Mad in Pursuit Notebook

needle-felted doll Tempest

Spring Dollmaking: Tempest

May 14, 2016. April came. But what I think of as spring -- warm breezes, flowering trees, birdsong -- did not. Instead, we were treated to wild winds and icy spray blowing off the lake. I would not be gardening anytime soon, so I began the third doll of 2016. I knew immediately her name would be Tempest. Winter dolls were about coziness and woolly warmth. But spring was a wild woman.

One thing about art: you can have a plan in mind -- a vision -- but your hands have their own intelligence. While my brain was thinking about diaphanous spring fairies darting among the daffodils, my hands were thinking of stout, earthy peasant women stomping knee deep in mud.

needle-felted doll Tempest

As you can see below, Tempest's big feet are mud brown and her legs are mossy -- a creature arising from the fertile soil of stormy spring. Dolls made with my hands' instinct instead of from a pattern tell me something about myself: I don't have wings for flitting and flying in the air; I don't have fins for floating and diving in the sea. I have muddy feet for plodding, step after step, no short-cuts, slowly but surely.

needle-felted doll Tempest

Construction. Needle-felted in core wool on a wire armature. Her clothes are silk, hand-dyed, embellished with recycled sari silk cord. Her hair started out to be recycled sari silk, but when she looked kind of bald, I started felting in some dark red wool roving. Oh, that was perfect!


Books by Susan Barrett Price:

THE SUDDEN SILENCE: A Tale of Suspense and Found Treasure (2015) Thailand: lovers of ancient treasure tangle with international black markets. Delia Rivera pulls Martin Moon back into the game and their quest turns deadly. In paperback and Kindle editions.

TRIBE OF THE BREAKAWAY BEADS: Book of Exits and Fresh Starts (2011) Time after time, Mary asks herself: Do I go or do I stay? She finds her power in her ancestors: Smart women turn discontent into action. An illustrated memoir in paperback and Kindle editions.

PASSION AND PERIL ON THE SILK ROAD: A Thriller in Pakistan and China (2008) The twin forces of revenge and redemption drive Nellie MacKenzie and Taylor Jackson on a crazed adventure into the heart of Central Asia. They grapple with issues of ethics, trust, rage, and bitter heartbreak -- as well as the intrigue of the international antiquities trade. In paperback and Kindle editions.



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