For the month of April, the Good Tern Coop Cafe Gallery is featuring Pillow Tree rag dolls created by Jessica Funston.

Funston started Pillow Tree based on the belief that art and craft enrich our lives, stimulate our minds and soothe our spirits. However, in this changing environment, humans are faced with the reality that many of the things we make are, at least technically, non-necessities.

With carbon dioxide being produced on the planet faster than plants and oceans can absorb it, humans have to really consider what we want, what we need and what can be done differently. This calls for some creative thinking. Recycling old ideas and making something new and exciting from what can at first seem like meager provisions was Funston’s starting point in creating Pillow Tree rag dolls.

Rag dolls are an especially old idea. One Roman rag doll, currently in residence at the British Museum, dates back to 300 B.C. Many new forms of rag doll are indeed made in factories and sold in wasteful packaging, but the original dolls were made and stuffed with scraps from used household fabrics.

Pillow Tree rag dolls are no different. They are made from secondhand fabrics, thereby not encouraging the corporate making of new material. The scraps of thread, yarn and fabric that result from the cutting process are reused as stuffing, which means that absolutely nothing goes into the landfill. The nature of using secondhand fabrics leads to each doll being utterly unique.

Funston creates her Pillow Tree rag dolls in Rockland; to see more, visit or look for her on Facebook.

The Good Tern Food Coop, located at 750 Main St., is open Mondays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to