Creating a Menehune doll transfers me into a doll life of my own. Sewing the body, dressing it, the intricate art of embroidering the face, with every meticulous stitch, every step of the way, the doll grows and takes on a life of its own.
I usually start with a clear image of the doll I want to create: its gender, the clothes, accessories, and sometimes even its name and part of its story. The flow of possibilities and creative ideas is endless. Sewing the body, stuffing it, embroidering the face, every step of the way, the doll grows and takes on a life of its own. It is almost as if the doll is dictating who he or she wants to become.
Sometimes my original plan of the design don’t seem to apply at all anymore. But I follow these inspirations because now I have entered the place of true doll making, where a deeper part of me takes over communicating with the developing spirit of the doll.
I have reached my inner place of stillness, inspiration, and guidance where I find and lose myself at the same time. It enhances my ability to communicate ideas and feelings in ways where words fail. At this point I know that my new doll has a soul and a personality.
Through my Menehune Dolls I always try to capture the ancient, magical spirit of Hawaii where I have lived for the past 34 years. Hawaiians are deeply in touch with their creative and intuitive nature. They live in harmony with creation.
The wisdom of Hawaiian culture and spirituality inspires me. I do a lot of research to integrate Hawaiian traditions and symbols into my dolls and their stories which has further increased my deep love and respect for all that is Hawaii. Hawaiian tradition emphasizes Mana or spiritual energy which is expressed in philosophies, symbolism, and culture.