How to stick it to Madoff in Aspen: get a voodoo doll |

How to stick it to Madoff in Aspen: get a voodoo doll

Katie Redding
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
Katie Redding/The Aspen TimesOne of the Bernie Madoff dolls made by local artist Rosemary Ranck.

ASPEN ” After hearing that a friend had lost everything in Bernie Madoff’s alleged Ponzi scheme, local artist Rosemary Ranck made her a Madoff voodoo doll.

Then she wondered if there might be a wider audience for the dolls ” and promptly began producing more.

The hand-sewn, 7-inch dolls are now available to all in the likeness of the financier accused of bilking investors out of $50 billion. The dolls even come with their own voodoo pins.

“It’s kind of a statement to say “treat evil with voodoo evil dolls,” said Ranck, a Carbondale-area resident. “It’s supposed to be light and fun. You know, I’m not chopping chickens’ heads off anywhere.”

She has been advertising the $15 dolls in the classified section of The Aspen Times, and she plans to sell them in her booth at the Aspen Saturday Market this summer.

“Even though the summer market is a few months away I think he might still be in people’s minds,” she said. “It was kind of fun thing to do, a joke thing, but I would love to sell a few.”

Ranck acknowledged that she’s hardly the only person making Bernie Madoff dolls. A quick perusal of eBay shows everything from Smash-me-Bernie to a Bernie bobblehead, but Ranck’s appear to be the only locally made, handcrafted Bernies. It’s one of many things she’s making to sell these days, she said.

“I’m trying to make the best of the screwy financial situation going on,” Ranck said, explaining that her boyfriend, a fine woodworker, was recently laid off.

“He said it’s the first time in 30 years he can’t just make a few phone calls and have work the next day,” she said.

To make the dolls, Ranck transfers a printout of Madoff’s face to fabric. Then she sews the face, a shirt and a red or blue tie onto a 7-inch felt doll, and stuffs them with fiberfill.

So far, said Ranck, she hasn’t actually sold any of the dolls. But she noted the advertisement initially ran with the wrong phone number. And she speculated that Madoff victims may not be the types to search the classifieds.

“I think I will sell some at the market,” she said.

If the Madoff dolls do well, she might even test the market for custom voodoo dolls, she said ” for those who want to practice voodoo on all kinds of people. Given the economy, there could be a strong market in such dolls, she speculated.

Then again, that might just be too much negative energy.

“One little Bernie doll might do the trick for the moment,” she said.

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