- Dolls page 2
The eyes are affixed to the head with small amounts of white glue to assure the correct position. Plaster of Paris covers the glass eyes to protect them and is onto the head far enough to secure them firmly.
...not of the doll world hold one of your dolls, gently warn them that these little creatures can, on occasion, take flight right out of your hands.
What is more natural than a fine doll sitting in a small chair? If that doll is not securely tied to that chair and out of high traffic areas in the home, eventually that doll will come tumbling down. Dolls--sitting, standing or lying on shelves--should be secured. First of all check the shelves. Of all the causes of breakage of dolls (and other collectibles) it is the shelf that tops the list.
Bisque is impervious to damage under normal heat and cold conditions, but do take these things into consideration to preserve the eyes, wigs, clothes and cloth or kid body parts. The attic could be too hot, the basement too damp and the garage too cold and damp. Don't store dolls in plastic. It could keep out dust and dirt, but draw dampness. It is best to store dolls in old terry cloth towels.
When sleep eyes are snug straight and work well, you want to keep them that way. Summer temperatures can melt the wax around the eyes and let them drop back. If I have to transport dolls with sleep eyes in the summer here in Arizona I always carry them in a cooled ice chest.
Sleep eyes are usually put in properly. They may be crossed, misaligned, loose or weird looking but all that can be corrected. By properly I mean with a reasonable amount of plaster. Eyes that are permanent are sometimes just that. I have seen the whole cavity of the head filled with plaster to hold two tiny eyes in place and you could be sure they were crooked. The only thing worse is that is it turns out it is not plaster of Paris but casting plaster. Broken heads firmly attached to this plaster cannot be restored. A plaster that will not absorb water cannot be dislodged from bisque, or any other fragile surface for that matter, without damaging that surface.
If you set permanent eyes on occasion, attach with a small amount of white glue and let set until dry to be sure they are straight. Then use only enough plaster of Paris to cover each separate eye and surface of the head about one quarter to one half inch around each eye.
If you are going to attache a wig, or if you are going to have someone else do it for you, please remember, it doesn't take heroic effort to restrain that wig. It isn't going anywhere! No need to swath it and the head in glue. Attache wigs with a few narrow beads of white glue placed at intervals around the inside of the wig. If the wig behaves and will lay close to the head, glue can be applied to the pate only. In either case, if the wig has to be removed it won't be ruined or the bisque pitted while doing so. When removing a wig a few drops of vinegar will help soften and loosen the glue.
Bisque or white porcelain dolls have gone through fires or floods looking forlorn and ruined but were not-- only to be damaged by someone desperately trying to clean them. The flesh coloration on bisque will sand off easily. It will also scrub off easily if any kind of abrasion is used. Slightly soiled...
A completed restoration with the eyes set.