Debra Redden, Enchanting Corn Shucks
Third generation corn shuck artist.
Corn shuck doll and flower making has been a part of my life since childhood. I would sit in my maternal grandmother's workroom while she created corn shuck dolls, and my first steps were taken among my grandmother's corn shucks.
I created my first corn shuck doll when I was around six years old under the instruction and guidance of my grandmother. As I grew older the love of corn shucks stuck, however life took me in a different direction for many years. During those years I continued to make dolls as gifts for others and just for the pleasure of working with the shucks.
My love for corn shucks has only gotten stronger throughout the years. With the death of my grandmother in 2018, I stopped creating until the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. It was during this time that the shucks began “calling" me back. I needed an outlet or an escape from everything that was going on. So I went back to my roots, my first love — corn shucks.
Now I am on this journey to keep the art of corn shuck dolls alive while honoring my grandmother's memory.
I have been asked where I find my inspiration more times than I can count. Shucking a fresh ear of corn will cause images to dance in my head of what I can create from the shuck. I get excited to see what color the corn silk (tassels) will be once dried. There are times when I dream of a doll that I haven't created yet and must get up and make that doll before I am able to sleep again. Creating corn shuck dolls is in my blood; it's my roots and part of my entire being.
My corn shuck dolls and flowers can be found online at enchantingcornshucks.com or on my Facebook page. I have also had the opportunity for my dolls and flowers to be placed in the following shops: the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, The Artisan Shop in Stearns, the McCreary County Mountain Craft Center, Pottery by Meg, and Kentucky Creative in Corbin.
In addition to being in Kentucky Crafted, I am an exhibiting member of the Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen and Sheltowee Artisans Guild.