If you’ve been following along at Little Cunning Plan you’ll remember that I’ve been working on some crafts that I’m hoping to sell through this website. I wanted something that I could enjoy doing, would be able to do on the boat if I wanted to, would be easy to ship, and would be attractive to cruisers; even something that I might trade for goods or services, or give to a host in another country. Most of the craft stuff I’ve done recently involves large batches of cement and hundreds of bottles of paint. That’s out, naturally. I had to come up with something different.
I’m not even going to try to explain how my mind works. It’s a mystery even to me. Suffice to say I came up with an idea that is rooted in the mythologies of many countries: the myths about goddesses that protect ocean voyages, fishermen, and sailors. The idea started off with mermaids, those universally loved beauties of the sea of The Little Mermaid fame, and evolved from there.
Using wool felt and the down time given me during the recent storm, I created a mermaid and called it good. The idea would work. Then I decided to play with fabric and other materials, combining them with the felted wool. ‘Personalities’ began to emerge in the dolls. When that happened, the real fun began. By ‘fun’ I mean the gathering of supplies, reading of books about techniques, practicing said techniques and making them my own, then getting fancy with all the stuff. Fun, to me, is challenging the limits of materials to see what I can do with them. I’m always challenging limits. Just ask Mike. (And any of my previous bosses, or even my mother.)
The result is only a beginning, but I’m liking the progress so far. I think the dolls just keep getting better as I refine techniques and become more experienced. I’m hoping that cruisers will be attracted to having a ‘boat goddess’ the same way we used to have kitchen ‘witches’ to watch over the cooking of our food.
Some will be made in the image of actual goddesses from mythology such as Mazu and Nehalennia, and Amphitrite. Even Isis, the Egyptian goddess, was the patron goddess of sailors. Others may be made as generic goddesses that will offer their protection if offered a name and place on a boat. Perhaps I might even make an ocean goddess that would match a boat’s name and ‘personality’, as described by the owners. For instance, I have a vision of a goddess for our new friends aboard S/V Emerald Lady. She’s all blues and greens with matching beaded accents and long, flowing fins to match the lines of the beautiful boat. She’s mature and elegant, with dark hair, not unlike the Empress from the tarot.
These are samples of what I’ve been working on. Obviously they are not ready for the alter of retail yet as I’m still working on technique and design. But I think I’m getting close and would like feedback from the readers we have. What do you like about them? What doesn’t work for you? Do you have any ideas that would expand or refine any aspect of the overall plan? If you are a cruiser, is this idea something that appeals to you? In terms of marketing, they’ll be available through this website, but likely will be linked to this one from other sites such as Etsy, Ebay, and Craigslist. Let me know what you think. And thanks for the input!