Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Healing Cloth Dolls

Art is a form of self expression and thus, I created an expression for my feelings and my healing journey. 

Have you created one of these yourself?

I wrote an article for 'Doll' on the Nurturing Nature of dolls, having been inspired by a book by Noreen Crone Findlay called 'Soul Mate Dolls: The Healing Art of Doll Making' in which she explains how dolls can be used as a form of Art Therapy, when at some point in their lives people may find themselves overwhelmed by the intensity of their emotions and feelings.  Such dolls have been seen as an important medium to heal emotional and psychological hurts through Art Therapy. I found this book inspiring and decided to embark on my own healing doll.

Sadly the book is now out of print, though you can catch up with Noreen by visiting her Blog or website.

        Noreen Crone-Findlay found that by creating a representation in doll form of discoveries and insights made during self-evaluation, a person can explore significant emotions, memories, experiences and dreams. She found that the use of doll making as a medium for personal growth, in a safe facilitating environment can offer an opportunity for expression even for those who find it hard to articulate their feelings and thoughts verbally. Such discoveries enable the person to move towards wholeness, thereby helping to heal their heart and soul. “When there is a wound in the heart or soul, a wonderful way to heal it is to find a soul mate and embark on a journey of creativity.” 
I have also found websites by people who make dolls containing healing crystals.

I was keen to make a Serenity/ Forgiveness Doll and I wanted the whole experience of making the doll to be as soothing and relaxing as possible. 
I brainstormed some ideas on paper: 
This doll must be made in serene and peaceful white. 
The idea of a plant pot containing a seedling being held out in a giving way would indicate a fresh start and forgiveness. She needed to have a kindly, nurturing demeanour.
I jotted down words that tend to make us stay in a state of sadness and hurt, as well as those which are healing and empowering. 
The first group of feelings would be written in a lower-case scrawled typeface to convey the intense and erratic emotions that empty, negative feelings can evoke. 

The second would be in bold, smooth, curved, nurturing and empowering typography to be embroidered over the top of the first.
As I looked at her I decided to give her a yellow flower on her chest with the words wholeness and healing. All the sad words were in a beige-grey whilst the nurturing words were in green. I added the word Happiness in yellow and Love in red.
Her hair, a whole hank of white mohair made her look swaddled in a comforting, soft nurturing caress.

She measures 16" tall (40.5 cm) and has tiny fingers and I chose to use the kindly, non-judgemental looking embroidered face from Noreen Crone Findlay's book.
It would seem that dolls are as much an expression of the human spirit, creativity and psyche as they are of the human form. They can inspire, amuse, comfort, teach, appease, promote and even heal. With such an impressive history as this, it is no wonder that dolls will forever hold a special place in our hearts and minds.