I am quietly working away here, kind of preferring my own little world to anywhere else. Trying, I think, to reconnect with this little world, seeing it all in the new spring light.
This year I have been quite distracted in my work, I have lifted my head and seen lots of other things and let myself be taken in all kinds of directions. This isn't a bad thing, what it has eventually led to is an affirmation of my own design aesthetic and ethic. It's good to try different things, see how they fit, see what is worth keeping. It mightn't be apparent to you who watch my work although I think it is clear that I have created far fewer dolls this year , I have started many and not gone on.
At the beginning of the year Katie and I wrote a list together of the things we saw as essential to our perfect doll. That was to be and is my manifesto, the little jenny wren dolls manifesto.
I also tried to establish my why, why I do what I do and that has sent me on many, many journeys in my head trying to come up with something that sounded right, that expressed how I feel and here it is.
Essentially my dolls are my way of expressing my deep love for childhood, the inner life of the child and of the child within us all, no matter what our age. It is important to me too that most of what I make has a practical use. When I first started making dolls I was making cloth rags dolls following on from having made some quilts. I made enough quilts for each bed in the house plus a few wall hangings and that was it. So I moved onto the rag dolls. They weren't practical, they were purely decorative which is fine but for me a doll should be something that can be used.
Through a series of hops and skips I found Steiner/Waldorf dolls and felt as though I had come home. This was what I was meant to do.
Even if many of my dolls go to adults they can still be used in the way dolls though the ages have been used; to love, to cuddle, to dress and undress, to practise nurturing and to fulfill our need to remember or create that time in our lives when our imaginary life was as big and as real as real life and just as important, when everything was possible because we imagined it to be so. I make what I make as a celebration of the joy and innocence of childhood that I feel and I make what I make because my dolls are practical as well as beautiful.
Is that my why? I think so.
So 2015 will be seen I think as the year I came up for air, looked around at all the pretties bobbing around, swam a little bit this way and that and then saw something that was undeniably mine and it was everything I wanted and I went to it. Now I am sunning myself in the spring sunshine and enjoying my little space.
You might be wondering who this girlie is, this is Dimity. She is the tallest doll I have ever made at just under 24". She is the sweetest thing, all fall down socks and scraped knees, soft cuddles and sweet breathy stories. She will be ready to find her home in a couple of days time, here on the blog.
Now I need to go and feed the guinea pig and the chook, sweep the kitchen floor, make a cuppa and get back into my own little world. You can come with me if you like.