So, like I've mentioned before, I am creating a little doll for a girl's birthday, coming so soon (and working so hard for her); a doll that was commissioned with some very specific ideas in mind by this girl. You see, she is a dollmaker herself, pretty much influenced by her mother's absolute rapture with dolls. They share their love for dolls, and they both seem to be very happy doing so.
She asked for a mexican doll. And given my background and culture I thought this was going to be oh! so easy. Oh! so wrong of me to think that!. It seems that the deeper I go into my thoughts and memories, the more uneasy I feel, the more confused and the more uncertainty I bring to the whole thing. So I stopped wanting to create a mexican doll. I had to. There is so much of Mexico that cannot just be put into a doll. Perhaps it was foolish of me to think that drawing on my culture was going to be easy.
Mexico has always been a place of cultural clashes. A melting pot. A place with deep beliefs and a very enigmatic idiosyncratic way of living life. Mexico is so deeply rooted in history, and the people that have inhabited its plains, desserts, mountains, valleys, jungles and beaches, are all so different and at the same time so similar, that it is some sort of gigantic endeavour to even try to think of it in terms of a whole. Therefore I threw my expectations to the side, and let my hands do what they do best.
I love how a custom doll comes together. There are requests, some guidelines, I make a sketch and then magic happens!. Some days some fabrics call louder, some designs speak clearly and my hands move like they already knew I was going to do it just like this. I attribute most of it to my very good luck, and the willingness to listen to what the doll is saying. When you work slowly and you let your work talk to you, marvelous things come to be!.
Many memories of my childhood came upon me. Spending afternoons watching my Grandmother hand-tie warm quilts for her family, or knit while watching telenovelas. The sensation of passing my fingers through all the crochet work of my Great Grandmother, who was not only an avid collector but a prolific crafter. The hands and words of my own Mother trying to teach me to do things with my hands, something I was never interested in. It seems to me, that time has played some tricks on me, and now I pay due to the energy and memories these women instilled in me. I wish they could see what I do first hand. I bet they would smile, and quickly tell me how to do it better!.
This little doll has a very special story of her own, and I will be very happy to let you know more about her next week, as she starts her journey to the place she will call home. So excited for her and her new mom, I think she is going to love her!.