Welcome to Transformative Healing Dolls BLOG
“Encouraging Community Engagement and Vision”
The CRAVE grant and spotlight on Erika and Stacy’s featured fiber sculptures
Materialized Magic started back in March of 2015, when Stacy Cantrell and Erika Cleveland first received the grant that made this project possible. Stacy and Erika met at the art exhibition titled, In the Flesh 5, at the Torpedo Factory’s Target Gallery. They realized they shared a passion in creating large scale fiber figures with a mythical, magical theme and they decided to collaborate and work together in the future.
Erika and Stacy present their proposal for Materialized Magic at the CRAVE micro grant dinner at Convergence in March 2015
Stacy’s Crocheted Mermaid
Stacy’s work titled, “The Mermaid and the King”, was created in 2016 for Materialized Magic. “Every magical land needs a Mermaid!”, Stacy states. Mermaids exist in many world mythologies even though they may go by many different names such as sirens, shapeshifters, pearl weepers and spell singers. They are often intriguing and beautiful. Stacy has wanted to create a mermaid for a while and acquired special yarns to create her. She is entirely crocheted including her hair, eyes, tail, hands and even her lips! “The only item not crocheted is her eyelashes, which were purchased at my local neighborhood pharmacy from the makeup department”, she chuckles. Her companion, is actually King Poseidon, in the form of a winged seahorse. He has a silver crown to match his mane and wings.
Tumnus but not a Faun, Erika’s Needle Felted Large Scale Figure
“Tumnus, but not a Faun,” a sculptural needle felted large scale figure by Erika, was created over a period of three years, spanning the artist’s move from Connecticut to DC four years ago. The inspiration was a piece of Y shaped wood, which formed the legs. Then the belly was added and finally the top body and felted embellishments. Tumnus holds magic in a myriad of ways. His many symbols and healing images show that he is a healer as well as a bringer of magic. The infinity signs on his headdress and held in his hands symbolize timelessness, representing the ways in which time repeats itself and folds back upon itself, also the way in which action alternates with contemplation in a full and balanced life.
On his belly and chest are two trees, one in an upside down relationship to the other, symbolizing the seasons of nature and of life. On the trees are twelve balls of light-twelve being a number to symbolize the seasons. His cloak has images of another cycle, a cycle of healing created from collected tears. One one side of the cloak, the tears are collected. The pools along his collar show the way in which the tears are purified and on the other side of his cloak, the sick are healed from the purified tears. On the back of his cloak is an image of a figure from a previous doll created by Erika: Rhea, the Talisman doll. She too is a healer and represents the ways in which we shed outer skins of pain and discomfort as we go through the process of change.
However, in spite of all of this symbolism and meaning, Erika hopes that the viewer can have a relationship to Tumnus by just looking at his face and colorful costume, without having to know the specific meaning. She also likes to hear what viewers see in him.
Come see both of these and more large scale figures in the Materialized Magic exhibit, fully immersed in their various habitats, created by the community.
I've been making dolls for about five years now. I believe that dolls serve as representations and reminders of the best part of ourselves. I am exited to share with you here my learnings about new methods and techniques for doll making and healing. So glad you are here!