I am asked this question quite often at art and craft shows, as figurines like these stand in dignified silence in their place in my art display. I don’t really have a quick answer and I’m happy with that – I just like to make these figures. I have made tall and thin versions, medium sized ones of all body shapes, and I have recently been making ones that are short and fat. As I said, I like to make them.
But people want answers to their questions. So I give the question back to them and ask, “Well, what do you think?” Then the viewer will usually take a harder look and come up with an idea. They take my work seriously and give a respectful answer. I am surprised by that, as after many years of doing shows, I have found this is not always the case!
What do they say? Mother Nature. Ancient goddesses (South American, Egyptian, Sumerian…). Helpers. Guardians. A strong-willed woman to remind me to be firm and calm at work (several people have told me they intend to put the figurine on their desks). A figure to focus my thoughts in a meditation practice. I remember selling one to a blind lady who liked the shape of the figure’s body and face as she held it in her hands.
I have given figurines to friends and acquaintances to show my sympathy for something difficult they may be facing, such as recovery from illness – and I have given them to celebrate reaching a goal, such as graduating from college. When I make them, I remind myself that I can’t tell what role they might play, but I always mean it to be one of giving something to the viewer – enjoyment, a reminder of support, or just something interesting to look at. I always try to send good thoughts along with each one.
Plus, I just like to make them.