Thursday, June 30, 2011
Making Spirit Dolls
I have always been facinated by the whole idea of Spirit Dolls. Perhaps for me , the making of a doll is simply not just a craft or a plaything. Its a concept I have found difficult to explain to people who live on quite a different plane.
Several years ago , I did an interview with a popular Lifestyle magazine on my work and my creations. The young reporter they sent to interview me was the typical "Yuppy corporate climbing type" who sat there in front of me and struggled to understand anything of what I was explaining to her. She could not grasp that the making of a doll or bear or any creation was far more than wool or fabric , stuffing and thread.It was no surprise that I ended up sounding in her article like some arty nut job who had been sniffing on the paint and glues too much.
Dollmaking for me is very much a spiritual process. I make dolls when I am sad, when I am happy or when I want to communicate. I have marked the anniversaries of the heartaches of my life with a day of quite stitching to make a little doll. I do not fully know why but it is for me a way to give voice to what lives inside.Perhaps this stems from my early childhood growing up within a struggling family. Due to my mother's constant ill heath - childhood for me and my siblings was quite a different experience. There were no kids parties , or many outings or celebrations. Our life was very much confined to our home and lived within the circumstances we found ourselves in. As children do , we coped . I made dolls and little creations with what I could find. My mother was a crafter too so there was no shortage of fabric scraps , wool etc. I would spend hours making my dolls and often talking to them while I made them. This is something I still do. They transformed from wood , fabric and yarn to little beings with faces and stories to tell. . Creatures worthy of life and love.
In the same way I have found Spirit Dolls have been since pre historic times a source of comfort and story for many people. Made with sticks, bones , bark , fur and yarn, the represented the link between the human and divine. These dolls fashioned with hands and stories marked special occasions,links to the land and geographical locations, spiritual beliefs, totems of protection, a link between a psychic ability and creativity.
When I make my Spirit Dolls I pay close attention to the materials I use, where it came from and its own story. How far did a piece of driftwood found on the beach actually come, how old is this shell in my hands, what does the universe want to say via my hands today. I am very much in the process of learning....loving what I create and happy when something finds its way to another hands and heart. I think that is the essence of Spirit Dolls, the material creation of one spirit , mingled with the universe and shared with another....