As you may be familiar if you've read any of my other entries here, I design craft kits for the Columbia Museum of Art's monthly craft.bar.happy.hour. After a very successful, fun night of making our own portrait dolls (we sold out!), I began to wonder if this was a project that could have a wider reach/appeal, and a bigger purpose.
I've done some experimenting on my own and with friends, finding these dolls to be quite therapeutic with educational potential, as well as providing lots of laughs-- It's fun to color like children, making up our own outfits and personae! Below you can see a doll I made of my grandmother as a matador. This fit her personality to me-- she's spent her life wrangling children (and not taking any guff), but she also laughs a lot, and I felt this illustrated her humor (for the record, she thought this was hilarious!).
I can see these dolls being used in many different capacities-- as history lessons (children studying a time in history can explore clothing/costume of a culture, its purpose, design, etc), and as explorations of self-image and cultivating positive self-image. I can also see these being used in hospitals, schools, churches, camps. I'm still working on an angle here, but I think the possibilities are boundless.
As of now, you can find a your personalized/customized doll kit at my esty store. Though, I only have a listing up for one doll, I'm open to doing entire families, wedding parties, groups of friends--anything you can think of! What a fun group project!