April 8, 2011
See many more photos and Haiku at Rebecca's recuerda mi corazon blog.
Woven sinew web
Catching our dreams in mid air
Let the good times roll
I haven’t been making Dream Catchers for very long. I certainly have seen them around, but didn’t watch someone, ask questions, take an interest and come up with any ideas for making them myself until 2005.
Many gift shops sell Dream Catchers. Many I have seen are made in China. Just like anything else, Native American folk art is copied, mass produced and sold in tourist traps and vended by hawkers at fairs and functions throughout the land. Some indigenous people feel violated when their traditions are copied.
When I make a Dream Catcher, I don’t want to buy brass or metal hoops at WalMart. I don’t want to use fake feathers or synthetic leather in the decoration of it. I won’t use plastic beads. I will tell you that I do use a synthetic waxed sinew in the webbing, but the rest of the materials come from nature.
My idea is that life is a cycle. I even named my blog after this concept. I totally believe in the circle of life, what goes around comes around and the roundness of the Sun, Moon and Stars, but life, as it is lived, is anything but symmetrical. It’s full if ups and downs, happiness, sadness and yin and yang. That makes me believe that a circle is not perfectly round, but it does come back to itself at some point.
So, I use wood that is bent or twisted and form a shape that mimics life. No two are exactly alike and they are not a perfect circle. I find wood for my hoops in the woods, along the side of a road or a path and from recycled crafts in second hand stores.
Bringing the enclosure back unto itself makes it for me. I weave between the enclosure and what the finished product comes out as is similar to an individuals life. It is what it is.
The decorations I use are influenced by Native American folk art. Leather straps, feathers, glass, stone and wood beads. Everything as natural as I can find for the most part.
The haiku hits on the meaning of the Dream Catcher. To catch the bad, evil or harmful spirits that come to you in your dreams in the webbing, similar to how a spider catches a wandering insect. The small hole in the center allows the passage of the good, friendly or peaceful spirits to the holder, but is guarded by the stone or bead selected as the guardian and sits at the edge of this center hole on all that I make.
There is a lot of personal spirituality involved for me. It need not mean anything to whoever buys or recieves my piece of art. If the recipient wants to know or has a need to know, I will tell them, explaining what, why and wherefor I used this or that.
I have had a Dream Catcher in the room where I sleep for over 25 years. Occasionally, I still have a bad dream. That’s when I take mine down off the ceiling and shake it out. I brush aside the cobweds of real spiders that have festooned themselves on my web. I might place it in another spot.
The haiku suggests a good night's sleep as well as a happy ending if the Dream Catcher is put to good use.
For more information about how, why and what I do, please e-mail. I will be happy to explain further or custom design one for you.