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Updated: Jul 17, 2020

I’ve been thinking of an old friend and colleague recently, who used to collect teddy bears. We pretty much agreed we’d be more comfortable in a room with teddy bears, rather than dolls. There’s something neutral about a teddy bear, but something more present, perhaps more challenging (or maybe confrontative?) about a doll’s face. Do you agree?

What is special about a doll’s face? How do we help the children recognize the magic spark when we make a human likeness? Are you ever awed by your ability to create a human form? A little embarrassed? Is there a religious or spiritual perspective that plays into this?

Doll-making was one of the first activities I ventured into as a new parent at a Waldorf school. We made dolls for sale at the annual Winter Fair, and for our own children. I clearly remember one doll with enormously long arms – I called her ‘the monster of the deep’ so I made a super puffy lace dress which almost concealed her issues. Right after that, I simply allowed a doll to form in my hands, and almost by itself, it became a young athletic California surfer dude. I was struggling to make a doll for Christmas for one of my daughters, I couldn’t get the eyes right, the right eye was just off a little bit. I must have re-done that eye six or seven times. Around 2 in the morning of Christmas day, I just stopped, wrapped “Reddy-red” up, and popped her under the tree. When my daughter woke in the morning, guess what? Her right eye looked just like the doll’s.

There is magic, awe, reverence, mystery, wonder and wisdom in doll-making. Join us in our conferences to explore this. Register now.

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