Doll artist Eva Wilson released her first Lume Dolls in 2008. Since then, she has designed dolls in a variety of sizes, but her latest doll named Usil was a major jump in scale. The doll was released April 13 and is available now for pre-order in a choice of three resin colors.
Q: Why did you decide to make an 80cm doll? That’s a big guy!
A: I don’t think there was a particular reason why I made him. There aren’t many dolls in 1/2 scale and I thought it would be interesting, so I started playing with some clay with a rough idea of his height and the rest followed. I think that’s how most of my dolls start! He went through a lot of changes while I was working on him and many times his parts were boxed up and put away so I could take a break. It seemed harder to get a good picture in my mind compared to the other dolls I make and I don’t know if that was due to his size. Also, I usually work on a girl at the same time as the boy when I start a new line and I didn’t this time. That would have been way more than I could handle!
Q:Will you make a girl in a similar size?
A: I’d like to but I’m not sure what the girl would look like. I’ll probably start with a head and see what happens! I do think this size range needs a female presence!
Q: What did you like about working in such a large scale? What was the hardest thing(s) about working on such a big doll?
I think his size has its good and bad points.
Usil is like any other BJD just a bit bigger. I found that he can do the same things that his smaller counterparts can do only he can lie around on the furniture without having someone accidentally sit on him. It’s easy to find props for him and fabric is easier to find without worrying about the patterns being out of scale or being too thick. Another thing that I like is being able to make a kimono to scale. Because he’s large, the fabric can be lined and layered and still drape correctly.
When I was sculpting him I used my hands more often to smooth clay without worrying too much about tiny, tight spaces! But at times it was hard to hold onto the pieces that were bigger that my hands.
I found molding and casting to be an enormous amount of work and also quite a bit more costly than smaller dolls. The molds are very heavy, even though I designed them more efficiently than usual, and each piece takes longer to set up and cast. If a part needs to be cast again because of a flaw, it can get very frustrating really quick! In the end, though, when I see this huge resin doll finished it makes it worth it.
When I think about the things I don’t like about working with this size, I seem to find something else that I do like to counter it!
Photo above: Usil head prototype