Wednesday Workshop: Guatemalan Worry Dolls

11.22.2013 | Fine Arts

Every Wednesday night from 7-9 p.m. Art Street hosts free workshops taught by local artists, faculty, and students. This past Wednesday's workshop was on Guatemalan worry doll making. Local artist and sculpturist Leesa Haapapuro, who is a frequent Art Street visitor, taught the workshop. Leesa had an exhibit here at UD in the Art Street Gallery last November where she displayed hundreds of worry dolls she made herself when she was experiencing a form of worry. After the exhibit was dismantled, it was displayed at a local yoga studio, and eventually all of the dolls were donated to an orphanage. The workshop started off with Leesa explaining that through the worry dolls making one may experience a Zen feeling. We all wrote down a worry we have in our life right now. A worry could be something current, like a major test or paper, or something long term that is on your mind. After writing down our worries we used the paper to mold our dolls head. This is symbolic for crushing that worry and starting to relieve some of that stress. Using yarn, fabric, and tissue paper we began to bulk up our dolls. The beautiful colors from the yarn and string woven together made for a piece of art with many emotions. With each loop I made I let go of some part of my worry. While all of us were wrapping, Leesa taught us some of the history to these dolls. They date back to Mayan times and were used to soothe fears and worries. She compared these dolls as mythical-like figures, similar to the tooth fairy. A child may wish to rid a fear by praying or talking to the doll before bed and placing the dolls under the child’s pillow while they sleep. Worry dolls are fun and easy to make. With the holidays coming up, they would make great gifts to give to friends and family!

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