I joined a swap to make an art doll—something I’ve not made before. My assigned recipient lives on a boat off Cyprus and wanted hers to be a Greek goddess. After reading art doll tutorials and researching classical mythology, I chose the Greek goddess of the sea Amphitrite.
Mosaïque de Neptune et d'Amphitrite à Herculanum (public domain image due to expired copyright)
In Greek mythology, Amphitrite’s husband is Poseidon (Neptune is his Roman equivalent). The short version of the legend is that Poseidon saw Amphitrite and fell in love with her but she wasn’t interested in marriage to him. A dolphin influenced her to reconsider Poseidon’s suit and the two lovers eventually married.
Most art doll examples I found were elaborate but I felt this quiet sea goddess should be simple. I chose fabric that seemed water-like to me in the colors my swap partner likes and embroidered her face and applicable symbols: Poseidon’s 3-pronged spear, a spiral to represent the life cycle, a heart for love, and the encouraging dolphin. I added a tiny seashell button. Her hair is made of strips of fabric through which I threaded tiny shells. The finished doll is 9" tall and 7" wide.
Being somewhat an obscure bit of classical mythology, I made a little booklet of facts about Amphitrite, added some stenciled note cards, and other things with the Greek goddess theme found at a bookstore.
And all that is what led me to discover the heart-warming world of Comfort Dolls.
Comfort Dolls are art dolls made to give to abused women in shelters for exactly what the name implies: comfort. This is a beautiful idea, isn’t it?
You can read the whole letter at the web site but this statement touched my heart:
“The pain and embarrassment many women go through more often than you think is uncalled for. We need to show them they are worthy and can change their lives. They have the strength to go forward, and may just need a gentle nudge to recognize it. If that nudge is in the form of a small doll filled with love, then let's make dolls!” Pat Winter
The world is an amazing place, isn’t it?