Last night, I spent the greater part of the evening stuffing three messenger dolls. I need to replenish my shelf at Ornament Studio, across the street. Funny how things sell in spurts. Nothing for a few weeks and all of a sudden someone comes along and empties a shelf… much to my delight, of course.
I was going to say a few words about the inspiration for the messenger doll, but to be honest I cannot quite pinpoint it myself.
I have always felt a sort of kinship with jesters and harlequins. I grew up in the 60’s, when television was still young. In Canada, as in most countries I suspect, the early years of television were greatly influenced by the arts of the stage. In fact, many of the first television programs were the brainchild of stage actors who were literally immersed in Shakespeare and the great classics throughout their formative years. This had a particular influence on children’s programs.
The photograph below will give you an idea. It is from a 1960’s, The sets were minimalist in style and the characters straight out of the Commedia dell’Arte, whose origins date back to 16th century Italy. Of course, most children did not make the connection, but this did not matter. The quality of the show was remarkable and the presence of the actors mesmerizing. Watching television then was indeed like being at the theater.
I grew up with this, more than just from watching. My mother was an actress. She was on television and in many plays with the actors on the photograph. It is only recently that I see how distinctly growing up backstage, and with this crowd, has influenced me.
For now, I must assemble the dolls, sew in their faces and begin dressing them. Thanks for stopping by.