January 2015 Featured Fellow Artist
We are a Mother-Daughter team from B.C. Canada. There is something magical about co-creating our spirit dolls and walking together on this amazing journey.
The name of your business is both memorable and evocative is there a story behind that name?
Our name was inspired by my Medicine name, which includes Alder. Valerie’s favorite tree is the Birch tree so we combined these two elements to form our name and Alder & Birch was born.
I have always been interested in Earth-Based Spirituality and Natural Medicine. A few very synchronistic events happened in my life about 6 years ago, which led me to Angela Prider from Westcoast Shamanic. I resonated deeply with her work and decided to take her "White Bone Shamanic Arts Apprenticeship". This Shamanic path has been life-changing for me and is now a part of every aspect of my life including the creation of my Spirit dolls.
My mom enjoyed learning about and witnessing the spiritual deepening, healing and creativity that came from me walking the shamanic path. It was natural for her to step upon the Shamanic path as well.
"The shaman is a self-realized person.
She discovers the ways of Spirit through her inner awakening."
--- Alberto Villoldo
My Shamanic path has a big art component and once I started creating art from an intentional soul place, in 2009, I couldn't stop. It was very therapeutic for me, a way to express myself and to connect to something greater.
In our Shamanic Apprenticeship we studied, Woman Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes and I remember resonating deeply when she talked about dolls. I found a few Spirit dolls on Etsy and I was completely inspired to make a Spirit doll for myself one day.
In the summer of 2012, my family and I moved to Squamish B.C. where we would go for walks along the ocean. The beach was filled with driftwood and I remember thinking that I must do something with these beautiful wood spirits.
One day after we spent time collecting driftwood at the beach I was in a craft store and saw the most beautiful wool and a type of modeling clay that dries without firing. I knew, in that moment, that I was being guided to create my own Spirit doll, combining driftwood, clay and other natural materials.
My mom was coming for a visit the next day so I thought it would be something fun we could do together. We not only had a great time but we were so inspired and ignited with creativity that we haven’t stopped making them since!
We both enjoy the whole process from treasure-hunting for materials to being in the flow of creation, admiring each others' creations and finding out whom the Spirit Dolls belong to.
We both enjoy creating other sacred spiritual tools like rattles, smudge wands and drums. My mom has been an artist her whole life so she enjoys painting, as well as, gardening, spending time with her grandchildren and walking her Shamanic Path. My 3-year old, Maya, keeps me really busy. I am also a Shamanic Practitioner specializing in Conception, Pregnancy, Birth, Postpartum and Pregnancy Loss.
Thank you so much for your time and sharing your creations with the world.
Discover more of Alder & Birch Spirit Dolls here and on their Pinterest Board!