Student Creative - Fiona McTaggart

12 June 2019

With time constraints and personal circumstances posing difficulties, this latter stage of the project has proved challenging. However, I have managed to produce a doll that I am relatively happy with. To improve the product I have:
  •         Simplified the design
  •         Varnished the model before setting it in silicone
  •         Used a slower setting resin
  •         Added colour with acrylic paint and then finally drawing inks

Resin figure
In making these adjustments I have managed to create a smoother finish with increased clarity and translucency. The simplification of the doll meant that any residual bubbles did not interfere with the texture of the doll and the varnished model allowed for the resin to set without leaving an opaque, matt surface quality. The slower setting resin also meant that there were less bubbles and the final choice of incorporating drawing inks instead of resin powder or acrylic paint, allowed for a subtle colour stain to the resin. If I had more time to refine this further, I would work on the design as I am still not entirely happy with the character design. 
Resin hearts
In terms of the interchangeable heart, I decided to use the original model in polymer clay rather than the resin cast. My reasons for this were that I felt the contrast between a delicately painted heart and the translucent figure brought the attention to the subtle differences in the healthy and diseased heart. I also really enjoyed painting the finer details. To make the doll functional, I inserted magnets into both hearts and the doll so that they were fixed securely, yet able to be interchanged.
With some further improvements with the character design, I hope to eventually introduce the doll to children with my son’s condition – Dilated Cardiomyopathy. It is my intention to approach Cardiomyopathy UK and Great Ormond Street charities to discuss the possibilities of its use. In the meantime, I have deliberated over whether to show my son, however feel that he is currently experiencing a period of very good health and I feel it is inappropriate to remind him of his condition. He is 4 and I believe is blissfully unaware that he has this threat. Long may this situation continue!

The exhibition  
Case 1: exploring the idea
Case 2: exploring the making process
Case 3: Perfecting the cast
Case 3: Perfecting the cast

It has been a pleasure to engage with this brief and it has supported my studies in Illustration. Initially I was uncertain how to approach Illustration coming from a Fine Art background. I struggled to place myself within commercial practice. In doing this project, I now feel my place may reside within editorial illustration, creating art with conscience that informs and supports educational purpose. I would also like to make work in relation to my son’s condition. Working with 3D modelling processes was very interesting and I feel I learned a lot in a short space of time. There are still many considerations to be had before I could elevate my work to a professional level, however this is something I would like to explore in my ongoing studies.
Cardiomyopathy UK is a charity that has supported my family since my son’s diagnosis and moving forward I would like to contribute to their efforts. Through artistic practice I wish to support, comfort and educate young people about their heart condition. You can find out more about the charity  on their website:
Dedicated to my true superhero, Luka.
Fiona McTaggart, Student Creative.