little shop of horrors (or the doll dismemberment project)

My latest greatest idea: doll dismemberment. But first a breif history. My grandmother and great aunt collected dolls from all over the world. When I was little my grandmother would let me play with the dolls whenever I visited. I was a girl who loved dolls. I played with dolls until I was about thirteen.  Eventually I inherited the dolls but I never had a place to display them so they remained in boxes for years. Except for a few of my favorites which are displayed in random places in my house. 

 A couple of years ago I got the idea to make some dolls. I got as far as the heads.  I wanted something different for the bodies, something that did not involve tedious sewing and stuffing of tiny hands and feet, and attachment of limbs. Way too much work. So the heads sat in my sewing room patiently waiting for  bodies. Then the other day it came to me. I happened to see some very interesting sculptures that incorporated doll parts, mostly heads with other vintage items, mostly tin. Teapots, spice cans, egg beaters, spoons. Since I don’t weld I knew  tin “bodies” were out of the question. Then I remembered my doll collection. I am surprised that I let this idea take shape. I did have a moment where I thought, “Sarah, you can’t do this. It’s just not right. Your grandmothers will be turning in their graves.”  Then I remembered my grandmothers don’t have graves (they were cremated), and even if they did neither of them were the type that would turn in them. And also, it’s not like I think they are watching me from heaven or anything. And it’s not like I believe in heaven.  And so I called my mother instead, or just in case, to get her “permission” knowing she would say “go for it”. Which she did. She is not one to cling to things. So I went about the task of dismembering my dolls. I did not have a plan really. It was more like a vague idea of something that might be interesting. Some of the heads came off easily with a few tugs. Some had to be twisted and pulled, a few sawed off with a kitchen knife. Still others cracked in my hand, rendering them useless. The dolls were old, very old. They were in bad condition. That’s what I kept telling myself as I seperated their heads from their bodies. I appogized a lot. It’s not like I think the dolls care. But dolls can be scary, especially decapitated ones.  I think of dolls as vengful creatures. Even the sweet looking ones. Especially the sweet looking ones. But I could not let fear stand in the way of art.  “Art” is probably not the right word here.  Maybe I just couldn’t let fear stand in the way of me needing a new project, a new way to mess up my house, or keep me from balancing my checkbook.  What ever the reason the results were nothing short of disturbing.

My doll dismemberment project is not over. I’m just taking a break. I decided to try writing again. Maybe that’s what this project was all about. Something new to write about. Oh, the lengths I will go to for a story.

For all the gory details check out the Sew Crafty page

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