Drum rolls please! I finally decided on a name for this style of doll. If you read my newsletter (which I sent out last week I believe), you already know that I wasn't sure on naming these dolls as I wasn't even sure if they were going to be part of my regular doll family. However, I do have to confess, I am bit obsessed with them. I dream, constantly, about them and even though my hands can't take all the felting that needs to happen with their construction (on a regular basis that is), I do yearn to make them, again and again.
When I created Cygnet, I was more trying to push myself in a new direction, than to have yet another style of doll available. Bringing my cloth dolls to life earlier this year felt a huge accomplishment, so I wasn't looking forward to creating a new style, just trying to learn new things. Cygnet taught me so much, not just about doll making but also about my own creative process and the needs I feel now as an artist (so to say...I don't consider myself much of an artist per se, but I am extremely connected to my work).
So yes and yes. Mannikin is the new name for this style of art doll, a 16 inches tall wool sculpture doll with an inner core, that allows her to stand, pose and move (and sustain those poses indefinitely) made more with an adult in mind than a child. Mannikin dolls are not teenagers yet, they are in that stage of human life in between, not a little child anymore but yet not in teenagedom (is that even a word?). Their bodies are just starting to change, their personalities are moving a little away from the land of their make-believe but they still hold a lot of magic and dreams and stories in their play.
I am excited, and scared, of the possibilities that creating Mannikin opens for me. So far I have created dolls with children in mind, although I do create dolls for adults as well, I always try to keep the dolls available to a child's imagination (just in case!) and with some simplicity to them. While Mannikin has opened the door of sculpting (and realism) to my work, I also want to keep some of the simplicity of my work in them, to force your creative eye to envision them the way I see them. As little people, with big dreams and a story of their own to tell you.
So, I hope you look forward to the appearance of Mannikin every now and then. I can see they will morph and evolve, just like my other dolls have done so in the past, and we can only wait to see where they take me. For now I can tell you I am in the baby stage with them, relishing every single photo I have of them, dreaming of the next one, being so excited about them that sometimes is hard to go to bed at night. Dear friends, doll making can be so consuming and exhilarating at the same time.
Miss Raven, the doll in the photos, just arrived yesterday to her home. I had the privilege of witnessing her owner, and friend, opening that box. The box I packaged with anticipation, with excitement and love, only to see the same emotions show up on the face of the person opening that box. Raven is loved and appreciated, it will bring much inspiration and positive energy to the place where she now resides, and that is all I can ever ask for any my dolls: to bring you happiness. Thank you for letting me be part of this circle of playfulness.