Thursday, May 31, 2018

Cicada Insect Doll Process: Part One

Hello All,
In this series for the Cicada, I'm going to share with you not only my process in technique with photos but also my philosophy behind my dollmaking- doll creating!

I feel each piece has its own life and its own energy...therefore I try to be very mindful in the work during the creation of the one piece, thoughtfully immersed.

Getting Prepared
MIND: I want to have a clear and focused mind so I can work without (mental) interruptions. I make certain that my phone is off, my music is playing, and I have completed all personal and business tasks- as emails etc.

BODY: I want this to be a pleasant and nurturing experience and I believe one of the best ways to begin a new project is with a clean space with all my tools and supplies at hand. It can be disarming and frustrating to scramble around to find that one thing needed…yes, we have all done it! So, it is important for me be ready and prepared to allow the time it deserves to become a masterpiece!

SOUL: I find that if the two above things have been cleared that the soul will follow in peace and being able to "hear" any and all inspirational guidance as I work to speak our truth to the world.


If you know me or my work, you are aware that I am devoted to the symbolism behind my pieces and feel my work is a process of mindfulness in each step I take. I believe that in each creation, we can have many layers, not only of fabric but of the thought or inspiration behind the piece. I feel this enhances it during and after it is finished.

My goal is always to keep this symbolism and mindfulness in choosing of fabrics, during sewing, painting, dying…It creates joy within myself as I work!

Cicada  : Cicadidae

The tree cricket. The sound denotes 'elevated' poetry, immortality or life after death. A stylized cicada form represents loyalty to one's principles.

  • Rebirth
  • Past to Present
  • Illumination
  • Longevity
  • Sensuality
  • Love
  • Partnership
  • Self-Expression
  • Patience
  • Timing
As the symbolism is important, I will do extensive research on my "subject".
I always find it astonishing that the subject I have chosen has so much symbolism that connects my personal  growth with my art...Life is Art.

"They choose their own time to be born. What a cool concept. Years later I did research into why cicada’s lay dormant, sometimes only a year, other times up to 17 years. It has to do with predators. Although still a mystery to biologists, the cicada has a keen ability to sense the right time to emerge from their earthy cocoons in order to produce the most off-spring. They do this during a time in which their predators are low in numbers – insuring the chance of their brood’s survival.
Asian symbolism took note of this as a theme of resurrection. So much so, ancient Asian burial ceremonies include the making of intricate jade figures of cicadas; these were placed in the mouths of deceased ancestors. This allowed ancestors a pleasant, tranquil after-life sleep, and gave them the ability to re-emerge in spirit to help families or accomplish goals when the timing called for their aid."
Image result for asian tongue cicada
Tongue amulet in the form of a cicada (hanchan) 
206 C. Han dynasty Glass H: W: cm China

Cicada Facts:

Cicada Songs
Males produce this species-specific noise with vibrating membranes on their abdomens. The sounds vary widely and some species are more musical than others.

Life Cycle
Cicadas are also famous for their penchant for disappearing entirely for many years, only to reappear in force at a regular interval. There are some 3,000 cicada species, but only some share this behavior (the 17-year cicada is an example). Others are called annuals because, although individuals have multi-year lifecycles, some adults appear every year.
They spend several early life stages in these underground burrows before surfacing as adults.

Cicadas are members of the superfamily Cicadoidea and are physically distinguished by their stout bodies, broad heads, clear-membrane wings, and large compound eyes.
The insect's amazing lifestyle has been a source of fascination since ancient times.

My Thoughts in Connection
In my mind, this Cicada's choosing of when to be born is very symbolic...not only of when I am ready but when a piece is be born.

This concept of the Cicada has been in my mind for over a year...always there but not soulfully ready, in what I term as a fully developed idea in my mind, body, soul. I know when it is ready because there is no hesitation, it is in my mind and all I have to do is "listen" and it will emerge and tell me what direction it needs to go!

I will take this symbolic meanings, the insect characteristics, and my love of Asian features and costuming and connect them together into a Cicada piece.

I have the Tibetan and Mongolian faces studied and ready to start with the sculpting the head and then design a body that will be in proportion to it.  

The Mongolian culture will lead into the costuming...(Thanks to Marco Polo series on Netflix)
电视剧 - Marco Polo  Marco Polo (TV Show) Cast 艺术 壁纸

I love the Panama Cicada's color!

I see a helmet and body armor with silk "kimono" style dress...

we will see what appears!

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