I finished my first medicine doll, Sekhmet a few weeks ago. The holidays have kept me busy delaying me writing about her, but also giving me a chance to step back from her.
The purpose of the guardian doll is to “protect, motivate, encourage and support”, according to Barb Kobe in the ebook that accompanies her medicine doll teleclass. I created Sekhmet with all this in mind, down to her color, form, stance and body decoration.
Sekhmet is a strong protectess. Her stance is ready to pounce on the bad or give you a big hug when you need one. Her arms are open to receive,without the hidden agendas that I have become accustomed to guarding myself from. She stands solidly on her strong base ready to motivate me to create and have conviction that creating is important.
I created Sekhmet’s belt and necklace from parts of fishing lures. I have no affinity for fishing but have always been attracted to the paraphernalia of the fisherman. All those fake worms and fishing lure connectors fascinated me even as a child. My fascination was a source of excitement for my stepfather and he spoke of dreams of father-daughter bonding around the pond, taking me fishing once. Once only to discover that I would frantically return all fish to the water, not mattering if I caught them or someone else had caught them. There were a lot of people at the pond that day and it was a bad scene. But I still like the metal things and the idea that I can take something that is designed to lure a creature to its demise and use it to make something that keeps my pasts hooks out of me.
From the fishing lure necklace and belt, I added amulets symbolizing healing and strength. I included bottles containing seeds, bark and leaves to symbolize my connection to nature and remind me that my potential for growth is still there, despite the frustration I feel when I have emotional setbacks. I included metal leaf beads because they represent a natural object, but are made from a less ephemeral material than real leaves. I use the metal leaves to reinforce the reminder that I can continue to grow, and the strength of the metal they are made lends that symbolic strength. I also included a metal key and lock to remember that I have more control over my life than I sometimes want to believe. There is a metal feather to remind me that I am physically free from my past and the only part binding me to it are the emotions and internalizations that I am understanding more and unraveling every day. The large talisman on her necklace is a empty bead bottle from India that I was strangely and strongly attracted to at a bead show. I am still pondering the attraction, but wanted to leave it empty to be a future container for something I haven’t found yet—whether this is an object or something immaterial, I don’t know.
Symbols of Egyptian rulers line Sekhmet’s lower skirt to ground her to her past as a doll and to symbolically ground me with my past. Our past is part of both of us and neither of us can ignore it, but we both need to learn from it and use that knowledge. The inlays are made from polymer clay and surround with Apoxie Sculpt to create a mosiac effect. This mosiac effect is partially my ode to Gustav Klimt, one of the first artists whose work stimluated my imagination. Other symbols of nature decorate her skirt, as well as bits of things I find beautiful.