The myth of killing a dragon


Two woven dragons

I have been reading a lot about the mythology surrounding dragons, folklore stories of heroes slaying the evil beasts and peace and wealth restored to the community. There seems to be so much deep meaning to this fantastical creature, and the fact that it seems such a personal voyage of discovery and realization to "slay the dragon".

My last ancient warrior was The Dragon Slayer. Except she wasn't, right? In this case, her dragon is a wise creature, who reconnects her with the past, and serves as bridge to her future. How it all ties to the particular spot I am in my dollmaking life is a bit uncanny, but also extremely exciting.

First I thought this doll was going to be a boy. But as the days passed, and as I started designing everything I kept having this nagging thought about the conventionality of it all. All boys play rough. No girls are warriors. I know obviously better, and while I did try to offer boys in this collection mainly (one of the reasons being that I normally don't make many boy dolls), I felt the girls were misrepresented in the lot. I felt I needed to make a doll, a little as a female role model, of adventure, of strength, of courage. A bit symbolic to my own struggle as well, trying to find the courage in my daily battles, trying to overcome my own inner turmoil.

From the Book of Kells

The ending of this collection has been a sort of ending of many self-doubts and anxieties for me, not just on the dollmaking front. At home, we came to some conclusions and some decisions in regards to the education of our children, which feels like it all happened at the right time for us. It was such a ride to work with my husband into pulling all these dolls together. I normally work alone, and never ask questions in regards to what I am doing, but felt a bit reassuring to have him by my side guiding the lineage of the dolls as they were being made. If nothing else, I felt very humbled the entire time, humbled by his talent and inspired by everything he was creating.

The culmination and the auction of Red Scarlet and Cinder, has been a completely different ride. From tears of joy and immense happiness at the realization that there are people in the world, so giving, so kind, and so invested in supporting my work; to finally letting go of the last doll I have made in this collection, at a time when terrible tragedies happened to children all over the world. To say that the emotional front was charged would be an understatement. I feel incredibly humbled by this demonstration of support, not just from everybody that participated in the auction, but by all the emails I have received and the heartfelt congratulations my fellow dollmakers have bestowed on me. Thank you.

And this morning, talking to the winning bidder, she gave me just one more quote to close it all:

“Fairy tales are more than true; 
not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”
G.K. Chesterton 
(**which we both agree we won't share with Cinder!).
Posted on December 19, 2012 and filed under collections2012, dollmaking, process.