August 31, 2016

Akoites and Melampos, part 1

A friend has commissioned me to make dolls of two Starry Bull heroes, Akoites and Melampos.

Akoites was the captain of the pirate ship that kidnapped the young Dionysos and planned to sell him as a slave. Akoites was the only one who thought this was a bad idea, because he sensed the god's divinity, but his mutinous sailors did it anyway. When Dionysos awoke, he trapped the ship in vines and turned all the sailors into dolphins -- except Akoites himself. Akoites later went on to serve as herald for Dionysos when he returned to his mother's home, Thebes, warning King Pentheus that Dionysos was a god and not to be trifled with.

Melampos came upon a nest of snakes as a young man, and, killing the adults, took two of the young ones and raised them by hand. They slept on his shoulders and cleaned out his ears with their tongues, giving him the power to understand the speech of birds, beast, even insects. He went on to be a great seer and had a number of adventures, including acquiring the cattle of Phylakos, a bride, and a lot of land -- which he gave to his brother. When the Argosian women were driven mad by Dionysos, it was Melampos who healed them by correctly divining the source of the god's anger and addressing it.

So. Both dolls will have the white-red-black thematic colors of the Starry Bull. Akoites will wear white, with a black tricorn pirate's hat (by request) and a red cape of cloak. His hair will be made from brown-black raw wool with sun-bleached tips. He will be accompanied by a dolphin, and possibly wear vines.

Melampos will have a darker face, braided silk-thread hair in black, and wear black, with a white-and-red cloak, one red and one white snake, and possibly a thyrsos.

Some pictures!

Wool and yarn, almost all of the materials for the dolls. Warping! I usually hate warping, but this time it felt good. I haven't touched this loom in months. And the weaving has begun!