WISDOM KEEPER ART DOLLS ~ The Symbolic and Spirit Filled Wisdom Keeper Art Doll Collection by Jeanne Fry. Here you will find the stories and symbolic meanings behind these Folk Art and Spirit Dolls, and the passion that inspires them. My creativity with my folk art dolls explores modalities in Cloth and Clay, Gourd and Clay, Painted Muslin, or All Clay sculptures.
The Change of Seasons, the eruption of Spring, inspired me to create a series of Wisdom Keepers that reflect the Nine Muses. Terpsichore, the Muse of Dance, was the first that came to mind. She is often depicted seated with a lyre, accompanying the ballerinas with music. But, I don't think a Muse should be sitting on the sidelines.
Here I wanted her inspirational nature to be Dancing at the forefront. Her focused intent and quiet mind fully connected with the ecstasy of the Dance, where the soul is able to shut out all the background noise, this feeling of BEING the Dance is what I want portrayed.
Creating the Muse of Dance
It was important to me when creating, that these nine muses be reflective of vibrant and empowered feminine beings, that they love themselves...their bodies...their talents...
Here, Terpsichore was sewn in a free form full figure body, using a rich burnt orange and magenta batik fabric Her sacred womb was embellished with a beaded spiral of Rhodochrosite gemstone beads. She holds a gorgeous smokey glass faceted bead that is symbolic for Her Sun and Her Moon.
I wanted to take a moment to share one of my recent OOAK Folk Art Dolls that had sold almost immediately, and I hadn't had time to blog about her. But she definitely deserves some space on the blog, especially as she is one of my favorites.
She was created to honor Iris Apfel, the beloved fashion icon.
The Creative Process of making Iris Apfel
I had such a great time creating her, choosing a multitude of fabrics that would be unique and reflective of Iris and her style. I'm thinking about creating another of her because that creative process was SO entirely fulfilling.
Choosing gemstones and beads to create her bold statement jewelry pieces was one of the most detail oriented parts, by trying to imagine what Iris would choose.
My love for Frida Kahlo recently led me to learn about a magical place in Mexico that was truly an inspiration. One afternoon I had been reading and found that Frida had adopted her colorful traditional dress and style from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. I started to look up information about the region and discovered that this place was not like any other within Mexico.
Tehuantepec is known for its Marketplace, most especially because it is run and operated by the Women. The Women dominate the local markets and the regional economy. It is said that Juchi Ta'n de Zaragoza is the most impressive - rows and rows of stalls filled with jewelry, folk art, clothing, and local foods. While most of the men work in agriculture, the women are highly experienced vendors at Market. The women are afforded economic independence, which is out of the norm for the rest of the country. Here you find the indigenous Zapotec culture, which is said to be more advanced, in many ways, than Western culture.
After reading as much as I could find about Tehuantepec, I was inspired to create one of my Wisdom Keepers in honor of the women who run the marketplace.
"Butterfly Blessings" was designed not only to be an Art Doll, but also as a Comfort Doll for women. More specifically, a Comfort Doll for women who tend to worry. I created her so that she could be displayed virtually anywhere in the home, or on a wall, and be a reminder with her message that is painted Word Art on her muslin. She is also a perfect size, and softness, that she can be held during difficult moments or in moments of meditation. I know for myself the importance of continually reminding our spirit about releasing and relieving stress, because I am an Expert Worrier.
Butterfly Blessings Message:
"Don't hold on to those worries, dear one. Worries can multiply if you don't pay attention. Your Sacred Self was meant for holding LOVE, not worries. When you feel a worry fluttering around in your belly, visualize it as a Butterfly. Close your eyes and Ask for a Solution. Give that worry to the Butterfly, and allow it to Fly Away. These are your Butterfly Blessings."
The Creation of Butterfly Blessings
"Butterfly Blessings" is an OOAK (original one of a kind) Art Doll that was entirely made from original painted muslin. Her face is an original painting on heavy muslin. Her body and butterfly headdress is free form sewn muslin and painted. A fabric medium was added to the Acrylics to protect the painting. Additional linen and fabric trims, along with a few glass beads and an applique were added for her embellishment. She is soft, beautiful, wise, and calming.
Sometimes this big world seems more and more foreign, doesn't it? I mean, yes things always change...people change...communities change...styles change...trends change...feelings change...politics change, but even when all these things change there is usually still a baseline, and that seems to have changed too.
Other times when I think about it, I think that the world has always been this way, and that the only thing that's different is that the veils are being lifted on the truth.
Either way, it often encourages me to retreat to another world, a magic world.
Would you like to meet one of the sweet little spirits from that world?
She is a little shy, but when she speaks it is in volumes.
"In my world, Everyone is Kind....We speak with Truth and Love...No one is Hungry...and We ALL care for one another"
I must keep the location of her very special world a secret, so that big greedy ones don't try and conquer it too.
[ In My World is an OOAK Fairy Folk Art Doll created with vintage style Painted Muslin]
Don't allow others to pull you down so that they can feel more comfortable. Negativity breeds negativity.
Be strong. When things are difficult, acknowledge it....honor it...and then choose to rise above...choose to still be happy....
Choose to Be a Daisy.
"In a field of weeds, Be a Daisy" is an OOAK Cloth and Clay Folk Art Doll. Her face is an Original Sculpt of Clay, and her body is free form sewn original created in a seated position. She is available on my site here Wise Woman Art Doll with Polka Dots and Daisies
She doesn't have time to waste worrying about what others think about her. She doesn't read the Reviews. This life is her "One Woman Show".
She is the Director, the Producer, and she Designs the stage. Each day is her performance art.
There is no Playbill, it is all Improv. It is her truth, her hopes, and her dreams.
She decided to stop thinking small and to stop living small. The cookie cutter life is not for her.
Her spirit is too large to live inside the box of "should", and once she had stepped out of it she found she was in the land of "could".
She has learned to be more discerning about who gets to join her on her stage. There are those who will try to steal your lines, those who will try to upstage, and even those who will try to take control and make it their own. So some won't get a call back, and others may just be given a small tight role. After all, this IS her production.
She doesn't much care about how many people show up. What she does care about is that each day she goes out there and gives it her all, follows her heart, speaks her truth, listens with sincerity, inhales love, and exhales joy.
This is the Life and the Passion of the Wild Woman.
This Wild Woman Art Doll is an Original Sculpt of Cloth and Clay, along with Purple Batiks and Beaded Felt. She was designed as a Wall Hanger and is ready to be displayed in any room.