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...Guides and Guardians
I've been preparing for my "Doll Making from the Inside Out" workshop at the Smith Center and I've been thinking about guides and guardians. The felted doll we will be making in this workshop is the first of a series of four dolls that I learned about while training with one of my mentors, master healing doll maker, Barb Kobe.
The four part healing journey in doll making
For the purposes of this post, I'll focus on the first doll, the guardian, but just so you know, there are four dolls in the series and they represent stages in the healing journey. They are the guardian, who guides one through the entire journey and serves as a "believing mirror," the scapegoat, who holds all the pain and troubles that prevent you from being able to continue on your journey, the talisman, who represents the transcendence of those struggles and finally the healer, who connects all of the threads together.
Discovering my own guide, the dragon
In preparing for this workshop, I've been thinking of the dolls that have served as my own guardian. I realized that my "Taming the Dragon Within" doll, depicted in a detail at the top of this post, is one of my guardians.
Slideshow about Taming the Dragon on my FB page
For a slide show of the making of "Taming the Dragon Within" check out my FB page. The doll started with an image of a woman taming a dragon that was a part of her. The dragon represented contradictory feelings, including creativity, passion but also danger, anger and frustration. A very powerful force. I made many sketches and then as you can see in the slide show, I tried out at least two different versions of the dragon in 3D before it felt right.
Dragons of myth and legend
The final version represents a woman whose "Inner dragon" grows out of her back, and is tamed in the process. Instead of being a force of danger, the dragon has become a friend. I could go on about the meanings of the dragon in literature, fairy tales, myths and legends but for now, I'm just going to stick with my personal story. After I made the woman, the sculpture didn't feel finished until I added the details on the sides, the Medusa head, depicted at the top of this post, a snake and a trickster character climbing up the side of its neck. These images represent what the woman had to overcome in order to tame her dragon.
Find out more, Smith Center workshop and an up-coming on-line class
And now as it is finished, I see that the dragon is actually a guide, a powerful and passionate guide, to the woman's inner and outer life. This is an example of the places that doll making can take you. If you are interested in learning more about the Smith Center workshop, please look at their website. And if you are not in the area,stay tuned for an on-line workshop that is in the works, possibly for the winter.
I've been making dolls for about ten years now. I believe that dolls serve as representations and reminders of the best part of ourselves. I am excited to share with you here my learnings about new methods and techniques for doll making and healing. So glad you are here!