Recovery Doll

Art Doll Detail
Recovery Hand and Heart

I got to deliver my latest commission to my friend Mary yesterday.  She liked the pose of the Survivor Doll, but she wanted something more in line with her own story, a story of recovery — so this is Recovery.  Mary is a skilled needleworker.  I imagined her covering herself, protecting herself with her own craft.  Arts and crafts are a major part of how we save ourselves and how we recreate ourselves.

I really enjoyed the opportunity to make this doll and think about how hard it is to re-invent ourselves.  But in that struggle, there is so much beauty.

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She is a cloth doll over a wire armature.  Her hair is made from lamb and alpaca wool and silver thread.  Her dress is hand knitted from a linen, silk and rayon blend yarn.

The object in her hand is a symbol of the vision it takes to imagine a better life for oneself. I was lucky to find a silver origami crane charm as a focal point for her.  Her heart is symbolized by a smooth red glass fragment secured with silver wire and a locked locket.  She protects her heart and moves forward.

If you are interested in commissioning an art or medicine doll, please contact me.

3 thoughts on “Recovery Doll

  1. Wow! What another beautiful creation. The silver origami crane was such a striking symbol, and also loved the “knitting” reference with regard to the “dress.” And the dress bowled me over – resonant, vibrant color, and to me, with not so great vision, looked a little like beading!

    Not sure what happened with the differences in vision of the project, but these are very personal creations/projections/desires and if it’s commissioned, then that’s the whole idea of a commissioned piece, right? It should mean no offense that your work isn’t good, just that it didn’t make the right fit for that person then. The stance/posture of Survivor is great, I agree.

    The draped dress, I still am stuck on, but her hair rocks too.

    A real admirer of your work!

  2. Mary is a wonderful person to work with. She commissioned the Sisters dolls, too. She pretty much lets me guide the process after she has come up with the sentiment.
    The yarn looks a little pebbly but it’s really one of the softest yarns I’ve ever worked with. There’s a slight gradation in the dye that gives it a shiny quality. It’s a pleasure to work with — this doll was a pleasure to make!

  3. Joy, I love the doll, and your presentation of her here. I loved the Sisters, also (you might remember that it took me awhile to let go of them and get them to their intended owner!) This one, though, is so wonderful because of the meaningful bits you’ve incorporated into it – the silver threads in her hair, the protected heart, that wonderfully soft yarn (so soft, but the pattern almost reminds me of chain mail, another protective element!) Recovery is about opening up, also, so the dress’s open weave is perfect. And she’s moving forward, not stuck – I love that! Thank you so much for sharing your insights in such a creative way!

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