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My name is Michelle Manning Williamson.

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Saturday, January 14, 2012


Acrylic paints were originally used as a "purple wash" on reborn dolls. The purple wash was acrylic craft paint thinned with water. The doll was painted inside and out with the purple wash, to give it a more realistic skintone. That practice was abandoned because the paint flaked off within a year. There were also some terrible problems with "bruising."
White craft glue was widely recommended for wigs, but the wigs would fall off after a year or so. Rubber cement is another one that was recommended to me. Even E6000 is widely touted as an excellent glue for vinyl, but we are learning that E6000 seems to lose it's grip after a year or so. I have seen some really wild claims made by companies that sell glue... it seems they are allowed to say almost anything. Truth is, most glue does not work with vinyl.
Some reborners were gluing their dolls together: they would cut off the ends of the vinyl arms and legs, paint inside, and then glue bear joints so they could attach the limbs to the doll body. They excused their shoddy construction by saying it was an "artist doll" and needed to be handled carefully. The dolls fell apart in a very short time.
These experiences illustrate how the Reborn Art is still in the initial growth period and is an experimental art. We don't know yet, how the materials we use will hold up in the next 2, 5, 10 or 20 years. Fifty years from now we will have a better idea of what worked very well and what didn't.
Therefore, it's not a good idea to promote your Reborn doll as an heirloom until we really know what we're working with. It is a good idea to do some research on the materials that we use. And, it is very helpful to share with one another, and pool our knowledge.

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