Folk Art, Sacred Doll Making - Vancouver Island

Nanaimo, British Columbia

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Deborah Hollins

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Deborah Hollins


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About WhisperingEarth

Sales 35
On Etsy since 2017

When you Listen to the Whispers, all things are known.

When I began doll making, I was not aware of the history of the craft; the long line of artisans from forgotten times who brought healing and joy to their families, clans, tribes and communities. I did know, however, that the process of conceiving of and manifesting a doll was deeply healing to me.

My dolls evolved quickly as I added bundles of herbs, flowers and forest floor leavings to be held within them, and the process of needlefelting became meditative and prayerful. Soon each doll was speaking to me as she began her birthing process; telling me her story, her name and her characteristics. Now I find there is a loneliness within me when I am not creating a doll.

These dolls are in honour of my foremothers from the lands of my Ancestors; England, Ireland and Scotland. Through them, I hear the silent whispers of the earth …whispers that illuminate my heart and spirit, connecting me through earth, sky and ocean to the Sacred Feminine alive in us all.

Every culture in the world has held a belief in the power of the medicine doll. These are ancient creations; a tool in the hand of the healer and a manifestation of magic that we can literally carry into our ordinary lives. My ancestors – the wise grandmothers, I believe, were nudging me long before the first doll was birthed, to remember and retrieve this ancient craft and bring it into the world once again.

For me, the creative process is healing and life-enhancing. The dolls I create are symbolic of the possibility of the human spirit to revive and renew a sense of wonder and wholeness. Each colour they wear, the healing bundles within, and the story the doll imparts to me are all carefully retrieved.

These dolls speak. They tell you that you are loved, you are strong, you are perfect. They embody, in the human form, the nurturance and fearlessness that leads to change and growth. They are a mirror, reflecting to you your own innate ability to heal and they are a window, showing the sacred truth that is within you. She is a companion that will take you to powerful places, show you parts of yourself you have never known or been able to express. She will listen and hold your secrets close. She will comfort you. She will embody those feelings that you desire to move and she will help you let them go. She accepts you and loves you unconditionally. Through her, you will come to see that you are also a magical creation, filled with healing power and ancestral memory.

My medicine dolls are products of the land, they are created close to nature and are intimately connected to the natural world. They are adorned with feathers, rocks, crystals, shells, reclaimed fur, and other natural items. Each item that they wear or carry within is infused with prayer and blessings, smudged in gratitude for nature’s ever self-sacrificing gifts. Some of my dolls will sleep under the stars, some will take part in ceremony and drum circles, all will absorb the magic of the spiritual world through the process of manifestation.

I am a writer, healer and artist living on Vancouver Island and learning from the wisdom of the Earth. I am a lover of all things wild and a great believer in the healing power of nature and the divine feminine. My dolls are an expression of these sacred connections.

~ A nine-fold blessing upon you ~

May the river of Danu run through your veins
May the heart of the Mother beat fierce in you
May the forest of Cernuous give you rest
May Spirit smile upon all you do
May the air of peace surround your soul
May the fire of passion burn bright within
May you know your power and sacred place
May you never forget who you are
And may you walk always gently upon the Earth.

Bíodh sé amhlaidh (Blessed Be)

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  • Deborah

    Owner, Creator, Designer

    I am an artist living on Vancouver Island and learning from the wisdom of the Earth and a lover of all things wild and great believer in the healing power of nature and the divine feminine. My dolls are an expression of these sacred connections.

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