“Tiny Objects of the Dream” Workshop

(International Association for the Study of Dreams Conference)

On June 8, I led an art-making workshop called “Tiny Objects of the Dream” in Virginia, at the IASD conference at Virginia Beach.

I asked participants to reflect on a dream, and select one or two central images. Then they made tiny 3-D tiny “seed objects” to represent the image–from wood bits, beads, wire, paper, and hot glue.


“I absolutely loved it! ” Njeri Damali Campbell (see her blog at: Random Journal Entries While Traveling)

The  “seed” objects don’t have to look realistic, but they should show the essential elements of the image from the dream.    Next, you tell the dream to a partner, using your objects.  The partner responds with observations on the object and a question.   The final step is to make a new object in response.

People created a wide array of “tiny objects”–from a little figure with wings, to the  disheveled floorplan of a house, to a series of small flames in a row, to an abstract pattern, to a full-scale wearable necklace of tiny objects.


After creating the objects, retelling the dream and making a response object, I ask participants to reflect on the final image and their creative process in writing:

What draws your attention now?   

What does the object or image want or need?  

 What did you discover in this process?

The results are sometimes surprising and unexpectedly powerful.


“I love my tiny things.  They are so representative of my entire
transformation at IASD. 
“ Paula Lichter


I continued (my) dream with creating 3 more small fires ending with the crown Chakra at the top…. I thought I picked up a purple (bead) to match the rest but when I went to glue it, I realized it was brown. So, what hit me was that it is very important for me to accept my “imperfections” on my journey through life and not to let my mistakes stop me from moving forward. (I like that the finished product looks like an arrow ) I also like having the brown bead in the mix. To me it represents bringing spirituality down to earth.”  Bonnie Mitsch

I think of these tiny objects as talismans or touchstones–small and often simple, they offer a 3-D “living” link back to the dream; that can help make the dream image vivid and alive in daily life.  And for many of us, the process of making them offers insights into the nature of the dream from an entirely new perspective

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