Doll-Making from the Inside Out


With Erika Cleveland

- Saturday, October 18 & Saturday, October 25, 10am-3pm

Doll-Making Workshop

“Life is nothing until you make something of it…when one is right inside the work…it’s very stimulating and exciting, because that’s when you bring things closest to the nervous system.”

These are the words of Francis Bacon, once named Britain’s greatest living artist, whose paintings depict emotions of deep intensity.

It is easy to go about our lives and not notice the richness of what’s inside us, until something comes along, whether illness, a move, a job change, or just a nagging feeling that something in our life isn’t what it should be. That is when, almost without realizing it, we begin to tap into inner resources that we hadn’t known were available. We get inside the work of our own lives where it is possible to reimagine our perspective and take a closer look at who we are.

This workshop will give you an opportunity to immerse yourself inside the work of your own life using the medium of needle felting. Needle felting is wonderful for this purpose because it is accessible and physically soothing to engage in. With a short introduction to the technique, and demonstrations throughout, you will be surprised how quickly you can begin to feel a sense of mastery.

You will create a needle felted doll that represents your inner guardian. You will be supported in this process by journaling, brief guided meditations, and the chance to view dolls created by the facilitator.

The workshop unfolds gradually over a period of two sessions in order to allow you, within an intimate group, to contemplate, experiment with, and create your doll. Your doll will be a mirror, offering insights into your current life situation, and also a guide that you can take with you into your next steps.

No previous doll-making or art experience necessary, just a willingness to be open to whatever emerges. Materials will be provided. Please plan to bring a bag lunch.

Our programs are open to the community, and tailored to meet the needs of people affected by cancer. Classes and workshops are free or low cost on a pay-as-you-can basis, ensuring that our programs are accessible to everyone.

To register, please select the suggested cost option below, or call Kiersten Gallagher or Ali Decker at 202.483.8600 to pay a different amount of your choosing.

Your donation amount $


About Erika Cleveland

Erika Cleveland

Artist, writer, and healer, Erika Cleveland was trained as an art therapist at NYU. After working clinically for many years with children and adults in settings such as the International Center for the Disabled in NYC and Boston Children’s Hospital, she studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Her current focus is on the ways in which changes, big and small, cataclysmic and celebratory, force us to grow and reinvent ourselves. In addition to offering healing doll workshops, she makes commissioned healing dolls. Most recently she was juried into the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, VA where she makes and shows her dolls. When not at the Torpedo Factory, Erika can be found working in her tiny DC home studio. Or she might be hanging out with her husband, two kids (a teen and an almost-teen,) and her 100-pound bulldog who thinks he’s a lap dog.