‘Spirit of the Autumn Oak’

Needle Felted art doll with oak inclusions, 2020/21

This needle felted doll was begun on an online course in the autumn of 2020 that was led by dollmaker Julia Inglis of Sacred Familiar.

Autumn Oak was inspired by observation of and connection with the large oak tree – estimated at a few hundred years old – that lives over the lane from our cottage.

She’s eleven inches high and took several weeks to bring to fruition. I had to learn to trust the process and not push too hard, taking a break of a few weeks while she remained as an unfinished work in progress.

Autumn Oak was completed recently when – between us, me and the doll – we agreed on her final form. I’ve heard other creatives speak in terms of the reciprocal relationship between themselves and their pieces but it’s something I only started to experience once I began to rewild my creativity in 2020.

It certainly happened with ‘Autumn Oak’; she dictated the pace, the length of the break between starting and finishing her, and the ultimate resolution of her appearance that came through once she was ready to be completed.

The twig that forms her arms and the acorn cups that adorn her were collected from beneath the oak tree that inspired her.