Saturday, September 8, 2007

Ju Ju Guardian Charm Doll

In my never-ending quest to remain original and innovative within the realms of tradition, I decided to break free from the usual creation of Voodoo dolls with Spanish moss and sticks. This time, I used red raffia.

I often get emails from people asking "Do I have to use Spanish moss?" and "Where can I find it?" While I have made countless Voodoo dolls out of materials other than Spanish moss, I usually try to incorporate the moss as a sort of trademark. The use of Spanish moss is a decidedly New Orleans thing, and is a perfect example of how you make Voodoo dolls out of what is readily at hand. In New Orleans and Louisiana in general, Spanish moss is part of the natural world. It can be found in parks in the big oak trees and along the bayous in the cypress trees. It is plentiful, a little creepy when applied to doll making, and perfect for making the powerful Voodoo hoodoo dolls that are uniquely New Orleans.

This guy is a ju ju guardian charm doll. A ju ju is an object that is used to keep evil and negativity at bay. Ju ju guardian dolls are typically placed somewhere in the front of the home or by an entrance. I adorn my ju ju guardian dolls with a number of charms; hence, the title, Ju Ju Guardian Charm Doll.

You never used to see this style of doll outside of New Orleans, but now you can find people making them that are from anywhere. It is apparent that many of my creations are influencing others; this is evident in their titles and appearance (you know who you are). They say imitation is the sincerest from of flattery. I agree and love that my art can inspire others. That is what art is about, after all. To create an emotional response in others, to move people to think differently about the world. However, I actually ran across someone who copied one of my entire lenses at Squidoo and pasted it - pictures and all - into her blog. Without giving me any kind of credit, mind you. That is what is irritating. It took me hours to create that tutorial, the content is mine under Federal Copyright laws. So, if you plan to use any of my material, including the names of my dolls, please give me credit. I always give credit where credit is due. It would be nice (and legal) if others did the same.

Okay, that was my rant for the morning. Now feast your eyes on my wonderful new creation, made out of raffia, feathers, beads, fancy yarns, charms, and polymer clay. He has bright red lips and a crystal on his forehead, which is one of my trademarks. He is quite the gay fellow, isn't he?

To purchase one of my ju ju guardian charm dolls, head on over to the Mystic Voodoo, where art, psychology, and mythology collide!

1 comment:

Susanne Iles said...

Your blog is inspirational! I am subscribing to it...thank you for sharing your creative gifts with the world.