My time is limited and, as a result, I haven’t felt pulled to make the very detailed, large dolls I made prior to pregnancy. Those will come again, but I’ve recently found myself returning to my roots and making dolls with very simple shapes. Some may view that as backwards, but something Phillip Carr-Gomm said in the latest Druidcast really spoke to me. He compared the movement of people back to religions inspired by very ancient myths to salmon returning to their spawning ground and taking part in a cycle rebirth. Not only did it make sense to me in regards to Druidism’s place in the modern world, but it dawned on me that I was experiencing the same thing in my art. Motherhood has transformed my life in ways that I’m only just beginning to understand. It is impacting my art. Everything has to be reborn in this new phase of my life.
You may have seen the Waldorf-inspired gnomes I’ve been making for my daughter. They are akin to my early exploration of doll making. Limbs are very complicated and so I’m not bothering with them so much right now. Recently I’ve been wanting to spend less time on constructing the form and more on adding soul. I decided to make a new Brighid doll for my altar. I’ve said this many times, but I’m a proponent of using your talents to make your own ritual tools. For me, the desire to create representations of deities for my altars is what brought me to doll making in the first place. I retired my original Brighid doll. She was very top-heavy and required a metal and wooden stand. With baby just months away from walking, it seemed like a safety hazard. Brighid has a new home upon my altar and in a form that matches my evolving understanding of her. She is more voluptuous, draped in a tartan cloak “pined” with a Celtic knot button to represent her smithcraft and art in general. Although I did not make limbs in the usual sense, her hand peeks out from her cloak to magically hold her sacred flame, something I needle felted using dyed sheep wool (also very appropriate for this Goddess).
I’m rather happy with how she turned out. As I worked on this Brighid doll, the Goddess sent her inspiration to me and I’ve already started to dream up another doll to represent another Goddess I’ve been working with. In the meantime, I’m planning to ritually consecrate this doll in Brighid’s name to create a “home away from home” for her, thus facilitating communication.