Saturday, September 1, 2007

Crafting Companions

In the Dream Art Group I am facilitating, we do an Art Check-In every week.  One of my intentions with this is to integrate art-making into our daily lives.  In the past, I have facilitated workshops where the art is made during the group time, and while that is also a very powerful experience, I found myself disappointed when I noticed that the art-making wasn't happening after the group had completed.

Now, don't get me wrong, I love making things...but having an art assignment every single week is pretty intense!  I'm really getting pushed in new ways.  Here are some really powerful things I have realized:
  • Making art can and should be as important as going the gym, feeding myself and kissing my husband.

  • When I make time for art every week, it becomes a lot easier to drop down into that creative space - and the results are that I feel more grounded in all aspects of my life.

  • My dreams LOVE it when I make art in response to them.  My dreams have become richer and more powerful.

  • We've only been meeting for 5 weeks and I am already amazed at all the new art in my house that I have made!

The last couple of weeks I have been making these little goddess dolls. The first week, I made them out of cloth. I used some old fabric I had lying around and I filled them with rice and lavender, as I HATE the toxic batting that craft stores sell to fill dolls with.  I also embroidered them and added little crystals on some of the chakra points.  I don't know why I made these dolls - I was just following my creative intuition, which is what I do every day, in some way.

The next week, I decided I wanted to continue with this goddess figures, but I wanted them to be more sturdy.  The cloth dolls felt too floppy.  For some reason, I wanted something I could hold firmly in my hand. 

The next little goddesses I made were created out of Sculpey. I love Sculpey. I grew up with my father making Fimo creatures.  I remember him making lots of little characters for his Dungeons & Dragons game and I also remember a face of Jesus hanging on the front door of our house with a cartoon bubble over his head (also made of Fimo!) that said "Love Your Enemies!"  I remember him sitting with his X-Acto knife, cutting out tiny black letters to put on that white background.  It was meticulous! The Jesus face also had tiny drops of blood and a tiny crown of thorns.  Now that I have worked with a similar medium, I am astonished at the amount of detail he crafted with those characters!

"Fertile Triangle" Sculpy & glitter (2008)

The other issue with having a week to make a piece of art, is that I often don't have time to be that meticulous.  I usually only have one afternoon to really get into making (I have 3 jobs!), and I usually want to get my general concept completed, with the intention to get more detailed later.  That time to get more detailed doesn't seem to ever come (I guess with all things that are important to me, I have to MAKE that time!). 

So this past week, I used Sculpey (I prefer it to Fimo, it's easier for me to use - it stays softer longer) and I made some solid, little goddess characters.  The first one I made seemed to have a long tail like a sperm.  Why am I making little Goddess Sperms?  The next one was a flat triangle shape and the third one was a little round lump with tiny breasts.  The third one is very satisfying to hold.

At this point, I finally realized why I might be making these funny little creatures.  I recently had a terrible experience while pregnant.  My husband and I have been taking a break while I heal,
both physically and emotionally, and we finally feel ready to start trying again in earnest - this week in fact! I still have a lot of fear around what could happen this time, and I realized that I was tapping into a very ancient place in myself and making little fertility/pregnancy totems.

"Fertility Altar"
Archaeologists have been finding little Goddess figures for many years.  Their original purposes will never really be known, but when I have looked at them in museums and books, they have a very voluptuous, fertile feeling to me (like the Venus of Willendorf).  Many of the replicas are very satisfying to hold. I realized that I am making my own versions of these little figures.  Perhaps to help us get pregnant? Perhaps to be angels and guides watching over us so we don't have another painful loss of a pregnancy? Perhaps to hold on to when I am giving birth?  I don't really know, but they make me very happy.

I have put them next to our bed, so they can watch over us.

I think I am going to make more this week.  We shall see what new goddesses I create.  I found some stone-colored Sculpey and some excellent new face molds!

What are you making this week?

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