Gypsy Polly: True Beauty Lies Inside
Gypsy Polly has a kind of interesting story. I started to make her as part of a soft sculpture doll class I was taking with Pamela Hastings, a wonderful doll-maker and teacher.
Polly doll combines a number of influences. I have been fascinated recently with the many armed gods and goddesses in the Indian pantheon. To me the many arms represent the richness of life, all the ways we reach out and grab at life, so I knew I wanted her to have many arms. She has six.
At first I wanted this doll's face to be beautiful but the more I worked on her, the less she looked like the idealized beauty that I had imagined. Many tears were shed in the creation of this doll with the intense emotions that she evoked. It wasn't until I embraced her appearance and let her look the way she wanted to, that she became the gypsy wise woman that you see here. I honored her strength and her regal qualities with golden arms, richly patterned fabrics and beautiful earrings. Her wild red hair speaks to her wild spirit.
Lackshmi: There Lives a Dearest Freshness Deep Down Things
My fascination with the wild Indian goddesses with their many arms, includes Lackshmi, the goddess of wealth and charisma. She holds coins in one hand to represent infinite wealth, a conch in another hand to symbolize communication and a lotus in another hand for peace and stillness. Her front two hands are held together in prayer.
But this doll also represents my fascination and continued exploration through doll-making of the image from the Christian tradition of Mary Miseracordia, who holds all her followers in the folds of the skirt beneath her. Here Lackshmi (echoing this aspect of Mary), holds a representation of the male God Shiva under her skirt. I see the male God also as the male side that all women contain within them, their strength, power and wisdom.
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Gurudevi, Guardian doll
Gurudevi is a guide. She contains elements of sky and earth in one. Her bird head (sky) and snake symbols (earth) are united by the chakras that run up her spine. The crystals that hang below the bird head, dangle above the wearer who attaches her by the straps over the shoulders. The crystals symbolize clarity and light.