Saturday, August 30, 2008
I have no real memory of why I started to make dolls but somehow I started. My initial efforts were basic: cloth body & dress with few ornaments; over time I've made & refined some patterns, gotten comfortable with beading more elaborately on deerhide splits and fine tuned some of the elements which need to be small. I find inspiration from all kinds of sources: a poster that hangs over my bed, ones being sold on ebay, and others made by really talented artists. If interested I'd recommend some reading materials including the book Small Spirits, some museum publications such as Connecting Generations (Montclair Art Museum), and Old Style Plains Indian Dolls (South Dakota Museum) and two articles from American Indian Art Magazine: "To Dress with Great Care" and "South Dakota Indian Dolls' Dresses." My first pattern came out of Whispering Wind, a nice little publication that I should subscribe to. There are some astonishingly gifted artists such as Rhonda holy Bear, Jamie Okuma, Diane Tells His Name and members of the Growing Thunder family; their work sets the bar and offers great inspiration.
All of my dolls are made for friends as gifts; they take on their personality by themselves and I don't think I really direct their path. My friends have been patient with me and I've offered to take back the old ones to exchange for new ones someday. My next step is to learn how to make leather horses so I can make all the horse trappings such as masks, marindales, saddleblankets etc. I haven't made one for awhile and miss their company.