Well hello you beautiful individual, you.
Did you know that there is an entire sect of art out there dedicated to the beauty of breastfeeding?
I didn't either. At least, not until I was asked to make a breastfeeding doll: a request that may seem odd to some, but is actually super awesome.
To be honest, this doll is one of my favorite pieces that I've had the pleasure to make. She is beautiful, and I love the sweetness of her connection to her baby through such a simple, necessary, and natural thing that we take for granted. Making this doll plunged me into the world of breastfeeding art for research, and it is beautiful, magical, and earthy. I am not a mother (perhaps not yet, anyway), and so the wonder of this aspect of womanhood had been lost on me until this point. There is certainly something divine about it, and I feel like my world has grown bigger because of this project.
She and her baby are constructed out of acrylic/wool craft felt, meticulously stitched with cotton embroidery floss and hand-dyed yarn, and stuffed with wool. I made her dreadlocks from wool yarn that I dyed black, and her clothing is made from cotton and silk shibori scraps that I also dyed. Her ring sling is 100% functional and was made with two, small aluminum rings and hand-dyed silk.
I've included some in-process and final pictures of the project below for your enjoyment.
The request for this doll was made by Iris Nectar of Feminist Fiber Art: a traveling, community art exhibit organized around feminist principles of liberation, intersectionality, and inclusion. I am so honored to be part of such a lovely group of people and to have my work be included alongside talented and stellar artists. You can find them on Facebook here, and if you are looking for a great cause to donate to, you can contribute here.
I hope you have a wonderful day, friends. I'm off to package up this dear lady doll and her baby to be shipped for exhibition at Meddlesome Lab Studio: a non-profit music & art space for local and touring acts in Rochester, N.Y. Find them on Facebook here.