Cornelia Kuglmeier had planned every part of her final submission for the 2015 Doodle of the Year Award—or so she thought. She had drafted sketches, and carefully Doodled the two halves of a delicately detailed seahorse. “But when finally putting the two parts together,” she says, “I realized they did not match.”
Cornelia’s complicated designs and unusual techniques help her create stunning Doodled forms and sculptures, but it certainly doesn’t make things easy. “There’s a lot of trial and error,” she admits.
One of the techniques Cornelia often uses is baking Doodled pieces to give them a glassy surface, an idea she had after a trip to Venice, Italy. “I quite liked the look of Murano glass in Venice and was wondering if PLA could melt in layers too,” she says. “I mean, it melts at 160°-180°C, that’s a temperature my oven achieves.” After some trial and error, Cornelia refined her baking technique to create glassy flowers and decorative pieces.
When it came time to submit entries for the 2015 3Doodler Awards, she knew she wanted to use the same effect on her seahorse. “I first had to Doodle every single plate on its body as a flat piece, and had only a rough guess at what angle they’d be assembled after baking them,” she says. “After baking the pieces I Doodled all the plates and the head together in order to create the two halves of the body, making a nice hollow form.”
"When I finally held it in my hands I was so happy, seeing my imagination take form at last." ShareBut when trying to fit the two pieces together, Cornelia discovered they didn’t fit together the way she had intended. “Every plate was unique and had shaped itself a bit differently when baking,” she explains. “The completed halves of the Seahorse did not have identical curvy lines, with one side being curvier than the other.”
In order to fix the pieces and have them fit together properly, Cornelia used a hot air gun to adjust and bend each shape. “I quite like to use a hot air gun on PLA,” she says. “The heat allows the plastic to bend quickly into shape; you can even heat it up until it gets glossy across its surface.”
Working carefully with the seahorse, she had to re-shape each individual plate to fit correctly. “I had to try hard not to destroy any of the pieces either by breaking or overheating them,” she says. “The work was so sophisticated that I was almost exasperated while making it!”
But in the end, it was all worth the effort. “When I finally held it in my hands I was so happy, seeing my imagination take form at last,” she says. She was even prouder when her seahorse was announced as the 2015 Doodle of the Year.
When it comes to her Doodles, Cornelia is methodical in her approach. “Of course I make a draft of every 3Doodled figure,” she explains. “I usually draw the figure from one side view, roughly in its original size. After this, I divide the figure into its parts and plan out each one so that I can first create a skeleton of it, and then subsequently cover up the skeleton.”
This method allows Cornelia to create a frame to Doodle over. “In this way, the figures are all hollow,” she says. And while she uses references for some of her animals and flowers, she says her fantasy forms are all from her own imagination. “I don’t ever use references when making the more fantastical creatures.”
Cornelia feels like she was always meant to Doodle. “I’ve been drawing since childhood and I always loved neat detail,” she says. “So I guess, I’ve been practicing for my entire life.”