The Term "reborn" came from yrs ago when "reborning" first started. The rebron doll Artist would take a very realistic play doll ,such as a Berenguer or Burjusa Doll and take it apart. The factory pant was removed and factory hair grooves were sanded down. Then they would use oil paints or acrylics to paint the doll ,and then hand root the hairs into the head. Those paints are no longer used because they can sometimes (not always) create problems later on. The most reliable and high qualtiy Paints used are the "Genesis Artist Colors" Paints . They are cured or baked on in very transluscent thin layers . it is more time consuming but So worth it.
Now another term is being used as well "Newborning" . Many Sculpting Artists are using their amazing talent to sculpt lifelike preemies, newborn babies,or infants,and even Toddlers . These sculpts are being used to create a soft flexible (vinyl) mold from the head,arms,and legs. There are several companies who make these molds, or "kits" for the Reborn Artists Like myself. They come ready to paint and the heads are smooth for rooting the hair. These "kits" are so soft and adds to the realism of the original sculpt.
Some of the Sculpters actually started out as Just "reborn Artists" and took their talent and Skill to a whole new level by hand sculpting their own versions of babies. I hope one day I have the time to learn to sculpt like them :) .
So for the time being I enjoy Reborning and Newborning Dolls as a hobby, and also as a Ft job (on my own schedule) in addition to everything else I do .
I also enjoy taking pictures of children. My photography skills have improved since photographing my dolls (besides working at a portraite studio many yrs ago) .
Since 1yr ago, I completely stopped taking my childrens pictures elsewhere. I now take them myself.
Here is a collage I created yesterday from some photos taken of a beautiful little 3 1/2 yr old girl. Right now I only have the camera. But one day, I hope to have enough supplies to photograph children as a very pt/on the side kind of business for some extra $ ( informaly ,by word of mouth or through my website) . That could be yrs from now , but who knows..
~This "What is a reborn and about me" as well as anything else on this page, was soley wrritten by me, Christine Schreiber of Christine's Keepsake Babies. It is copywrite and none of it can be copied or re-written without my permission. Thank you ~
In general there is a basic process. All Artists do have their own techniques and so the process may not be exact. If a play doll is used to make a reborn You need to find one that looks as lifelike as possible. And one that has been recently made. With a older doll,the vinyl may be harder ,it might not look as lifelike,or it might have developed discoloration due to age.... Vinyl made more recently is made now to last much longer and with the doll kits that are being sold now a days, they are made to last the longes and is of the highest quality. However, in 2008 , A new line of berenguer doll kits were released. The quality of that vinyl is just as good in my opnion as well as the recently made berenguer play dolls.
Reborning a play doll:
A play doll used for reborning will have grooves in the head that will need sanding down to make it smooth. A dremil type tool is often used to sand it. The parts are carefuly taken apart. The Play doll is then stripped of it's factory paint and washed in hot&soapy water to remove any residue. The heads and limbs of the popular Berenguer are commonly used by mixing and matching them. Or the same limbs and head wil lbe used together from the same doll. The head and limbs are almost always attactdhed to a jointed cloth or due sued body to replace the original vinyl body / torso. The vinyl torso is either discarded,or used as a "tummy plate" as decoration over the cloth body to give the illusion of a full vinyl body,for decoration/posing purposes . A playdoll is the least expensive,but not always.
Once washed and dried, the painting can begin. Genesis Artist Colors is the latest and most popular type of paints used. They do not ever fade or chip. The paint is applied in many thin layers to give a 3d look of living skin. Each layer is baked on seperately (heat set) using a Portable heat gun or Household Oven. Some Reborn Artists are very good at painting eyebrows,veining,etc.. and even the hair intself with such realism. This ads so much more than what a play doll would originaly have with Factory paint alone.
Some artists still use wigs,but rooted hair is growing in popularity. Adult or Baby goat hair is dyed and processed for this use. There are several grades of mohair to buy,from poor quality($10-20) to premium/high quality which can run about 60+ for one ounce. The mohair is literaly inserted/rooted into the head by using a felting needle. The larger the number gage is used ,the smaller the hole will be. For example you should NEVER use a 20G needle, but a 38G is just fine. These needles have a certain numbewr of barbs that catch the hairs as the needle goes down into the head. There is also a German Barbless needle. This is the smallest needle currently on the market (roots the least amount of hairs per "folical".) It only has a tiny fork at the end and roots ONE hair at a time. It comes in sizes 42G and 43G . It can be very frustrating learning to use this time of needle,and is not for everyone.
Reborning a Doll Kit :
There are now many Doll kits available for the Reborn Artist through Distributors.
The doll kit is a vinyl mold that is recreated from one original OOAK By a Sculpting Artist. Some of these sculpting Artists are well known, so whenever they produce a new doll kit from one of their latest sculpts, Collecters are eager to get one reborned.
Reborn Artists Often compete for some of these kits,especialy the Limited Edition Kits,and sometimes they sell out as fast as two days!
I love the doll kits the best and my personal view is they are the most realistic. That may explain why they cost so much more to buy! A lot of these kits are not always made in China. There are many,such as the "real affect" vinyl that is made in Germany and imported to the U.S.
Doll Kit comes ready to paint,with NO pactory paint. It is still a good idea to wash it anyway prior to painting. Genesis Artist Colors is the latest and most popular type of paints used. They do not ever fade or chip. The paint is applied in many thin layers to give a 3d look of living skin. Each layer is baked on seperately (heat set) using a Portable heat gun or Household Oven. Some Reborn Artists are very good at painting eyebrows,veining,etc.. and even the hair intself with such realism.
Some artists still use wigs,but rooted hair is growing in popularity. Adult or Baby goat hair is dyed (or left undyed)and processed for this use. There are several grades of mohair to buy,from poor quality - average quality ($10-20) to premium/high quality which can run about 60+ for one ounce. The mohair is literaly inserted/rooted into the head by using a felting needle. The larger the number gage is used ,the smaller the hole will be. For example you should NEVER use a 20G needle, but a 38G is just fine. These needles have a certain number of barbs that catch the hairs as the needle goes down into the head.
There is also a German Barbless needle. This is the smallest needle currently on the market (roots the least amount of hairs per "folical".) It only has a tiny fork at the end and roots 1-2 hairs at a time. It comes in sizes 42G and 43G . It can be very frustrating learning to use this time of needle,and is not for everyone. I use the german barbless needles .
*This information is based on my own knowledge and experience. I am only speaking for myself,and not for any other reborn artists. Techniques may be slightly different. If you find any of this to be not ture or not entirely acurate,please email me and let me know :) *
I have been asked these questions. Well,it's entirely up to you what you want to do with it. But most people who buy them either give them as gifts to loved ones, or their mothers ,or daughters. Most are serious doll collectors who display them in their collection . I have read from other reborn artists that some elderly patients(who love babies&dolls) in nursing homes,especialy love these dolls !
No matter what you do with a reborn doll, the important thing to remember is that they are made to be collectables,and although they can be held ,cuddled,dressed and played with, they are NOT intended for small children . A child can cause damage to these dolls,and they are expensive to repair,just as they are expensive to make. When purchasing one for a child ,consider getting a child friendly one,unless you know it will not be handled,and only be displayed out of reach
. They can be made without eylashes and without hair and with the nose not opened (so they can be washed without worry of moisture getting inside the head) and still look just as adorable !
If you have a very young child, I recomend starting him/her out with a nice bald reborn with no eyelashes,but still painted realisticaly. As they grow older and more responsible, you can have the doll sent to me to add more features like micro rooted hair,etc.... You can even get hand painted hair as a substitute.
Dolls I recomend for children:
Play doll Berenguers , or The Bountiful Baby Kits such as Teagan,Taite and Tayla, which are also more affordable and easier to physicaly handle than the larger sized babies. You can find the links to these companies on my custom orders page.