More craft thinking and a surprising spark of interest

by Sayraphim on September 16, 2008

The lovely Age reporter, Fran Atkinson, asked me about dolls vs playthings. And this was my reply.

I think that some dolls are clearly not playthings. Like the collectible movie/comic figurines. Not only are they not meant to be played with, they’re not supposed to be taken out of the box. And some dolls are aimed directly at early twenties adults, like the Little Apple dolls, any of those ‘gothic’ kinds of dolls. They’re not really meant to be given to children to play with. I don’t think any adult ‘plays’ with dolls. But then, do we have to then get into a discussion as to what ‘playing’ with dolls means? One of the artists, Wolf Dragon, has submitted 5 voodoo dolls of herself in different stages. One is a doll to deal with loss and sadness, one is a traveling doll, created along the lines of helping this artist travel, there’s a menses doll that helps take the pain of menstruation away, now I don’t think she sits down and has tea parties with these dolls, but I know that she handles them a lot, and lends them to friends who needs the kinds of help the dolls offer.

I think there is a difference between ‘playing’ with a doll, and a doll that has a use, rather than the ones that sit on the shelf and decorate your house. I think that even if a doll simply causes joy in the viewer, then that doll certainly has a use. And for some of the dolls, the creation itself has been cathartic for the artist, so the doll was useful even during construction. One of the marionettes submitted was created by Cat Sewell, who was doing a Masters in Art Therapy, one of their assignments was to create a marionette of themselves. So it was an introspective technique to focus on themselves.

I think it’s a matter of seeing the role of dolls as much more than a simple plaything. Dolls fulfill a mirid of roles even after we’ve grown up.

And I posted the idea of Totem along with the photo of my doll on Livejournal and there were heaps of replies all telling me it was such a good idea. So I’ve posted it on Craftster too, how great would it be if people all around the world were making Totem dolls of themselves?

Post Secret, in plushie form!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

.girl ferment. September 17, 2008 at 11:33 am

i like your thoughts on dolls vs playthings.
i think the character a doll has is what interests adults.

i really like your totem doll, it seems very alive.

thanks for posting about my fellow. (I see it as a boy too even though it is meant to represent me?)

Sayraphim September 18, 2008 at 5:30 am

Hey there!
That’s an excellent thought, which i think explains why some adults collect things like Barbies, because they’re interested in the character and story.

I think that’s why people are interested in the comic/movie figurines too.

And re my doll, thank you!

And I’m happy to post about your doll, I’m collecting electronic totems far and wide 🙂 And I think it’s totally fine for you to see it as a boy. After all, your Totem doll can be anything you want it to be.

astula September 19, 2008 at 9:33 pm

i love this… it does seem alive! what an awesome project.

Sayraphim September 20, 2008 at 1:34 am

Hey Astula, Thank you so much! I’ve had a ball, and it’s been a really interesting journey to find out how so many people think of themselves

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