Weird doll day.

Yesterday, after a long trip out of town to
one of our favorite clients, we decided to have lunch in Market!Market!. Kayen
felt she had to put horse blinders on all of us because we kept straying into
one purveyor of kitsch after another. For some reason, we kept getting attracted
to un-doll dolls. My first purchase was a black stuffed thing, with two
handstitched x’s for eyes. Derrick scored a Mr. Bean teddy bear. Joey got a cat
complete with tiny fish on nylon. Then I bought Squish for Lucien. There’s Luc
and Squish hamming it up for the camera. Squish has little patches of Lucien
drool all over his sewn-shut mouth.

“Dolls have always been a part
of human culture, in many forms and in many places. Ancient cultures often used
dolls in sacrifices and rituals designed to ensure the fertility of crops or
even protection from illness or war, many cultures, both ancient and modern,
regard certain dolls as the repository or temporary resting place of spiritual

While the
commercial production of kokeshi is fairly recent, the form of the kokeshi doll
is ancient. It is a very simple form, minimal and abstract. The consensus has
always been though, the more abstract the doll, the more complex the emotion
that attaches to them; and as everyone has experienced, the more self-conscious,
precious and expensive the doll, the less fun they are to play with. The kokeshi
doll, with its simplified curves and understated form, looks as if bound,
wrapped or confined, emotions not altogether unfamiliar to those of one’s human