Friday, April 20, 2007

YouTube Debut

Okay, it had to happen. I finally made my first video for YouTube guessed it "How to make a Voodoo Doll". Check it out:

Studio Voodoo was kind enough to allow me the use of their music. Please take a moment to comment and rate. I appreciate all feedback!



Thursday, April 12, 2007

Make your Own Voodoo Doll

The first thing to know about making your own Voodoo doll is that pretty much anything goes. Just like art in all of its forms, the art of voodoo doll making is subject to the whims of it's creator. So you want to learn how to make your own Voodoo doll New Orleans style? Well, you need to check out this link How to make a Voodoo Doll. I have been told it is the best available on the web, and from what I have seen, I tend to agree. :)

Here's another site that provides details about making a Voodoo doll, but from quite the different angle. In this article, Starfields tells of her process of making a Voodoo doll, poppet, as well as how to do a Voodoo chakra spell.

Voyage Into Voodoo

More later...


The Mystic Voodoo
Planet Voodoo

Photographing Voodoo Art Dolls

Aside from the issue of making quality art dolls, and in particlaur to this blog, quality Voodoo art dolls, there is the issue of presentation. Going into this art form already has its hurdles; yet to overcome these hurdles, one must attempt to capture the beauty and essence of these dolls as they appear in real life. They say a picture is worth a thousand words...well, not if you don't know how to take one!

One of the the things I consider when taking pictures of my Voodoo dolls is their presentation. Sometimes I will photograph them in a setting that is unique to their story or mythology, for lack of a better term. For example, in this picture is Orunla, the Voodoo God of Wisdom. He happens to like alligators so I photographed him with one to set the context and to provide interest. Other times, I will photograph them alone, as if it were a portait (see Ochosi on the right). Sometimes they look better with a print background, and other times, a solid one. There are numerous opinions about how to take the best picture, but I just go with what looks the best in the end. One thing, however, is the fact that it often takes numerous pictures just to get one or two that look as striking as is necessary to represent and sell the doll.

Check this resouce out for more information: Doll Photography Made Easy! A Comprehensive Guide To Photographing Dolls (or Anything Else) For EBay(R)!

Here is another resource for lovers of arts and crafts:
Arts and Crafts Mega-Zine Use Mixed Media, Papercrafts, Textiles, Polymer Clay, Jewelry Making And More As A Transformative Tool For Self-development And Creative Expression. Written By Arts Industry Experts.

That's all for now.


Voodoo Mama

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Art of Making Voodoo Dolls

At first mention, the words "voodoo dolls" conjure up images of ugly, scary looking things suitable only for sticking with pins, burying, or burning. Indeed, there probably isn't a more stereotypical image of Voodoo than that of a doll stuck with pins filled with evil intent towards an unsuspecting victim. Thanks to Hollywood and the media, Voodoo in all of it's forms (Haitian, African, New Orleans, Cuban, Brazilian, etc.), is publicly shrouded with a black veil of misunderstanding, ignorance, and fear. The core religious and spiritual aspect of Voodoo is portrayed as Satanic and evil, and the Voodoo doll is the consummate oppressive mascot.

As a Native born New Orleanian Voodoo artist, I have created this blog to provide a forum for discussing the art of Voodoo, and more specifically, the art of Voodoo doll making. Frankly, I am tired of seeing the prevailing image of the sinister Voodoo doll, and will provide a glimpse into another side of Voodoo; the incredible healing potential of Voodoo as a spiritual practice and avenue for creative artistic expression.

The use of Voodoo dolls, gris-gris, and mojo in hexes and curses in New Orleans reportedly peaked during the reign of the infamous Marie Laveau, the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans. The origin of the practice of sticking pins into dolls as a curse can be found in European poppets and West and Central African nkisi or bocios. It has been suggested that making Voodoo dolls and sticking them with pins was one way in which slaves exercised some form of control over their masters. The malevolent use of Voodoo dolls is considered a form of Bokor (Black) Voodoo that perpetuates the damaging stereotypes associated with Voodoo. Today, many practitioners of the Voodoo religion make a concerted effort to disassociate from the malevolent use of Voodoo dolls, and instead create and use them for positive purposes. Approximately 90% of the use of Voodoo dolls is centered on healing, finding true love, spiritual guidance, and as focusing tools in meditation. In New Orleans, Voodoo dolls are largely sold as souvenirs, curios, and novelty items.

I come from the Deep South, New Orleans to be exact, and so my Voodoo dolls are created in the traditional Voodoo doll fashion out of 2 sticks and a handfull of Spanish moss. I consider myself a conjure artist, whereby I summon a spirit to be created or I am summoned by a spirit to be created. The result is often a surprise, and the process of creating a Voodoo doll is a dynamic and magickal one.

To learn step by step how to make your very own Voodoo doll in the New Orleans conjure art tradition, visit my website The Mystic Voodoo.

More later...


Voodoo Mama