Lyrajean, Bittersweet Blue, and I drove up to the Palais de Congres in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, for Otakuthon, 08/04/2017-08/06/2017. Well, we mostly attended for the small amount of BJD programming, otherwise known as Dollathon.
Yamarrah and Never the Less discuss menu options, with special appearances from Submit and Araminthe. Continue reading Dolls survey 1:3 scale food in prep for next month’s feast.
Never the Less and Yamarrah attended. More at the VTDL blog.
This is what ensued. Continue reading I distributed my 1:3 food amongst my dolls today.
Before VTDL, I took advantage of the sunshine to shoot Never the Less outside our usual venue, Brownell Library in Essex Junction. Continue reading Never the Less at Brownell Library
Never the Less made her debut at today’s VTDL meetup. I posted her photostory below, while the full complement of VTDL photos is, as usual, on the blog. Continue reading Vermont Doll Lovers St. Patrick’s/Easter meetup, 03/12/2016
I worked on Never the Less today. First I sanded down her stabby Nipples of Doom. I dressed her up, then decided that I should wire her arms. I took off her shirt and tried to shove wire into her arm channels, but the 3mm elastic filled up the holes.
I released the string running from neck to torso, took off the bust, and removed the 3mm elastic from the arms. Restringing her arms with 2mm elastic, I then easily fit wires in her arm channels. Then I had a big huge fight to bring her core elastic through her torso again and out her neck, as AOD apparently suffers an elastic shortage and so must string all dolls with the bare minimum.
I redressed her, then decided that she needed a bra. I took off her shirt, put on her bra, then put her shirt on. Then I had a big huge fight with her shoes, which, at 7cm inner measurement, were the exact length of her feet and thus a challenge to put on her.
Finally I gave her the brown frizzy wig from my collection of 1:3 scale stuff, restrung her mask with longer elastic to fit around her bulky wig, then collapsed in exhaustion. No, really, I just took a few pictures, only one of which came out any good.
I filled in Never the Less’ original mouth slit, recarved it, sanded her forehead and eye sockets, then stuck her on Thalia’s body to get an idea of how she will look when done.
Conclusion: She’s going to look creepy when done. For some reason I find her inner mask, with its crude, mostly erased features, immensely disturbing. In contrast to her beautiful, eye-catching outer mask, her inner mask looks like a hasty fill-in job. She looks like her inner mask is engulfing her, especially because it adheres directly to her head. Fortunately I can hide it so I don’t have to look at it all the time.
Never the Less’ head looks way too small on Thalia’s body. I’m glad that I’m getting her a 60cm Angel of Dream girl body with small chest [ordered two days ago from Alice’s Collections!], with an overall slimmer build similar to Araminthe’s. Never the Less’ head already seems small because of her masks, which act as focal points and do not take up her entire head. Thus I think a more slightly built body will be more proportional.
Continue reading More work on Never the Less and a mock-up
Because I use permanent marker and colored pencils on my BJDs, hold them together with hot glue and swears, modify them with a hacksaw, and regularly take them outside in the sun, all to make resin versions of characters with an, ahem, unique aesthetic sensibility, I suspect — no, in fact, I know — that my BJDs make certain conservative BJD purists revolt. They’re over there, meticulously layering subtly blended pastels on their limited edition dolls, only using imported Japanese sealant, keeping all their outfits fullset and pristine, and maintaining their investments in climate-controlled cases where the curtains are always drawn, and I’m over here, experimenting with enthusiasm, undeterred by lack of skill, splicing together REALLY LARGE ACTION FIGURES!!!
Anyway, I’ve been working on Never the Less’ head recently. Shocking pictures, guaranteed to give someone the vapors for the inelegant liberties taken with such expensive materials, follow. Continue reading Never the Less: probably some conservative BJD purist’s worst nightmare
Decided last night to use Janvier Jett’s head for Never the Less, assuming that Never the Less’ mask scales well with it. Also decided that Never the Less’ creepy-deepy-doo face will be mostly built up with Aves Apoxie Sculpt, as sanding down is a pain in the rear.
I just spent more on a single BJD outfit than I ever have for one in my size: ~$335.00 for Souldoll’s Eve-ZF. [Thanks to the Doll Peddlar, which had this outfit in stock Stateside so I only had to pay domestic s/h.] Well, technically, I paid that much for the mask and happened to get a dress along with it. I sure hope I can sell the dress…
Last night I decided that the un/masked doll’s name is Never, but her full name is Never the Less. I think of “the Less” as her cognomen. There’s a whole family of Nevers, including More, Do Well, Mind, Ending…and the Less, who I have. Even though “the Less” is the closest thing she has to a personal name, she goes by Never the Less, although her closest associates may be permitted to call her Natheless, an archaic form of “nevertheless.”
I picked her name because I was thinking of it as a tripartite word made of “never,” “the,” and “less.” The first is an absolute denial, the second a definite article, and the third a comparative adverb. You can’t have a greater or lesser amount of an absolute absence of something, and it certainly isn’t a definite article itself; in fact, it’s an anti-article. The competing concepts hidden in the parts of “nevertheless” make it an ambivalent, riddlesome word, especially to a language lover like me.
Never the Less has an ambivalent riddle for a name because she’s an ambivalent riddle of a character, playing with the concept of “doll.” Resin BJDs in particular are generally thought of as lifelike [despite the proliferation of fantastic anatomies] because their materials [resin, glass eyes, fiber wigs] can mimic the appearance of human skin, eyeballs, and hair to a more realistic degree than, say, a playline fashion doll. But what if Never the Less flouts the expectation of lifelikeness by clearly having no face? Is she still a traditional doll? Or is she more of a floating signifier?
Of course, there’s a whole line of questions about the relationship between her head, her mask, and her identity. She has a head, but her head doesn’t have a face. Her mask has a face, though. Is her mask her face? If her mask is her face, then is it really a mask anymore? Is she her mask? Insert stack of questions about the relationships between masks, personae, personalities, characters, inner selves, outer selves, and representations of selves here. :p
Another burning question is…what the hell else is Never the Less going to wear besides her mask? I’m thinking jeans and a T-shirt and canvas sneakers — i.e., the most realistically bourgeois and undifferentiated casual outfit I can think of. She’s operating on the same principle as the Terrible Trivium from Norman Juster’s Phantom Tollbooth, who creeped me right the fuck out because he was described as a perfectly ordinary man wearing a perfectly ordinary suit, except for he had no face, just a blank head.
She also needs a doll too. I mean — I have her mask, but I need something to put it on.
I’ve been pining over the limited edition outfit that comes with SoulDoll Evelyn — she has a mask!
I like the doll, as she’s an OMV, but I mostly like the concept of a doll with a mask even more. In fact, what would be severely cool would be a doll with a mask like Evelyn’s, only painted up to look all translucent and realistic an’ shit [i.e., like the type of sublte, layered faceup that I don’t do at all]. The mask would be magnetic, removable to see the doll’s actual head. The doll’s actual face would be this planed-down, sealed-off, empty-eyed, creepy-deepy-doo [yup, it’s a new adjective] mask of which I have a digital model by RetroDevil.
Nifty idea, but I’m struggling with the execution. Namely, where do I get a mask? I’m thinking it would probably be a faceplate with the back ground out some more to accommodate the non-removable face. Hmmmm, what standard-issue 1:3 scale BJDs have faceplates?