Being a part of Community Engagements through the Arts, or CETA, as we have affectionately been calling it, I have had the opportunity to participate in some of the workshops that help us to reach our goal of making 1000 dolls. Doll, in relationship to these workshops, is a very loose term that invites all sorts of interpretations. I never thought I’d be working in a wood shop, but here I am, sawing away at wooden doll shapes with potentially dangerous power tools. Wooden dolls with paper faces, sock rabbits and snakes and monkeys, and clay dolls will all join ranks in our 1000 doll army.
The first workshop I attended was the one held at the Kid’s Cafe. Children and adults of the community, as well as members of the Lexington Catholic Art Club, attended and were invited to draw what they imagined would fit into pre-drawn shapes. Fueled by cookies and punch, their imaginations produced a slew of varied and creative works of art. Together, we made over 100 designs for dolls at the end of the workshop. All the wood shapes to go with these designs will be cut out by the CETA students themselves.
In another, smaller workshop held at Theo Edmond’s studio home, the CETA class learned how to make dolls out of clay. While a daunting task at first, Dan Selter taught us some easy tricks to making some successful clay figures. “Make them chunky,” he advised. We made over 50 wonderfully unique clay dolls that day. While it was a messy craft, it was too enjoyable to be apprehensive of the feeling of clay beneath your fingernails. As Katie Brewer put it, “I hate clay, but I love this.”
Slowly but surely, we are on our way to 1000 dolls, no matter how skeptical some may feel. I look forward to co-heading the sock monkey making workshop at Mulberry and Lime on Wednesday, February 15th, and making more dolls to reach our goal.
-by Stacey Venneman