So while I'm at Goodwill...maybe rummaging through toys, looking for a vintage Fisher Price record player or some old Viewmaster reels...never have I ever looked at an old cloth-body baby doll and thought "I could totally embroider tattoos on that baby doll"...but it did occur to Sherri Wood over 10 years ago.
I randomly came upon this project today, started in 1998 by a lady who happened to like embroidery and tattoos.Its a precursor to the handmade art/craft movement that is so prevalent these days. I admit that I didn't immediately love the dolls (a smidge creepy?), but the more I read about them, the more interested I became.
It was a simple idea. (from the artist's statement on the project site) "I find cloth bodied baby dolls at thrift shops and send them to tattoo artists who then draw original tattoos directly on the dolls. They send the dolls back to me and I hand embroider the images on the cloth bodies".
Her purpose was this: "to break down barriers and prejudices about women’s work and roles, tattoo subculture, craft and art. The project strikes a subtle balance between these varied traditions and the communities they represent, thus questioning the lines that define, separate and empower each tradition. It draws together two distinct and distant marginal groups".
I like that it blends the talents of two different people using two different art forms. I like that it takes a very familiar part of many girlhoods and gives it a drastic makeover...as us girls have so changed since we last held a baby doll (some of us even tattooed?).
It sort of encourages me to think outside the box...to maybe use more re-purposed materials, more mixed media, explore non-traditional style...use things from my own childhood to create something new and fun.