Tag Archives: ball jointed dolls

Halloween Doll Custom: OOAK Bride of Frankenstein!

I made a fabulous gothic burlesque outfit for my Bride of Frankenstein doll!Suzanne Forbes Sideshow Bride of Frankenstein custom

Suzanne Forbes Sideshow Bride of Frankenstein customSuzanne Forbes Sideshow Bride of Frankenstein custom doll corsetI just finished this project barely in time for round one of our Halloween week celebrations, and I am so proud of her!

This is a Sideshow Collectibles Bride of Frankenstein that i’ve had for like a decade.

I originally got her mostly for her laboratory accessories, for my dollhouse laboratory.Suzanne Forbes action figure dollhouse laboratory

Young Elsa Lanchester Burlesque RevueI loved her face, but the slightness of her base figure model and her outfit, though very screen-accurate, bored me. Elsa Lanchester is just much more fierce.

I wanted to reference her dance training, her cabaret and Victorian numbers from her burlesque revue days.  She and Madeline Kahn had so much in common as performers, and yet you only see a glimpse of it in “Bride of Frankenstein.” She plays Mary Shelley as well, in the “Bride” prologue. Shelley calls her “an angel”, and the devil is the corner of her mouth as she smirks, “You think so.”

Sideshow Collectibles Bride of Frankenstein Doll or action figuremadeline-kahn-young-frankenstein

 

I always had the idea I’d do a custom outfit for my Sideshow Bride, something sassy and exciting.

As I began to make my Horribella dolls, I amassed tiny doll-making trims and miniature buckles.Suzanne Forbes Sideshow Bride of Frankenstein custom doll corsetSuzanne Forbes Sideshow Bride of Frankenstein custom doll corset

Suzanne Forbes Sideshow Bride of Frankenstein custom doll bootsI got stuff from model horse tack suppliers Rio Rondo (boy, don’t try to load that site on your phone!) and BJD clothing-making suppliers all over the world.

I got amazing tiny silver leather trim from a handbag company in Los Angeles. I saved every bit of ribbon from every bag of fancy cookies, every inch of silver elastic from a dress tag, for my Snow Queen project (reveal next year!). For my mermaid doll and my corset customizing projects I got a zillion different kinds and sizes of Swarovski crystals, beads, sequins and chains.

I learned how to bulk out the hips of a figure and smoothly sculpt them with epoxy clay when I was making the tiny doll corsets for my Horribella dolls.

I give them big curves to match the silhouette of a Modern Edwardian underbust, my own favorite corset style. Then I draft a tiny corset pattern and cut and glue a miniature corset over them.

Suzanne Forbes custom doll corset

Suzanne Forbes Sideshow Bride of Frankenstein custom

Now that my workshop is complete, I keep powering through long-awaited projects.

So I finally made my Bride of Frankenstein Gothic Burlesque Elsa Lancaster Showgirl!

Isn’t she marvelous?

 

First Berlin Art Collab!

Wallmural2016DariaRheinSuzanneForbesYesterday I helped my friend Daria Rhein paint a mural in her entry hall.

Vertales Ball Jointed DollsI met Daria because she took two of my classes, and I did my first Berlin art trade with her. She works in games and makes incredibly beautiful ball-jointed dolls; I’m now the proud owner of one of these Vertales dolls.

She is an extraordinarily talented draughtswoman whose figure drawing skills just blow my mind.

blaukatze tee

 

She has a cartoon style as well as a realistic one, and I begged her til she made this t-shirt she designed available last week.

Daria Rhein Original TattooAnd she just bought a tattoo machine and learned to tattoo her exquisite designs, in her spare time this past month!Vertales Steampunk BJD

Collaboration is so nurturing to me as an artist.

Wallmural 2016 Daria Rhein Suzanne ForbesI had wonderful collaborators and peers in the Bay, deeply committed, hardworking and wildly creative muses like KB and Miss Never, and fantastic artist friends I did costume parties and installation projects with. I often enjoyed drawing events and parties while my friends Audrey Penven and Neil Girling shot them, a kind of amazing parallax view.

But my great peer as a draughtsperson, the superb artist Marc Taro Holmes, moved back to Montreal after I’d enjoyed just a year or two of drawing at parties with him. So it is simply thrilling to know working artists like my new friends Daria and Rafa Alvarez, another one of my students who can just draw like blue hot holy hell.

Daria is a native Muscovite from a remarkable Moscow family of artists, designers, photographers and writers. She has talent just coming out of her ears! So I was thrilled that she suggested another trade, me helping her paint an eerie forest in the small foyer of her Neukolln penthouse apartment. We did it in just a couple hours, listening to The Kooks and Danny Elfman, without any kind of plan or preparatory drawing or cartoon on the walls. We switched places as we worked so our different styles would mix organically. One of the trees has tiny legs and is running away!

Because she is as fearless as I am, as confident and powerful in her drawing skills, it was easy.

It’s not done yet; Daria is going to put a background wash over it and paint her little scary-cute cartoon spirit animals on the branches. But it was a damn good start. I hope it will be the first of many international collaborations in this city of artists.