For a while now I have had a longing to create an art doll, I had seen others and thought how lovely it would be to make my own. For some reason though I was not ready, and I hoped that when I was it would be more than “just a doll” – I yearned for it to be connected to me through soul and spirit and for her to be a part of me. I had no idea how to achieve my dream or where to start. Then one day I stumbled upon the concept of spirit dolls. I did my usual google research, didn’t find much at all, but I knew that the time had come to make my doll, and that I would imbue my doll with spirit, mother earth and all those things I hold dear.
First I gathered my supplies, sticks, leaves, wire, clay, fabrics, threads and findings. I sat myself down on my meditation cushion and asked my higher self to guide me and for the words and intent that my doll would embody. I wrote in my journal, with my non-dominant left hand, as that is how I have discovered my higher self likes to pass on it’s wisdom…..and it welled up in my heart that indeed “wisdom” was the intent and meaning of this doll.
So “Wisdom” was born, she evolved slowly, one step at a time, I followed a process without knowing what would come next, which is very hard for me! I had no fixed plan, not even a vague one, just a few rudimentary ideas, and I was led along on each stage of creating her, one bit at a time.
I was scared that I would hate her, be disappointed with her, or mostly myself for my feeble efforts. Perhaps a reflection of ‘real’ life. As it turned out I am enamoured with her. She is a messenger of my inner voice, a talisman of sorts, a reminder that whenever I look at her, and I do that often, or feel her presence, that I am anchoring the wisdom of my own higher self and it’s knowledge and understanding.
The birth of Wisdom.
She was born of life, so Mother Earth provided a stick that became her body, she then received arms with some fencing wire, and a skirt of chicken mesh, a smaller stick formed her neck. I hoped to use natural materials as much as possible. Torn cotton fabric created her body mass and head. I made little faces with various clay and molds, then fiddled with them to give her the character I desired.
She received another layer of fabric (which was soaked in fabric hardener), inside her chest are tucked a little shell heart and a torn piece of a letter my father wrote me as a child – I lost him early in my life so his words and presence are always with me.
Her face was chosen, more by her than me, it spoke to me with it’s gentle kindness and serene quality.
Her dress, well I made it up as I went, she guided me to the frilly skirt, but that was tempered with the geometric top, a wise woman indeed, balance in everything, walk the middle road.
The bottom of her skirt, the chicken wire, is now coated with copper paint.
(All the fabric is stiff as it was soaked in fabric hardener.)
Again her hair came about organically, I had to use what I could find, and the raffia and leather cord worked perfectly, she has a regal yet earthy and casual quality about her.
I hand stamped her name and message on a copper washer and then added a feather from my collection, feathers are one of my favourite things on this earth. She gently clutches them both within her clasped hands in front of her, a constant reminder of what is important in this life.
Over her heart hangs a symbol of what hides inside. She wears her heart on her chest.
I love her more than I can say, and that is because she is a part of me. A big part. The best part. Over the last few years I have learned to love myself (pretty much) fully. I now feel that deep love directed towards Wisdom, who is me. We are one and the same.
As I meditated on the process after completing her I knew that she was in essence my higher self, that I had created a physical representation of my highest self, as a constant reminder for those times when I become so immersed in the physical world that I forget my true Self.