Giving life to a Spirit Doll…

I first came across the art of spirit dolls as a child, using corn husks, bits of fabric, yarn, and beads to create a spirit of the fall harvest. Spirit Dolls can be elaborate works of art, imbued with intention and inspiration of the maker. They are made as expressions of Peace, Hope, Healing, Wisdom, Mother Earth, the Wild Woman, a Goddess, a particular ancestor, etc. Created intuitively using found materials, these Spirit Dolls can serve as messengers to us, from ourselves about a quality or virtue we would like to increase or explore.

I gathered aspen twigs from around my home, took a nature walk with my 5 year old to collect seeds, leaves and other interesting bits, and gathered other various materials from my craft bins. Most challenging for me was sculpting the face out of clay, inspired by the terra cotta faces made by artist Lyn Belisle. I wanted my spirit’s face to express a calm happiness, but I am not experienced with sculpting, so I struggled to get the expression and proportions to be ‘good enough.’ Although not perfect (as most of my making is beautifully flawed) my Golden Light Fire Spirit is a work of art. She reminds me to stay alert to the creative spirit and joy – that bright light – within myself.

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