The empty altar

Last week, I received this really nice letter from a group that I admire tremendously – Celebration Circle.

Dear Lyn: At the recommendation of many mutual friends, we are writing to invite you to create a hand-made altar for the Celebration Circle’s annual art exhibit, One People, Many Paths: The Sacred Art of Altars and our tenth year of presenting this exhibit and silent auction at the Bijou Theater September 1 – 30. You will be one of 50 artists to receive a handcrafted wooden box to use as the basis for creating a small “altar” focused on whatever matters to you – personally, artistically and/or spiritually – employing whatever media and/or embellishments your vision requires. The completed piece is due no later than Sunday, August 11th. 

the empty altar box

the empty altar box

What could I say, but “of course!” Now comes the challenge. I looked at the empty altar box for a while and remembered that I had some sheets of weathered moss that came off a wall planter.

. . . .lined with moss

. . . .lined with moss

On they went to line the altar – glue, glue. So far, so good – then I thought “Aha, a Spirit Doll! – I love making those” So I popped one in from the last workshop. Oops – the whole thing instantly turned into a moss lined coffin. Not good. Back to the drawing board – will keep you updated :). All suggestions gracefully accepted!

. . .oh, no! She looks dead! Oops. Bad idea.

. . .oh, no! She looks dead! Oops. Bad idea.

Spirit Dolls, Opening Night

The second big Studio event in two days was just as enjoyable as the poetry reading in a different way – a nice crowd of artisans and friends gathered to see the Spirit Dolls and to ask questions about their construction and uses. There was lots of curiosity and admiration for the work, especially when the guests learned that the dolls had been constructed in just two hours during the workshop. Once again, many of the people who came tonight saw old friends that they hadn’t seen in years or discovered new connections with people they hadn’t met before. I love it when that happens! There’s something about that Studio space that encourages those kinds of connections . . ..  . and here’s a video from this lovely evening:

 

Spirits abound

Yesterday’s Spirit Doll workshop at the Studio was magical! We started with sticks and clay and cloth and ended up with enchanted beings! I am going to have an exhibit of Spirit Dolls by these talented creators and those in the March 24 class on Friday, March 29th. Stay tuned for details, but I think you’ll agree that these sculptural forms are much more than the sum of their parts.

Friday Freebie – get in the spring spirit

cover

I’m having my first workshop on Creating Spirit Dolls this Sunday. That one is full, but there is another one on Sunday, March 24th, that has spaces if you’d like to sign up. There is also a very eclectic workshop on Creating Mala Meditation Bracelets and Prayer Flags on March 17th. Celebrate spring and refresh your spirit!

Today’s freebie is a booklet for everyone about Spirit Dolls – I put it together last Sunday when I was working by myself in the Studio making my own Spirit Doll. It was an odd experience – she really seemed to become “real” as I worked with the fabric, twigs and clay. Here’s a link to the booklet. I’d love it if you came to the workshop at the Studio and worked with the group, but you can try it on your own as well with these instructions.

PS – I’ve also done an update on my webpage that,hopefully, will make it easier to find out about events at the Studio.

Spirit work –

This is just another sample of some of the spirit doll photos that people send me when they use my shard faces for their work. I am overwhelmed with the creativity and soulfulness that these little soft sculptures possess. Thanks to the artisans who crafted them and sent me the pictures. Our Spirit Doll workshop on the 3rd of March is going to be exciting! It’s full, but I’m thinking of having another one in May.

 

Joanna, Spirit Dolls and new faces . . .

Joanna Powell Colbert appeared in my life at a serendipitous time – she ordered some of my little faces for a Spirit Doll workshop last year and, in doing so, opened a door to lots of new connections for my shard faces. You’ve seen some of the photos of Spirit Dolls that people have sent me – now Joanna has made her booklet describing how to make these small spiritual sculpture available to everyone. What a cool gift!
How To Make a Spirit Doll by Joanna Powell Colbertspiritdollbook

I’ve had lots of new orders for faces and, as a result, I spent last night making new ones, about 100 of them. Every one of them seems to have a different story to tell. It’s kind of meditative to work the clay and see the expression in each face. Here are a few, ready to finish drying and go into the kiln. Thank, as always, to Joanna for her example and inspiration! We’ll be making Spirit Dolls at The Studio in the spring 🙂White clay faces before firingWhite clay faces before firing

Terra Cotta faces

Terra Cotta faces

 

Thinking About Workshops . . . .

etsyIt’s a new year (almost) and I have a new studio space (almost). More about that soon, but I’ll have room to teach workshops on art and the Internet, among other topics. One thing I thought about was offering a workshop on setting up an Etsy shop. It would include opening a shop or gallery of your own, uploading pictures of your work, making a shop banner, taking payments – all of that. It’s so much easier than you might expect. And honestly, even if you don’t sell one thing, the experience of getting your work out there for the world arts community to see is worth the effort!  Let me know if you’re interested.

spiritThe other topics that I personally want to explore is making Spirit Dolls. Joanna Powell Colbert gave my Etsy Earthshards Shop a real boost when she ordered my little faces for her spirit doll workshop and retreat in Washington last year. I hear from people all over the country who send me pictures of their Spirit Doll creations. They are really exquisite soft sculptures, and if we did a workshop in the new studio space, we could also bring in herbs and essential oils to the magical mix!

Both of these would be later in the spring, after the clay and bead workshops that are already scheduled. I’d love your feedback. Oh, and this evening, I’m doing a Sprig Shard drawing – three subscribers will get a Sprig Shard face for their thank-you-for-signing-up prize! I started to give all three to one person, but I think it would be more fun to spread them out. Stay tuned.

 

Spirit Doll from Louise

I love receiving comments and photos from other artisans who have used my faces in creative ways, particularly in Spirit Dolls because there is so much meaning, positive energy and symbolism in those constructions. Look at this photo and read the comments from Louise in Washington state, and you’ll see what I mean – the face and body have almost come to life:

Several months ago I purchased some of your lovely face shards and although it has taken me a while, I finally completed a Spirit Doll which I named, “Plant Woman of the Pacific Northwest Woods”, in honor of my commitment to deepening my knowledge of the medicine of the local plants. ~ Louise