(Ver 547-B para leer la versión en Castellano)
Iris Herrera de Milano
Today, I want to tell you about a very pleasant experience I had in the beginning of 2012 , when my husband Alfredo and I were looking for a craftsperson who could make two stuffed dolls for us based on the drawings he had made a few years ago.
Alfredo and I are retired. We used to live in Toronto and decided to move temporarily to a smaller and more affordable city (Santiago) in Dominican Republic.
We keep ourselves very busy writing short stories just for fun.
During the last 3 years, we have maintained a blog where we publish -among other things- the oral version of our short stories.
Alfredo drew two imaginary characters who "live" in an imaginary city named Gotiasan. Their names: Siri and Dofreal.
Siri, Dofreal, and Gotiasan are words created transposing the syllables of the names: Iris, Alfredo, and Santiago.
Since Alfredo made the drawings, we wanted to have them converted in “solid people”: softies.
I browsed on Internet and finally got information from a person (what a coincidence!) in Canada, who made stuffed dolls. After exchanging emails and insisting a little because the craftsperson preferred to make softies from little kids´drawings, she -Wendy Tsao- accepted to make the dolls for us.
When the dolls were almost ready, Wendy sent us pictures of them.... It was amazing! We could not believe the softies were so similar to Alfredo´s drawings.
... Wendy had given life to them!
She is a real artist and we were -and are- very thankful to her for making those beautiful and delicate softies for us.
Our daughter was also astonished by the exactness of a third softie Wendy made for us.
This third one gave life to a drawing of something like a "caw-horse" that our daughter -now with children of her own- had made when she was around 3 years old... Furthermore, our daughter did not know we have been keeping the drawing as a small treasure for all these years...
Wendy included the following entry in her own blog on April 7:
This was one of the rare commissions of adult drawings that I agreed to take on. Normally, I only work with children’s drawings, but there was something about these character sketches that resonated with me. Maybe it was the story that began to spin in my head as I looked at the drawings of Siri and Dofreal. The artist and his wife, an older couple, used to live in Toronto until one day, they packed up everything to go live on an island in the Caribbean. Maybe it was their story that resonated with me, one that made me believe that romance and adventure can still happen after retirement.
I believe that these dolls are meant to be playthings for their grandchild in Ontario, for acting out the adventures of Siri and Dofreal.