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Course information

Description: This video workshop is similar in detailed information as Bob McKinley's books: "Sculpting Dolls in Paperclay" and "Dollmaking: One Artist Approach". Watch and learn how he creates a doll from start to finish with the focus on using paperclay.
Media Category: Air Dry Clay
Course Type: Self-directed (refer to the FAQ page for full descriptions of each course type)
Special Category: Legacy Course (1994)
Course Format: Demonstration
Course Begins: Ongoing, open to Everyone
Course Duration: Approximately 8 hours - (4) 2-hour videos

What will Students learn? McKinley's sculpting techniques have become the dollmaking bible for paperclay and polymer clay artists worldwide.
Instructor/Students interaction: NIADA Artist Bill Nelson will answer questions via emails
Skill Level: All levels welcome
Required skill(s): No special skills required.

Supplies and tools: No supplies or tools needed
Downloads: 4 videos

Disclaimer: While the early recording technology and resolution of older video recordings may not be on par with current standards, the techniques and information shared by these Master Artists are timeless and still relevant for today's students.

Course Curriculum

    1. Welcome!

    1. VIDEO 1 : Sculpting the Paperclay head

    2. VIDEO 2 : Sculpting the hands and legs

    3. VIDEO 3 : Creating the body form, drafting the pattern, detailing and painting the head

    4. VIDEO 4 : Finishing painting, costuming and assembling the doll

About this course

  • $150.00
  • 5 lessons
  • 7.5 hours of video content


Bob McKinley

LEGACY: Polymer Clay - Paper Clay

Robert Keene McKinley (D-1995) was elected to NIADA in 1985. In the late 1970s, a children’s clothing designer, who had been making and performing puppets after work, decided he wanted to give up the footlights and stage fright and just make figures for the fun of it. Bob’s dolls range from the realistic, poignant NY street people that were his favorite subjects to whimsical elves, flashy ladies in elaborate costumes, and characters from the theater he so adored. Although he worked in a wide range of sizes and styles, every one of his dolls is perfectly proportioned, impeccably crafted, and filled with strong emotional content. His dolls may make you laugh, or they may make you cry, but it is impossible to look at one without feeling something.
Bob became internationally renowned for his dolls and teaching. He nurtured, and encouraged countless new talents. Much of the reason doll artists are such a sharing group of people is because of Bob’s example.

VISIT: Robert McKinley Portfolio