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In The Healing Doll Way Barb shares stories and images from her transformative experience becoming a healing doll artist, as well as those of many of her students and peers. The book also guides you through the process of making healing dolls for yourself. The act of making a doll can take you through a process of imagination, healing, and growth. You do not need to be an expert at dollmaking—or artmaking, for that matter—to experience the healing power of this kind of work. This dollmaking process invites and encourages readers to explore a range of perceptions and emotions, and in doing so reach a deeper level of understanding and acceptance of themselves.
Reading “The Healing Doll Way” was like walking into a familiar room, I knew and loved so many of the guests. Thank you for taking the doll form into a new light and doing it with such enthusiasm and grace. The colorful illustrations make my heart happy.
Elinor Peace Bailey, Author
Mother Plays With Dolls
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A trove of images, exercises, insights, and stories, Barb Kobe's The Healing Doll Way is the distillation of wisdom gained from a lifetime of creating art for healing and growth. Her book empowers readers to begin their own doll-making journeys.
Kay Porterfield, M.A. Author, Educator, Artist
The Healing Doll Way is a treasure. The illustrations alone are beautiful and inspiring. But Barb’s offering is beyond the visual. I’ve been blessed to have Barb mentor me through the healing process detailed in this book. If you’re seeking to explore your inner terrain, to gain insight or to transform some part of your life, look no further. Dive into these pages and let Barb’s gentle and enlightening guidance lead you forward.
Anne R. Heck, Author of Finding the Gift: A Memoir of Rape, Intention and Miracles
If I purchased Barb Kobe's book, The Healing Doll Way, only to immerse myself in the beautiful and soulful imagery of her dolls, that would be enough. For they are beautiful, beautiful and mysterious in a way that touches one's heart, stills one's breath for a moment and invites one to mindfulness. Each colorful page opens to reveal yet another doll nudging the viewer to interpret its symbolism or wonder at the detail of its surface design. Stunning. Yet there is more to this book, and Barb's life work, than beauty. There are the stories.
First there is the story that Barb tells about her own determined journey to health and well-being through the making of art, specifically, for her, through the artful process of making dolls. But not just any dolls. These dolls are healing dolls made through a process that leads to self-revelation and discovery. They reflect her questions, reveal her secrets and encourage her celebrations. She openly shares those stories with us, the readers. As she tells her story, it's evident that she did the work, put in the 10,000-plus hours to become an expert, to find her voice. Then she wondered about teaching this process to others, which she did, and does. Once again she put in 10,000-plus hours to become an expert at teaching the healing doll process. The result? More stories! Vulnerable stories. Captivating stories. Authentic stories. Powerful stories. Healing stories. As I read I became immersed in that world, heard myself reflected in the stories that were shared, and ended up feeling less alone in the world and more in touch with myself, as well.
Just reading this book invites one to introspection and opens one to identify with the revelations that come through the healing doll process. But what about actually doing the work and taking the journey oneself? Barb suggests, well, she actually comes right out and says it, that one has to do the work. Do the work oneself. This book is an amply illustrated workbook to encourage the reader to do just that. Each section is complete with suggested exercises and questions that mirror the experience of being in an in-person class. There are prompts for journal writings, a resource list and an extensive bibliography of books related to the healing arts. Plus all of those photographs and stories bring that whole community of healing art doll makers to sit at the table beside you.
A pleasure. And so fun to get to read an advance version. I was impressed! I knew that you knew a lot but I didn’t quite grasp the depth and the connections and the amount of work that you’ve done. I knew, but yet I didn’t. Whew.
Storyclay Teller, Retreat Facilitator, Wee Folk Creations Product Designer and Author, including the book How To Make Clay Characters
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