Doll artist Nikki Britt debuted her first resin BJD this month. 17 cm tall Felix the Faun is the first of four faun dolls that will be released. Felix is available in normal skin resin. He comes as a faun only or with additional human parts. Felix also includes numerous magnetic attachments. BJDcollectasy interviewed Nikki about her first doll and about her future projects.
Q: Hi Nikki! Can you tell me a bit about yourself and how you developed your faun BJDs?
A: I have been sculpting dolls professionally for the last 4 years, but I have been playing with clay since I was nine years old. This is my very first time sculpting a BJD. I started out sculpting little characters and creatures from my imagination and then I went on to sculpting newborns and young babies. Although I enjoy sculpting the babies, my true passion lies in character development. I recently sculpted a stationary art piece named Faber the Faun. He quickly became one of my most favorite characters that I’d created. I started wishing I could do more with him, such as dress him and pose him. So that’s when I came up with Felix. There was a lot of trial and error that went into sculpting this little guy. I had been working on the design of the project for more than a year before I actually got down to sculpting it. I think I went through five different sculpted bodies before I perfected his design. Having him in resin has been quite a milestone in my sculpting career. It is a great feeling to see such a task accomplished after so much hard work.
Q: Where did you first find out about resin dolls?
A: I first found out about resin dolls while exhibiting at a doll show. I became quite fond of this type of doll very fast. The idea of posable and customizable dolls has always been very appealing to me. I knew I had to try and make one of my own, and that’s when I started working on the idea in my head. I went through lots of sketches and brain-storming before I decided to actually start working with the clay.
Q: Did you plan to make one before you made Faber and decided o make the fauns? :
A: I had planned to make a BJD before Faber but it wasn’t my plan to make a faun. After I created Faber, I knew I had to make him into a BJD, so that is when the idea of the Fauns began. I created a new character named Felix and decided to make a grown up version of Faber as well. All four of the fauns were sculpted to the likeness of people I know. Felix and Faber were actually subconsciously created to look like me and my brother. It’s funny because I never had planned to create them that way but after looking at some old baby pictures I noticed a very uncanny resemblance to my brother and I. After that, Feenix and Fiona were deliberately sculpted from pictures to look like my young cousins.
Q: What doll size do you like to work in best?
A: I find that I do much better working in small sizes. I like to stay in the 6″-8″ size. I do however have planned to sculpt larger-sized BJDs in the future. I don’t particularly enjoy working in large sizes, but once I’ve finished I find the end results quite pleasing because of all the hard work that went into making them.
Q: What was the hardest part about sculpting your faun body?
A: I would have to say the joints! It’s was so difficult trying to get them to work in a manner that was acceptable to myself (I am quite the perfectionist when it comes to my work). Another thing I found difficult was finding a medium that was suitable for sculpting the BJDs. I am used to working with polymer clay and I found the thought of working with anything else quite uncomfortable, I did however make a few attempts with air-dry clay all of which failed in the end. I found the air-dry clay to be too brittle for my taste, so I ended up going back to the polymer clay. It is much more difficult to make a BJD in polymer clay because the cured pieces are not as easy to sand, carve, or drill, as the air-dry clay is. Because of this it took me much longer to finish the dolls than it would have with the air dry clay but I still found the sculpting experience to be much better with the polymer clay.
Q: Are you planning to make most of your BJDs fantasy type characters?
A: I think many of them will be only because that is what my hands like to make. However, I will be making human children in a fantasy setting as well as human adults in the same fashion. I might also consider interchangeable parts for the fantasy characters in the future. I am working on a design for a ball-jointed robot that will hopefully be released at the end of the year. Felix has opened a door to a world in my mind full of ideas and imagination. I have so many “ball-jointed” character projects I hope to finish in the coming years.
Nikki’s doll is also available at retailer Fabric Friends and Dolls