Therapy Puppets: An Art project

Traumatized Tiffany
Although all the puppets/dolls are handmade, and each takes four hours to complete from start to finish, Tiffany is the only one that is clearly in trouble. She has a black eye and is screaming in pain or outrage or something…She is also the only doll that I decided to leave unreinforced, though I may change my mind after I finish the others. For now, though, I have left her in the simple form, frail and fragile, utterly vulnerable…though for all that, it is only an illusion. These doll puppets aren’t easily breakable. You would have a harder time than you think, trying to tear the heads off.
Beatnik Bob- therapy puppet/doll from 4-6 inches high, like the others.
Therapy Puppet, Bob is completely handmade with a pliable bending body and an exquisite, handmade clay head with hair of embroidery thread.
 Beatnik Bobby, another view
Beatnik Bobby completely handmade with a pliable bending body and an exquisite, handmade clay head with hair of embroidery thread.
JailHouse Jummy
Jimmy is also completely handmade with a pliable bending body and an exquisite, handmade clay head with hair of embroidery thread. I have him fighting his way out of a jail made from a bingo counter bin. (Knew that would come in handy one day!)
Baseball Willy
I call this one BaseBall Willy only because of his cap, but he could be doing anything in his whites. You figure it out for yourself, because that is the point! Willy is also completely handmade with a pliable bending body and instead of hair, he sports a clay baseball cap.
TigerWoman
What else could I call her in such get up? I see this one as confident, even too confident…that’s the story I give her. What do you see in her? completely Like all the others she is handmade with a pliable bending body and an exquisite, handcrafted clay head with hair of embroidery thread.
What do you see in her?
She looks haunted but strolls the avenue like she owns it nonetheless…Or not? Tigerwoman is completely handmade with a pliable bending body and an exquisite, handcrafted clay head with hair of embroidery thread.
A Band of Beatniks
Cute, no? A Band of Beatnik therapy puppets, all handmade, each one takes about four ours to make, from start to finish. even each drum takes at least two hours to make.
Miss Whatsit
Although I did make this figurine female, as opposed to the more clearly male one, that is the only characteristic I gave her. Otherwise, she is supposed to be “blank.”
Female and Male Whatsits
The female has pink lips and the male has brown lips…Otherwise there is little difference. Skin tone is neutral and no race is specified.
He whatsit
Brown lips but neutral skin color, and no noticeable emotions or characteristics. completely handmade with a pliable bending body and a clay head, with recognizable but blank features.
Leather Drum
The drum was made from a piece of a roll that came inside a tube of plastic wrap. I cut off about an inch. Then I cut apart a used leather pocket book I bought at a thrift store and with a piece glued a small piece around the once inch round. Then I tucked the flaps inside on both ends. Finally I sewed a round piece with a running stitch, using a sewing awl, and after I attached it with glue to one side of the drum, pulled the black cord together like a drawstring. I glued a tiny bead to either cord end and voila, a drum for the beatniks to play.

 

 

I have created these small creatures, every one of them individually handmade, for use by therapists in counseling. They range from about 4 inches to about 6 or 7 inches high. I started with Beatnik Bob, just for fun, but when I actually found myself comforting the little green girl-like figure with the black eye, which I call for shorthand, Traumatized Tiffany, it was a revelation. It is hard not to want to play with them, in fact. That is what friends tell me when they see them. Weird, because we are all way way too old for dolls and playing with toys, and yet these figurines seem to elicit something in us that made me think therapists could use them in their work.

 

If any therapists or psychiatrists out there are interested in obtaining some of these creatures, please contact me to discuss fees and shipping. I can make them to specification sort of, but after that, each piece is unique and cannot be replicated. Let me know if you prefer characters or the hairless, non-specific Whatsit figures.

 

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