Friday, September 30, 2016

Emerging from the Cocoon...Part 2

I want to share with you this part of my journey of transition from where I was to who I am today. I have done the work and am well into my "new" life, so it is easy for me to look back with all wholeness, with no regrets. I am thankful for each and every hard earned step that brought me to my life as it is now- happy!

Plato's Allegory of the Cave...

What?? you say!
During my time of transition, I found that there where many things that I could relate to and see a connection from who I was to who I am at present.

One of the things that I found soulfully and at times mournfully fulfilling was music. I came across a song called the The Cave by Mumford and Sons...

And I'll find strength in pain

And I will change my ways

I'll know my name as it's called again.

While sharing this with (most incredible therapist) Mary..she said that is based on the Allegory of Plato's Cave..and yes, my turn...What??

So, of course I had to find out more..I just LOVE life and how it can speak to us and make us grow!!

Basically, it is that there are people (prisoners) chained to a wall in the cave. They can only see what is in front of them - shadows from behind cast by a fire. They think this 2 dimensional world is THE WORLD. 

One day a prisoner breaks free and comes out the cave to see the world as it is- as it can be. He is initially blinded by the sunlight but adapts.
He comes back to tell the others of his discovery, but when he enters the dark cave he cannot see after being in the sunlight. His people think that he has been cursed and will not listen to him.

My Summary:

How can someone understand what you have been through if they have not themselves been through something similar!??

BUT there are others who will relate and there is a new found bond, that I find personally incredible!

or here

So...follow me here...
My transition was a way of looking at things differently...I found that it is how I perceive my world around me...

And I'll find strength in pain
And I will change my ways
I'll know my name as it's called again.

...doing the work internally-emotionally to understand myself better and therefore understand the world better and who I am...and who and what fits into my world now.

So to the dolls...
I knew that I wanted to create pieces that spoke of transition and of emergence. I initially, thought of too perfect to pretty...I thought I have been through a hard time and I have some singed edges...and some dust on me...but I can fly!

Moths...of course! 
As you well know, I have to know the symbolism if what I wanted to're going to love this!!

“We gather these symbolic attributes because night creatures conduct their life-sustaining activities in complete darkness.

As humans, we may translate this as symbolic of living our lives by intuitive feeling rather than physical sensory perception.
Philosophically speaking, night creatures do not tumble in the dark, and neither do humans. We use our dreams, our awareness, and our deeper, inner knowing to navigate through the darkest hours of our lives.

Faith is another tool we use to move through shadowy times of uncertainty, and the moth also shares this aspect. The moth never questions provision. She has complete faith that all of her needs will be meet each night.

Bingo! There it is again- that connection, knowing by my gut what I was to create and the confirmation (faith) that I was on the right track!

I knew that I was going to make my smaller dolls that are more fragile and graceful in stature. I knew that I wanted them to be Japanese and that the kimonos were to be their cocoon. you well know I love doing the research:

Beautiful Cocoons of Moths:

Now for the fabric. I chose cheese cloth to mimic that beautiful texture of the cocoon. I dyed it several times to achieve the varied coloring.

I tried sewing it on it's own but it just fell apart. I realized that it needed to be lined so I hand-dyed dupioni silk to be a reflective underlining.
What struck me the most was the feel of the finished kimono, it actually felt like a cocoon!

This is a series of three dolls. I will cover one a week.
Photography: Alan Rodriguez Villalobos
Custom made stools : Gary Leitch
All three dolls in a private collection

Tiger Moth is the master of disguise and reminds us to be aware that we could be hiding from ourselves. Are we using our emotions to keep ourselves hidden from others? The Tiger Moth transforms emotional energy away from drama and into something closer to the heart. They symbolize having faith in the journey and trust that although things seem to be complicated right now – it will eventually see the light. It reminds us to use our heart to guide us.

In this series, each doll's kimono is closely the same, it is in their facial expression and wings that they differ. Of the same group yet different...still sisters.

Each set of wings are made from vintage kimono fabrics. I find it very spiritual that the right fabric is always is the right symbolism!

Side note: When researching the moth versus butterfly wings, I found that each open very differently. Butterflies close and open their wings up and down while moth tuck and open their wings from their back...just another one of those things to make this all work so beautifully. I believe that these moth wings could also be interpreted as the bow of the obi!

Below: Top wings of Tiger Moth.

 (right) sewn with added quilting around each segment and (left) with hand embroidery.

Back view
 Spread with interior view
 Top view

Close ups:
Hand sculpted head of DAS clay with overlay of silk crepe.
Moths differ from butterflies in their antennae, in that moths have 
feathery ones where butterflies have wire-y antennae.
Again, I feel a perfect connection in creating the Moth Series. 
 Tiger Moth's hair is of tussah silk that I hand dyed with a 
black acid dye to create the deepest black.
I usually use a mohair silk blend for my wigging but 
wanted a much more earthly-organic feel.
Close up of hands and pants.
Close up of obi- Japanese vintage kimono fabric 
overlaid with the hand-dyed cheese cloth to give 
a continuity to the feel of the cocoon.
Wing detail of hand-embroidery
Underside of wing
depicting the quilting effect
Shoes of silk
Underside of sole- silk

Tiger Moth

Next Week:

Ghost Moth

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