Why do they call it bisque? Bisque refers to the fine, unglazed porcelain that 19th- and early 20th-century German (mostly) doll makers used for their doll heads. The term suggests a complexion of smooth texture and delicate tint. At first, doll makers pressed a piece of malleable clay into a mold to make a doll head. Later, they perfected a method of pouring slip, or clay in a more liquid state, into a mold. Once the bisque had hardened in the shape of the doll head and body parts, they were placed in a kiln and fired to a brittle hardness. Company workers, often women and children, then painted the subtle features of eyebrows, lashes, nose dots, lips, and rosy cheeks.