The first doll I made as an adult was for a friend who had been diagnosed with breast cancer. This doll was a reserved little lady who looked like an Italian Raggedy Ann. Since then my dolls have evolved from objects given to comfort a friend to objects which have a life of their own, created to explore and celebrate various personalities or concepts.
Dolls are mysterious. They disguise themselves as child's play but evoke fantasy in all of us. We can express things through dolls that we would not ordinarily say, and when handling a doll the long-repressed part of us that is still a child rises to the surface. They address us on a primal level.
I make dolls of beings and entities that I wish to know. The Green Man of the British Isles tells me what's it's like to be a tree throughout the seasons. Flora tells me what it's like to explode in bloom on a spring day. The dolls are often visual prayers, working as a celebration of the deity portrayed or a plea for divine intervention. They contain objects and symbolism in a way that is similar to charms and amulets, but their magical or worshipful intent is hidden by the innocence of their appearance.
All of the dolls I produce have in common the materials and techniques used in creating them. They are assembled using fiber processes such as hand-embroidery, crochet and needlefelting, using materials including hand-dyed raw silk, vintage fabrics, wool from local sheep, silk ribbons and embroidery threads. As in all of my pieces of art, the process of creating the dolls is time-consuming, with full attention paid to the smallest details. I am proud to show you these examples of my work.
There have been quite a number of members of the Skellie Clan over the years, partly inspired by the Mexican papier mache skeletons made for the Day of the Dead, but also by the fact that my birthday is on Halloween, and I prefer my Halloween celebrations to be on the happy-goofy side. This is a representative sample. They are generally in white or pastel colors with vivid embroidery on raw silk, are about 18" X 15" X 3", and are in the $1200 to $1600 price range.
These poppets, the Lucky Betty, Billy and Bobby dolls, are very small (usually 6" to 10" tall) and have loose, freewheeling embroidery on one or both sides. The base fabric is raw silk for the embroidered sides, with vintage cottons used for those with unembroidered backs. They are generally quite simple. I have made quite a few of them over the years as gifts for friends and for sale. They are generally in the $85 to $120 price range. This is a representative sample.
Please note: These are most definately not dolls for children (unless you are having your second childhood!) Traditionally, poppets have been used for magical purposes, however, I have put my own little spell on them so that they will not work towards negative ends. Behave yourselves, People!!
Please note that all content on this website including text, photographs and the actual artworks - yes, absolutely everything! - is Copyright 2016 Ruth Marie Fledermaus. All Rights Reserved. Nothing may be used or reproduced without permission. Seriously!