Co-published by The Erie Wire.
LAKEWOOD, OH – On a Halloween Honeymoon in Salem, MA, Samantha Meyers walked out of her hotel to shape her newfound career as a Victorian Sculptor. It was in a Salem museum that she learned about OOAK (“one of a kind” scultping guild) from a doll on display by Joyce Stahl, which led her to a larger group of doll makers. “I thought; I studied fashion, I studied sculpture and painting and needed an outlet… so when we got home the first thing I did was buy supplies to start making them.” Her company, Forlorn Dolls, started only months later and is now hosting pieces for sale on the Forlorn Etsy page.
Samantha’s Dolls reminded me most of the character Ayesha in H. Rider Haggard’s Victorian classic “She” — the irony of life all around, while breathing from a cold motionless stare; to be only an observer of mortality. Ayesha was a powerful woman, a pinnacle to the sought after “Ideal” female: a frightening motif of women in Victorian literature. Although, like the dolls, Ayesha’s alluring qualities were strictly of the body. The dolls have a kind of powerful stare and physical presence, something an ideal woman would posses in Victorian work. But, just as they are powerful there’s sadness in the air around them; a frozen sense of time, much like the repeated element of death throughout She — an element frozen within Ayesha.
This is the second installment to “Artisans of Lake Erie,” a series about working entrepreneurs that documents through video, audio and text the craft and culture of the artisan. (The first installment was published in December 2010, but has been re-scheduled for late February 2011.) You can read more about Samantha Meyers and Forlorn Dolls by visiting her website, forlorndolls.com/ — and participate in her doll naming challenge through facebook: facebook.com/forlorndolls.
Listen to podcast: eriewire.org/archives/9831/section/culture/
Music: wpq.altervista.org/ - Warhol Piano Quartet
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