Fast forward a long time, to about the turn of the 21st century. One day as I was dancing around in my attic, where I had baskets holding some of the very materials I collected in the 1970s--shells, leather pouches, driftwood--I literally felt something re-awaken. I've referred to this as my "muse" waking up. I saw those materials that had stayed with me for decades and began to imagine them coming together as beings once again. I had new ideas about how to construct the figures, and I knew their new forms demanded a new name. I settled on (Las) Tierras, which I translate as Earth Beings. Many of the people who see them refer to them as dolls, but I don't relate to them that way. To me they are indeed still spirit figures, intermediaries, not mini-humans. They each have their own character, often emanating from their materials, but they embody energies from another realm. This does not make them unapproachable; like dolls, they are relatable. They are compelling, but not all equally serious--some are funnier than others. Some are forceful, some shy, some mysterious. Some can be disturbing, mostly because their materials remind people of decay and death.
Each Tierra has a story of its own genesis, of its materials and where they come from, and if I ask, each will tell me of its essence. I didn't name them at first, but eventually I had to, just to keep them straight in my mind and even be able to refer to them in my own record-keeping files. I don't always like to share these tiles, since I find if I let people encounter them without names, they relate to them differently; they resonate with them in a more personal way. (The figures can act as a kind of Rorshach experience--one sees what is on one's mind and in one's heart.) Here I am sharing images of some of the Tierras that have made their way into my life over the last 15 years or so, and offering some information on the materials. Perhaps in the future I will tell more of the process stories, and can certainly supply a name if it is requested.