Thursday, September 20, 2007

Greek Mythology and Comfort Dolls

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

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?


jen said...

Your doll is wonderful! I love the idea of comfort dolls, and I think I will have my 2 girls help me create one. Great cause, great lesson to share with my young girls.

Storybook Woods said...

June what a wonderful way to touch other women. Such a small gesture can have such an impact. I love that you also made up a little book all about Amphitrite to go with the doll. Clarice

a pink-bee said...

Another wonderful post. What a neat project. :)

Anne said...

Oh, June, your doll is just perfect! I especially love her hair woven through the shells. You've included the symbols in such an imaginative beautiful way. Your swap partner will be thrilled with her comfort doll and the extra goodies you've included.

Kim Campbell said...

She is so pretty!

African Kelli said...

I am so, so touched June! What a beautiful creation. The shells, the embroidery. Wow! So lovely.

Gumbo Lily said...

How thoughtful of you!

Anonymous said...

June, you rock. I love the shells in her hair. It's a beautiful piece for a wonderful cause.

Saucy said...

I love the idea that dolls can make the world a better place! Your doll has been fashioned of the best fabric, she's sure to please.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post, beautiful doll!

Lilli in Vancouver said...

Such an interesting project!

nyjlm said...

your doll is lovely. I'm sure your swap partner will love her.

The comfort doll link is so touching. Wonderful project.

Lena said...

Yes indeed, it is!
I like all of the thought you put into the symbolism of your doll, June. It represents the loving thought that you put into all that you do, as well.
Take care.

Anonymous said...

Comfort dolls are such a wonderful thing to give.