Back from the Workshops

In my last post, I was very excited because I was leaving soon for 2 workshops with Dayle Doroshow, “Messengers and Storytellers” and “The Unfolding Pyramid”. Well, I am back and am happy to share with you that it was an absolutely amazing experience. I have spent the last 2 weeks processing and integrating my experience and the many things that I have learned and am still learning.

Dayle is a multi-talented, inspirational teacher who enthusiastically shares techniques and stories about her journeys and her creations. In both workshops, I felt like I was part of a tribe and Dayle was our “wise woman”, as we all gathered in a circle and leaned forward to listen closely to her teachings.

The first day we created our “Messengers and Storytellers”. I named my first creation “Queen Goldie”. She is a proud and regal queen who symbolizes the strength and courage of a woman. She wears a formal robe richly patterned with polymer clay canework, a bead and copper coil necklace and a gold crown atop her brown and black chenille and copper metallic yarn hairtwist. Very formal queenly attire which she wears with dignity and grace. However, if you look closely, you can see a hint of her playful side – a gold toe ring that she is wearing on her left foot – a reminder of the importance of making time for “play” amidst the responsibilities of our daily lives. She is free standing on top of a gold platform.


My second creation is named “Beady-Eyed Birtwistle”. His orange body is decorated with a variety of flower, leaf and jellyroll canes. He is holding a painted copper book in his heart area. The cover reads “True Beauty Lies Within” and the inside pages are painted in a delicate rainbow of watercolors and stamped with “Express your Inner Beauty, Create Art” and “Do What you Love and you will Blossom!” A few curvy beaded strands sprout from his otherwise bald head and a simple copper beaded necklace in the shape of a flower adorns his neck. Rather a homely guy at first look, he represents the beauty in our souls. He encourages us that if we are true to ourselves and follow our passions, our inner beauty will blossom forth as we create the story of our life.

As I made each doll, it brought me back to a time when I used to create my “Goddess Doll” pins. Based on my research into ancient Goddess mythology and teachings, each fabric Goddess body was lovingly beaded with the theme of a different Goddess archetype and came with a little story card about that particular Goddess and her qualities. Most of the pins have been sold or given away as gifts but I do still have a couple of my very first special creations.


As a child, I loved to read mythology stories, especially those of the Roman and Greek Goddesses and Gods. That interest was rekindled as an adult when I read “Women Who Run with the Wolves” by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. That led me to read books by Joseph Campbell and Marija Gimbutas. As I read more and more into this fascinating subject, I expressed my discoveries in creating my Goddess pins. My jewelry has since evolved into different areas but I find myself being drawn back to these themes of myth and Goddesses.

What types of stories and myths do you enjoy reading?

3 comments on “Back from the Workshops

  1. Amy says:

    Karen, it was great experiencing Dayle’s workshop with you. Dayle really touched a place on my creative side that is leading my work into an area that I’ve wanted to pursue for some time but always held back.

    I love the stories behind your art dolls. They really capture the essence of the dolls. The toe ring on Queen Goldie made me laugh. I also enjoyed seeing your beaded goddess pins. I look forward to seeing how you’ll combine your polymer and beading skills into new art dolls.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Sounds like you had a wonderful time, and it shows too! Dayle is very nurturing of creativity and a generous artist. She shared her polymer clay Creativity Cards with us at a PC retreat several years ago–what fun!

  3. artandtea says:

    Thanks Amy, it was great experiencing Dayle’s workshop with you, too! Like you, I felt that Dayle and her art dolls spoke to a special creative place inside of me and it is a wonderful place for me to revisit. I look forward to sharing and seeing more of your art dolls, too.

    Thanks Sarajane! Wow, polymer clay Creativity cards. They sound wonderful! Oh boy, more creative ideas… 🙂

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