February Greetings

Death, Life, Dolls.

I hope you are all warm, well and safe. Other than occasional trips to the post office, or out to feed the chickens, haul wood or shovel, I’ve mostly been tucked away in my workshop. Bending wire, sculpting clay, rooting through salvaged fabric…and peaking out the window at the Carolina wrens visiting my feeder for the first time. Enjoying this dark and cold, but also beginning to think of birds building nests in the Spruces...

Death

So, I’ve taken to creating dolls, who instead of pretending to be alive, are pretending to be dead. Why am I making these, with more than enough sadness and darkness all around? My brain just needs me to. I think art, both partaking in and creating, is the perfect way to explore what scares us, what preoccupies us. Perhaps that’s why I’m making them, but I honestly don’t really know.

Mother Gabrielle and her baby, Thomas, now lie together in a wooden coffin. They were discovered along a horse-cart road, in the snow. It seems as if they were heading somewhere, but were not prepared for the inclement weather. She wears a thin, rather shabby, black lace shawl Perhaps she is in mourning? She is barefoot and her clothes, are not those of a wealthy woman. Is that something in her pocket? Maybe this will help us discover more about her journey?

There are also three wee Post Mortem babies. Celeste Ann, Mary Nell and Elizabeth Jane.

Each wee one comes wrapped in antique lace, in a little black linen pouch and with her own little epitaph. These just break my heart, but also bring me great happiness at the same time. Having a tiny thing that needs me to kiss it and care for it is comforting.

Life!

Lastly, to celebrate Imbolc, which was this week, I made a doll to celebrate the turning of the seasons. Bella was created using wire, clay, rope, twigs and vines from my garden along with dried moss, berries, flowers and leaves. Her tunic is a soft mossy, velvety green, and her skirt is strips of various fabrics with little embroidered embellishments.

These dolls will all be available in my Etsy shop tomorrow, February 5th at 12 noon, EST.

I tend to be a bit pessimistic (shock), but for the first time in a while, it feels like things may soon start to get better, easier. Maybe in a few months we’ll be able to gather, toast to what we’ve all been experiencing, start to make plans… Maybe! My daily life won’t change all that much, I’m pretty hermitty (double shock). But the occasional meet-up with friends or family will feel so, so good when it happens.

Thank you my darklings, please be well.

x jana x

p.s. If any of you would like to check out the music that inspires me while I work, here is a link to my Spotify playlist.