Watch Intro Video

Ongoing Course, Open to Everyone

Anthropomorphile? Yes, please! This Bird Doll Course is truly off-the-beaten-path, offering 18+ hours of comprehensive video instruction, presented in 36+ Lessons with corresponding PDFs so that you can print them as you need them! Course enrollment includes access to a Private Facebook Group where we can virtually gather to brainstorm ideas, view watch parties, participate in Live Q&A sessions, and share images of our progress! 

Media Category: Air Dry Clay, Mixed Media
Course Type: Interactive (multi-media)  (refer to the FAQ page for full descriptions of each course type)
Course Format: Full project
Course Begins: Ongoing, open to Everyone
Course Duration: 18+ hours of video in 36+ lessons; students working concurrent with Private Group Course coverage will finish in 6 to 8 weeks, @ 3 hrs/week. 

What will Students learn?
How to build a hollow PaperClay Bird Bust, Wing clusters, wire legs and then paint/finish all these; plus: jointed cloth Body Parts, integrated Costume Parts and final Assembly of the Doll. 
(See SYLLABUS link for a detailed outline of Course Content and its schedule).
Instructor/Students interaction: Answer questions via emails, Private Facebook Group.
Skill Level: All levels welcome
Required skill(s): Some basic sculpting & sewing skills will be helpful, but I’m happy to help beginners get started. 

Supplies and tools: Full supply list: MasterSupplyList_Bird_ConnieSmith.pdf

Downloads: Time-stamped PDFs that correspond to videos, patterns, templates (videos will remain up and available on Thinkific platform for at least 6 months) 

Course Curriculum

    1. Introductory Video & Welcome!

      FREE PREVIEW
    2. Syllabus Schedule & Web Link to Private FB Group

    1. Supply List: PAPERCLAY BUST, WINGS & TAIL; WIRE LEGS

      FREE PREVIEW
    2. Supply List: Beeswax & Related Tools

      FREE PREVIEW
    3. Supply List: JOINTED CLOTH BODY & INTEGRATED COSTUME PARTS

      FREE PREVIEW
    4. Downloadable PDF of All Supply Lists, Grouped by Medium

    5. Downloadable BirdTorsoPattern

    6. A Quick Note on Pre-Sewing the Torso for your Bust Armature

    1. Lesson 1: Introduction & Bust Armature

    2. Lessons 2.1 & 2.2: Slab-to-Cone, Adding a Beak

    3. Lesson 2.3 to 2.6: Eyes, Textures, Bustplate Markings (w/corrected audio)

    4. Lessons 3.1 to 3.3: Feathery Forms for Wings (w/corrected audio)

    5. Lessons 3.4 & 3.5: Wing & Tail Clusters

    6. Lessons 3.6 to 3.9: Dry Refinements & Loose Ends

    7. Lessons 4.1 to 4.4: Painting the PaperClay Bust and Wings with Watercolors

    8. Lessons 4.4 to 4.8: Sealing Finished Parts in Beeswax

    9. Lesson 4.9: Color Correction with Oil Pastels

    10. Lesson 5.1: Wire Bird Legs; Structure

    11. Lesson 5.2: Bird Legs; Wire Wrapped Toes

    12. Lesson 5.3: Bird Legs; Thread Wrap

    13. Lesson 5.8: Final Colorways for Bird Legs

    14. BONUS: Zoom Q&A #1, February 2, 2021: Introduction, Private FB Group Page Tour

    15. BONUS: Zoom Q&A #2: February 3, 2021: Feather Forms, Wing Clusters, etc.

    16. BONUS: Zoom Q&A #3: February 10, 2021: Wing Sections, Symmetry, Watercolor on PaperClay

    17. BONUS: Zoom Q&A #4: February 19, 2021: More Watercolor on PaperClay & Pre-Wax Prep

    18. BONUS: Zoom Q&A #5: February 24, 2021: Wax and Wire Legs Review

    19. BONUS: Zoom Q&A #6: March 3, 2021: Waxing Demo (Kingfisher), Oil Pastels, Preview of Cloth Body Part Patterns

    1. Lessons 1 & 2: Attaching a Pate (optional) & Notes on Body Patterns

    2. Lesson 3: Stitch, Turn & Stuff Torso

    3. Lesson 4: Thighs and Torso Seams

    4. Lessons 5 & 6: Attaching Bust & Constructing Wings

    5. BONUS: Zoom Q&A #7: March 10, 2021: Mica Powders + Free-Wheeling Browse Thru My Body/Costume Photo Files!

    1. Lesson 1.1: Coat, Collar, Pants

    2. Lesson 1.2: PantLegs, Cuffs

    3. Lesson 1.3 - 1.4: Counterweighted Tail and Prepping Legs for Jointing

    4. Lesson 1.5: Jointed Legs and Covered Buttons

    5. Lesson 2: Hat Parts

    6. Lesson 3.1: Vestfront & Necktie

    7. Lesson 3.2: Shirt Front

    8. Lesson 3.3: Vest Trim and ShirtFront Fix

    9. Lesson 4.1: Paper Feather Extensions

    10. Lesson 4.2 -- 4.4: Fan-Fold & Wax Feather Extensions; Color-Adjust with Oil Pastels

    1. Lessons 1 & 2: Coat Buttons and TailFeathers

    2. Lesson 3: Wing Assembly

    3. Lesson 4: Button-Jointing the Wings onto the Torso

    4. Lesson 5: Final Embellishments

    5. BONUS: Zoom Q&A #9: March 24, 2021: Final Assembly

    6. BONUS: Zoom Q&A #10: March 31, 2021: Show & Tell #1

About this course

  • $150.00
  • 50 lessons
  • 35.5 hours of video content

Course Lesson Plan

Schedule of activities:

Reviews for this Course

5 star rating

PaperClay-Bird-Wren

Janet Chalmers

Connie Smith, instructor, gave 110% to teaching this course and shared freely with the participants all of her knowledge about the subject matter, in addition to answering everyone's questions about different aspects of the course. I learned many ...

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Connie Smith, instructor, gave 110% to teaching this course and shared freely with the participants all of her knowledge about the subject matter, in addition to answering everyone's questions about different aspects of the course. I learned many new techniques about working with paperclay and would highly recommend the class to anyone wanting to learn more about paperclay and applying their newfound skills to dollmaking...or anything else, for that matter.

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4 star rating

Bird torso pattern

Wendy Barber

I liked how she showed what happens when cut on the bias and how you can achieve different tail positions.

I liked how she showed what happens when cut on the bias and how you can achieve different tail positions.

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5 star rating

Outstanding Presentation

Bonnie Flint

Connie did a magnificent job setting up and presenting her class. I liked the fact that, as she was demonstrating each step, she still needed to work out some of the decisions and trouble spots allowing us students to follow along with the "think...

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Connie did a magnificent job setting up and presenting her class. I liked the fact that, as she was demonstrating each step, she still needed to work out some of the decisions and trouble spots allowing us students to follow along with the "thinking process". I love her work and am so glad to have had the opportunity to take this class. Even though I enjoy going to the live NIADA classes, I would not have been able to absorb all of the instructions of this class in 3 days. Thank you to Connie for the multitude of hours spent on developing this class and I hope you enjoyed it as well.

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5 star rating

Paper Clay-Bird-Wren

Robby Cramer

Very insightful! I have a deep understanding of warp, weft and bias and the impact on the bird silhouette and basic structure of the bird itself. There is a lot to consider. I will watch this a few times. to answer questions and note specific deta...

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Very insightful! I have a deep understanding of warp, weft and bias and the impact on the bird silhouette and basic structure of the bird itself. There is a lot to consider. I will watch this a few times. to answer questions and note specific details in the crafting of the bird silhouette.I have taken a grad class in Ornithology for educators at the MSU BioStation. The silhouette is one of the major components for identification of all birds.. Well done...

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Instructor

Connie Smith

Ceramic & Air-Dry Clays - Wax - Mixed Media

A third-generation artist, I’ve sculpted clay and experimented with basic hand-sewing techniques since early childhood. I studied Ceramic Arts and Printmaking at the University of Memphis, and took intermittent night courses in Animation at NYU during a decade in New York City. I have been an Artist Member of the National Institute of American Doll Artists since 1996, having taught many live workshops through NIADA’s Dollmaking School, and served on the Board since 2015. My style incorporates anthropomorphic character hybrids, and endeavors towards eco-friendly, sustainable practices with materials, which I try to encourage in my students. Welcome!

VISIT: Connie Smith Portfolio