Carving a doll head from a Wooden Ball

These heads are carved from a half-inch solid wood ball. When setting up the ball for carving I mark the face on the part of the ball where the grain is straight. I drill a hole about where the lathe marks show the ball was cut off from the bigger piece.

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Drill the neck hole and sketch in face shape and nose location. Side view of pencilled marks. Begin carving away sides of the face.
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Hollow eye depressions. Trim under nose. Carve the forehead and pencil in the line of the upper lip.
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Refine the shape of the nose. Carve the lips. Add a little shape to the chin.
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Mark where the hair will be cut in for shape. Cut the shape of the hair. The basic shaping of the head is complete.
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Now it's time to sand. After sanding the eyes are pencilled for size and position. The features are painted.
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Three-quarter view. Profile.

After the head is finished it can be put onto a body as small as 1" long cut from lumber that is about 3/8" by 3/8". For arms one could use 3/16" dowels. For legs, quarter inch dowel works well. The thicker leg dowel allows some shaping and for little feet to be cut from the dowel, saving oneself the trouble of pegging on tiny feet.

Last updated: 3/5/06