dolls, they are easy and fun to take pictures of and I can make most of their props myself. My preferences is…the smaller the better! Casting a small doll can be much more difficult than a large doll, but it’s my more comfortable range of sculpting.
Q: You seem to like animals and anthros a lot. Can you tell me about animal dolls you have made. Will you be planning to release any animal dolls in the future?
A: I do make a lot of critters! I find animals easier to sculpt than people, and I especially love anything with hooves!
I have made animals ranging from goats and donkeys to monkeys and polar bears!! I have plans and hopes to release a lot of my animal sculpts.
Q: Can you tell me a bit about the dolls you have made to sell? Did you sell any limited edition dolls before joining up with Jpop Dolls? Can you tell me more about what your inspirations were for the 2 dolls you have sold through Jpop?
A: The first dolls I made to sell were an earlier version of a Centaur. I was still learning how to mold and cast, so there weren’t many made before the molds gave out, and most of them went to friends.
Aside from that, I would make a doll, and if the doll didn’t fit into my own collection, I would occasionally offer them for sale. Making dolls was something I wanted to enjoy and have fun with, not something I wanted to rule over me.
With Mouse, I had made myself a scrappy little doll to take part of a story I wanted to tell, and she caught the attention of a few people on Flickr who wanted her!
I ended up being offered a doll in trade that I had been wanting for a long time, so I agreed to mold her face and cast a couple of the Mouse dolls. A bit later another friend started me a thread on the Resin Cafe and the Mouse dolls gained more attention, and to make a long story short(er) Mouse started me in JPop! Moth followed after I shared her Making-Of pictures with the cafe.
Q: What is the largest size doll you have made? What is the smallest? Do you have plans to work in other sizes? What do you like about tiny dolls?
A: So far, the largest doll I have made is 17cm, and the smallest (resin) doll I have made is 6cm tall, I prefer the smaller dolls, but I think I might try for something bigger in time.
Q: What inspires your work?
A: Anything! Everything! Sometimes I ‘need’ a certain animal for my stories, sometimes a friend asks for a certain sort of doll, sometimes I’ll sit down to make one thing, and something else entirely comes from the clay! I create for fun, I love to play!