This month during my computer-off retreat I felt the itch to add to my birth art journey collection. I haven’t made a new addition to it since Alaina’s dental work in September. Since she is so very interested in rituals and likes participating in women’s circles and wearing my special jewelry and setting up altars (this month two words added to her vocabulary were “altar” and “sacred bundle.” Adorable!), I created a mamapriestess sculpture as the next in my series:
It felt perfect to me, which was great, because I’ve been experimenting with (single) priestess sculptures since my priestess ordination in July and I had a lot of bum starts like this unfortunate try:
Couldn’t figure out yet HOW to do a standing figure after so many creations of seated figures. This one quickly ended up in my closet as did this one:
Not only not very attractive and leaning over, but ended up with burned hands and a broken skirt piece too!)
My next attempt was this one:
Ah! Getting better! Then, this one:
I created a mini version of her intending to include it in a “sacred bundle” at a festival, but I didn’t end up using her for that after all:
Larger priestess and mini priestess and tooth decay sadness mama sculptures.
I became enraptured with the tiny priestesses though and made this one also, who is still one my favorite sculptures (I call her the Womb of Creation):
Each figure in what I think of as my original birth art series has a special meaning to me. It is a 3-D journal of my life with my daughter. Each figure either had a message for me or was created to express a message or a lesson or to incorporate some aspect of my identity or to capture a memory. Here was the full series this summer:
After making the newest mamapriestess to add to the birth art journey series, I was on a roll and I created this version which I like even better:
And, I made a mini-mamapriestess as well:
Then, I started making other mini mamas and their babies:
And, I made a custom sculpture for Journey of Young Women:
Before mailing, I included her figures in a little grouping of minis on the altar for our women’s circle ritual this month:
The same week that my picture of my first custom sculpture order taken on my kitchen counter in front of a humble cake pan lid took off on Facebook (seriously, it had around 250 likes and over 130 shares, which is pretty close to “viral” in terms of birth art I think ), I also had two photos entered in a Goddess art contest in which this one won a prize…These figures are very near and dear to my heart and really represent my own journey through pregnancy, birth, and motherhood is a way that feels very meaningful to me, so I appreciated the feedback from the contest hostess on the photo also:
I love this one, Molly. It’s so perfect in its simplicity. The cast of shadows from the bright sunshine is lovely! The detail and uniqueness of each of the Goddesses Gathered is amazing! I find myself looking at each one wondering which is me! Such a special little altar for the Goddess. I can imagine myself focusing all my prayers in the center…. knowing that they will either slip through the crevice as dream seeds planted in the richness of the dark unknown, or being lifted upward to be gathered by the air, the wind and the very spirit of life and infinite possibility. Thank you for sharing. Blessings.
And this photo was a runner-up in the art contest
The “famous” cake pan lid photo!
In new experiments this week, I tried making some very tiny sculptures to use as pendants, with one continuing the “mamapriestess” motif…
Even tinier than that are these two I just finished late last night:
And, if I do say so myself, I made a pretty cool sculpture using a rock I found in the woods:
And, since my mamapriestess sculpture was about her in the first place, at her insistence, I gave the first little mini-mini mamapriestess to Alaina to wear as a necklace:
Finally, lest anyone think all I do is waltz through the forest photographing my art in the sunshine and feeling all Goddess-esque and Earth-mama divine, this is really what is sometimes like behind the scenes:
Crabby and wanting to go back inside (note my hand holding her back from stepping on me).
Scratchy knocking-stuff-down cat and toddler with pig ball “helping” me set up my little sculptures!
She also is very, very, very eager to help me put the pigment on (note the table and her arm!)
While this birth art journey has very much been intertwined with my pregnancy-after-loss journey, my preparation for birth, incorporating the lessons of birth, and expressing the phases and feelings of life with my new baby-turned-bigger-baby-turned-toddler as well as my life as a woman, I realized that it was high time I add another figure to my series that includes all of my kids!
They’re all bigger than this in proportion to me, obviously, but these aren’t meant to be perfect representations (I also don’t just have a smooth, faceless head!)
I also finished a bunch more sculptures late last night (my oldest said they look like a rainbow ):
“In giving birth to our babies, we may find that we give birth to new possibilities within ourselves.”