Recently I remembered a dream that I had about 7 years ago where I was walking along a dirt road in a forest carrying a doll that looked like a wizard or Merlin. I kept staring into the doll's amazing blue eyes that were incredibly ALIVE! I came to a little shop in the forest and a woman asked me if I would like to sell this rare doll. Even though I loved it I was also comfortable in parting with it and gave the doll to her. When I remembered this dream I was blown away. When I dreamt it I was living in a tiny flat in the inner city of Melbourne, in a job I hated and even though I felt the dream was important for some reason, I thought the messages was merely symbolic. Thank goodness I write so many of my dreams down because I have proof now of their prophetic nature and that helps me to keep trusting and following my intuition.
When I recalled the dream, I was brought again and again back to the eyes of the doll and then I journeyed right back to being a small child and remembered that I loved to stare into the glass eyes of my dolls for hours and hours. I began to think about dolls and puppets that had a similar enchanted look and I recalled the Jim Henson film, The Dark Crystal. I came very late to this film after a friend suggested that I watch it for the message it held : 'where mountains talk to each other and rivers sing'. So this week I watched The Dark Crystal again as I made a medicine doll and I was entranced by every aspect, especially the craft and detail in each puppet and sets and the overall design and look of the film created by artists, Brian and Wendy Froud.
And now here's the weaving magic of this story of the dream, the eye and The Dark Crystal: when I posted a photo on our Facebook page and Instagram of The Dark Crystal, I received comments from so many people telling me how the film had influenced and enchanted them as children and how it is still so beloved to them. And then I heard from master toy designer, Tim Clarke, who worked on and built all of the Mystics in The Dark Crystal! Tim built the 7 foot beings, the Mystics, directly from the drawings of Brian Froud. I love these ancient and gentle creatures, their wrinkles forming spirals and symbols on their cheeks. My favourite Mystic is of course urUtt the Weaver. Tim said he was happy that The Dark Crystal was still inspiring people twenty years later. Well, last night I caught the final golden thread when I read that the genesis of the creation of The Dark Crystal came about when Jim Henson discovered a taxidermist's glass eye! He said: 'It got me interested in doing creatures that really looked alive'. And that is what dollmaking is all about for me, finding ways to enchant the doll with so much spirit that it fills with life. I want children particularly to feel and see that the doll is there as a living, breathing friend.
This week was a lovely reminder to trust the dreaming, even if it is many years old - so much of that dream has already come true - I now live in Sherbrooke Forest, my home is on a dirt road and close by is a magical shop called Epoch that looks like it was handmade by elves. Some of my dolls have found their new keepers there.