Father Paddy O'Callahan has been featured on the front page of byhand.me and also is a featured listing on Dear Miss Julia blog. You can see the featured spot light here.
Father Paddy's, head and hands are hand-sculpted polymer clay over a wire armature. No molds were used. He is absolutely one of a kind.
Oddly enough, this sculpt started as a pair of legs. I was learning a technique new wire foot and leg armature used by fellow doll maker Lydia Caine in our monthly doll club meeting. The feet and legs were turning out very shapely and I really wanted to show them off and finish the legs into a doll. However, I thought the doll would be a “High-heeled Liberace” doll when completed and done tons of research on 16th and 17th century costumes. I worked for weeks on trying to figure this one out... It was very strange working from the legs up. I usually start with an armature and then sculpt a head and have a pretty good idea what I want the doll to look like, most of the time they even cooperate. Even when I made a body to fit the legs I was still calling him “High-heeled” dude.
It wasn't until Good Friday morning that I woke up and knew exactly who he wanted to be.
Father Paddy O’Callahan had found his calling.
Once the clay pieces are properly baked, an armature was created to match the legs, and then the body and arms were wrapped with polyfil and a skin sewn on.
His skin was given a wash of color, enhancing the wrinkle and aging detail. His hair is made with wool roving and was very carefully applied to eyebrows, lashes and the back of his head. He really wanted hair in his nose and ears but I refrained myself, "Come on now Father, you take far better care of yourself than that!"
His eyes were meticulously painted with acrylics and glazed. Father Paddy wears hand-made black leather shoes. He's larger than I usually work and stands about 19" tall.
Father Paddy is available for sale on my etsy shop.