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My first visit in a doll clinic

Oct 18, 2010

    1. If there is a thread about this theme I have very bad searching skills and I feel sorry for that :sweat

      This morning I was in a doll clinic. I bought a doll second hand this summer and it exposed that my beautiful Elfdoll Lydia, I kept this name because I like it, had trouble with her muscles, this means: the elastic stings wore out.
      This was the first (and only) time I bought a doll second hand. Even though Lydia was in good condition apart from that.The doll is 2-3 years old. The seller told me: She had this problems when she got her from Elfdoll.
      I started collection BJD this year. So I don't know how long these stings stay elastic.

      I don't have the heart to exchange the strings myself so I was in a doll clinic. The owner had never seen an Asian BJD before but he can help me out. (I don't like to talk about prices here but I hoped it would not be that expensive :|)
      He praised the dolls quality and beauty. ^^

      I can pick her up in one week. I hope she will be fine and can finally "stand" next to my other dolls.

      What I'd like to know is the following:

      Have you ever needed a doll clinic?
      Have you made good experience?
      Do you repair your dolls yourself?
    2. Wow, where I'm from, we don't have anything that remotely resembles a doll clinic. o.o
    3. My mother told me that in Holland they have doll clinics. She said she used to take her dolls there when she still lived there (she inherited antique dolls from her auntie.)

      There is one doll clinic/antique doll shop in my hometown (Berkeley, California) but it recently closed its doors due to the poor economy :(

      I'm super excited to see what other people's experiences are with doll clinics! :D
    4. I would be very reluctant to hire someone who has never heard of (much less handled) these dolls before. It would make more sense, in a situation where one was for whatever reason incapable of a common fix, to find a fellow collector locally to help out.
    5. I'm glad that I never had to, because most basic information like restringing an ABJD can be found on this forum or with a search engine like Google. Although it is good to bring your doll to someone experienced for repairs if you doubt your own skills, I would feel safer with someone who is actually experienced with ABJD when it concerns an ABJD. Each type of doll requires their own type of care and antique dolls most doll clinics work with are different than ABJD.
      If I had an antique doll, I'd bring it to a clinic, but ABJD are not that hard to take care of by myself with the information that is freely available.
    6. Where I live, there are no doll clinics. Most people throw away dolls and many other things when they get old, so I don't believe anyone would bother to open up one, either... :/

      I hope your dollie comes back perfect! ^^
    7. Wow, you're brave!

      Honestly, even if we had such a thing as a doll clinic in this country, I wouldn't let a stranger with no experience on BJD's get within ten yards of my dolls for any kind of maintenance, let alone something as simple as re-stringing. I'm with Muisje, antique dolls are one thing, but my resin dolls I'm more than qualified to fix myself thanks to the open knowledge sharing this hobby has.
    8. In about 30 miles distance we have 4 doll clinics as I found out. They seem to be old and small shops. Most dolls he had in his shop seemed to be very old and antique.

      nanlady - He doesn't knwo BJD but the principle was clear for him. He told that these kind doll bodys is older than 100 years in Germany.

      Has no one problems with wearn out strings? I ask because I have no need to bring another doll to him soon (because of the money, he seems to be very nice^^)
    9. Have you ever needed a doll clinic? Yes but for antique dolls.
      Have you made good experience? Yes! The woman who worked with my grandmother and I to fix the doll later started teaching me how to make porcelain dolls. I have known and worked with owner of the shop for over 10 years now and she has gotten into bjds too.
      Do you repair your dolls yourself? For things like restringing or face ups, yes. Anything like a broken fingers or heavy modding no.
    10. Regardless of the quantity of DIY information available for ABJDs, I don't see anything wrong with taking an ABJD to a doll clinic even if the owner has never seen a resin BJD before. They are not the first dolls to use the principal of ball joints and elastic stringing. If you would trust them with a much more fragile/probably expensive antique porcelain doll, why would you not trust them with your BJD!? I think its nice to keep these types of businesses alive, and perhaps by introducing the owner to the world of ABJDs they could add another, more modern facet to their business and expand their customer base?
    11. I haven't visited a doll clinic yet, but I will in November for my off topic Magic Attic Club doll. :) Like almaxaquotal said, bjds aren't anything new. When my mom saw Josslyn she was surprised and pleased because the dolls she had growing up were ball joint dolls with elastic.
    12. I'm not quite familair with this doll clinic,
      my father is the one helping me with my dolls
      he has no formal training in doll making
      but he sure knows how to restring, clean, fix, modify my dolls
      and he is also good ina lot of ways, I'm proud of him ^^
    13. I've been to one before many years ago with my mother when she was trying to have a doll repaired. However, I've never used one for any of my dolls. The maintenance that abjds require is the kind of things that owners can easily do themselves (yes, I do realize that it can be intimidating at first, but things like restringing quickly become easy with a little practice). I would see no reason why a doll clinic couldn't do a good job as they undoubtedly handle all kinds of dolls, some of which are quite fragile, but I will always prefer to do the work myself if I can -- it's cheaper and less stress for me than trying to find somewhere to take the doll and entrust them to a stranger.
    14. A doll clinic! What a sweet concept! I would love to take care of dolls, but I bet that business really isn't all that great... Sounds like a fun place to visit!

      Personally I would do my own basic doll maintenance, just because you will have to do it again and again over time!
    15. Yes! This happens all the time. It's part of owning these type of dolls. They need basic care: cleaning, restringing, etc.

      I'm going to echo what others have said. It would be nice to visit a doll clinic, just to see what it's like. But I wouldn't take my doll there if they knew nothing about BJDs. Plus I like to do basic care on my own. That way if I screw up it's my fault. Not some shopkeeper who has no idea how to fix or replace the doll.
    16. Viizra, it sounds like your doll just needs to be restrung. This is something you can do yourself. You might want to get tools for it. Think Pink sells them (assuming Think Pink in Nijmegen, The Netherlands is the closest BJD-shop for you) and you can order dolls, accesories and supplies online.

      But I reckon the doll doctor is quite aware of the principles by which these dolls are made (they haven't exactly changed much since strung ball jointed dolls were first developed). Heck, they've even been used by painters (saw an exhibition at Teyler's museum in Haarlem (NL) last week which showed two model dolls which were ball jointed).

      As for restringing, it's something that can be done fairly quickly, like 5 minutes, perhaps more if the doll is being difficult or you're inexperienced. And you can do it yourself after studying some tutorials.

      If you live fairly close to our border and have time to come to Dolliverse november 14'th, people of Think Pink will restring dolls for free (think you'll have to pay for the string though) and show you how to restring. They do a good job, had my Gang restrung when I picked him up from their shop and he stands like a rock.

      I'm going to give it a try after I get my supplies in november because Shinta's gotten very floppy by now and I want to try and get him and Saito do posing of aikido-techniques.

      For BJD-care, this community is here to show you everything.
    17. There is an active doll (read that -- not BJD) club in Central Ohio where I live. They sponsor twice a year Doll Shows, and there is a doll museum nearby (that I have never been to) I think the woman who runs it does doll clinic, but I am not certain. She certainly seemed to be knowledgeable about dolls and doll care! Anyways, our local meet up group goes to the doll show and takes up residence in a corner. Sometimes, they give us a table! We are a very friendly, hands-on group. People approach us and ask about our dolls, and we spread the good gospel of BJD! (Now some of the vendors at the show carry things just to interest us! Even some BJDs!) After the doll show, we're going to have a meet up at a local member's house and we will be doing restringing and hot glue sueding and maybe even piercing, there. If someone is willing to come hang out with us, we will hold their hand and help them learn all about BJDs. people come from all over Ohio to participate, it ends up being a lot of fun and I always learn something. I love the idea of a doll clinic, tho. Especially in an area where there are no other BJD people, having access to a doll fixing expert (if not specifically BJD) would be a huge advantage.
    18. Viizra is in Germany. ;) But that's a good idea. Are there doll meets in your area? Can somebody help you learn how to restring? It can be very scary the first time. Many people talk about how they think they'll break their doll. But it's really very easy once you know how to do it.
    19. Since I run an antique store there are always people asking for someone to re-string their antique dolls.
      They can be much easier than a BJD and the same principles apply.
      It can be a nice little side business for someone with basic knowledge and few supplies.
      If there is an antique store in your area.............. ask the owner if they get requests.
      Once word gets out you could be busy.
    20. Ostrich, I don't know if there are any doll meets or conventions in Germany, but the closest place to go to a convention is Dolliverse (De Bilt, Netherlands). It's less than an hours' drive from the border near Nijmegen.