1. Home

Discuss in my forum

Ryo Yoshida - Detailed Instructions For BJD's Made From Air Dry Clays

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating


The Bottom Line

Review of Ryo Yoshida's "Yoshida Style Ball Jointed Doll Making Guide" - Detailed photographic instructions for making realistic poseable Ball Joint Dolls (BJD's) from air dry clay over a styrofoam armature. The dolls shown have a very high degree of realism, and are roughly 2 feet tall (60cm) but the instructions can be adapted for larger or smaller dolls. Although the book is written almost entirely in Japanese, the photographs illustrate the techniques and materials used clearly, and a rough unauthorized English translation is available online if required.


  • Highly Detailed Photographic Instructions for How to Make Ball Jointed Dolls From Air Dry Clay
  • Instructions are Designed for Beginners and Show Each Step of the Process
  • Process Requires Few Specialized Tools, Several Air Dry Modelling Materials are Suggested


  • Instructions are in Japanese, Although a Private Unauthorized Translation is Available Online
  • Book May Be Difficult To Obtain. Best Stocking Link is Hobby Link Japan Who Export World Wide
  • Dolls Shown are Ultra Realistic and May Be Unsettling to Some Viewers.


  • Great detailed photographic instructions for making poseable ball jointed dolls
  • Book text is in Japanese, with English titles, but a rough translation is downloadable online as a document.
  • Instructions are for making dolls from air dry clays over a simple styrofoam armature which is removed before the doll is finished.

Guide Review - Ryo Yoshida - Detailed Instructions For BJD's Made From Air Dry Clays

Ryoichi Yoshida is a world renowned doll artist and photographer who specializes in the art of surrealistic ball jointed dolls, made using air dry clays over styrofoam armatures. His book, Yoshida Style Ball Jointed Doll Making Guide, is a step by step photographic guide to making extremely realistic poseable dolls. Written in Japanese, with some English titles, the book shows the entire process of making an elaborate jointed doll from sketches to finished dolls.

Although it is written in Japanese, the book is published in the western style, from front to back. Clear photographs of all materials and steps in the process of making a doll are shown, with up to twelve clear instructive photos per page. The format of the book makes it easy to follow the processes, even if you don't read Japanese text

The book is written for anyone who wants to learn how to make ball jointed dolls. The scale of the doll shown is large, more than two feet tall, with thirteen joints, but the same techniques can be modified to make smaller dolls, although forming the slots for the ball joints and stringing the dolls will have to be very carefully thought out if they are made in smaller scales (1:6 or 1:12). The techniques are shown for air dry clay (LA Doll is used) which can be sanded and built up in stages. You might be able to adapt the techniques to two part epoxy if you are familiar with using it for modelling. Polymer clay could be used, but would require different techniques and finishing methods.

The first two book chapters deal with realistic sculpting and matching of limbs to make the correct proportions for the age of character you want to portray. Another chapter deals with forming the ball joints and there is an entire chapter devoted to eyes, as well as making eyes and teeth and setting up the joins with slots and hooks for elastic. The book's three final chapters involve coating and painting the doll, wigging the doll, and making shoes (boots) and stockings.

Price and Availability The book is published in Japan by Hobby Japan Co. Ltd, 2006, ISBN 4 -89425-460-3 Price is 2,667 Yen or roughly $30. Reliable suppliers include Hobbylink Japan and booksellers who carry the Hobbby Japan line of craft books.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.