Thursday, May 18, 2006

Creative Obsessions

It started on Monday. I got out my box of jewerly-making supplies and allowed myself to spend time and energy on being creative. It has been an entire year since the last time I did an art project or made some jewelry or colored a picture. (Okay, I've been knitting, but that is my airplane passtime so it doesn't really count.)

This lack of creativity in my life is more than absurd, it's unsustainable. There's something about creating with my hands that melts away my stress, that allows me to be free and juicy with my ideas. I don't know how I went an ENTIRE YEAR without doing any art!!!

It's safe to say, however, that I've made up for lost time. As of Monday afternoon I've logged a good 50 hours at the crafts table and have created 14 necklaces, 12 pairs of earrings, and a bracelet. They are all beautiful and I am a bit obsessed with staring at my jewelry as its laid out on the table. Every time I pass the living room on my way to the bathroom or to the kitchen for a cup of water, I am compelled totake a detour and admire my creations. I am very proud of myself!

Here are some photos of my work:

This is a close-up of a long necklace I made using turquoise, shells, and purple beads. It can wrap twice or three times around the neck. I hand-made the clasp out of wire and am especially proud that a lack of materials didn't hinder my jewelry-making efforts.

This necklace and earrings set was made using seeds from a belt I bought in the Amazon that burst apart last year, and some round beads made of ivory and wood.

Here is a long necklace made with hishi-style seeds, purple iridescent beads, and large round wooden beads. It is one of my favorites.

This necklace is made out of seeds from the busted belt, shells, and a lovely curved shell pendant I attached with wire.

This is a treasure necklace inspired by New Mexico, crafted from turquoise, handmade one-of-a-kind glass beads made by me, and the spare bits of a necklace of my mom's that broke apart.


For some reason blogger won't let me upload any more photos. Very frustrating, especially since I've yet to show off my favorite creations. Because of the lack of beads and beading supplies here, I've gotten super resourceful with wire. Necessity really is the mother of invention; my most beautiful jewelry I would have never created had I not run out of hooks and clasps and beads. Hopefully I will be able to post some photos tomorrow.


In other news, I just got back from a dance class with my friend Nana. I was the only foreigner and the only white girl in the class. Today we learned some African dancing and some contemporary coreography. It was both aerobically and intellectually challenging to actually do the moves properly and then remember in which order I was supposed to do which one. I must say though, for someone who didn't grow up dancing these dances and listening to this type of music, I held my own pretty well. I just kept going back to the Nia principles of grounding my energy, moving authentically, and remembering that my body is a synergetic, connected system.

I have signed up for a month of classes - Mondays are belly dancing and samba, Wednesdays are salsa, merengue and an African dance whose name I don't remember, and Fridays are contemporary/modern dance and another African dance whose name I don't remember. I am looking forward to becoming more comfortable with the new steps I'm learning, and to possibly making some new friends. There is something about dancing together that makes it easier to build community. Who knows, after a while this might even be a good space for me to introduce Nia...


Safiya Outlines said...

The jewellery is lovely! You are so talented. I liked the New Mexico inspired piece best.

paris parfait said...

Love the jewelery! Like Safiya, I like the NM one best - but then I like just about anything to do with Santa Fe! Good for you for jump-starting your creativity again! And the dance classes sound like fun, as well as good exercise. Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous jewelry!!

Alina said...

Ali, the jewlery you've made is really amazing. Beautiful and colorful, really loved it! Hope you will post more pictures soon.

As for the dance classes, I really would like to do something similar soon. :) Have a nice weekend!