for some time now I have been hooked on Ramen and the following is an extract of the hundreds of drawings that have Ramen as major inspiration and ‘raison d’être’
It was Ramen that led me to start drawing on the tablet, I mix analogical and digital drawing
I start with an ink drawing
and then I play with the tablet
or I play by drawing directly over photos, these two are drawn over a photo of a Cairo sunset
or I draw on the tablet creating elements I can arrange and rearrange in different ways
the drawing apps can give unprecedented possibilities but nevertheless the analogical drawing capacities are paramount for good results
my preferred jewelry medium in this moment is iron wire, I love the color the strength and its movement
Again I asked a friend, artist and photographer Piero Aricò to interpret these pieces in his way, and again it was a wonderful surprise.
he made strange creatures out of my necklaces
captured the movement and also the sensuality of these pieces
transformed them into abstract signs
air snakes or underwater plants
Thank you Piero for your eyes that show me new possibilities.
To share experiences is one of my aims in this period. I have been very unsteady with my blog in the last years. Months of silence and then some ‘nervous’ activity and then silence again.
This is a moment of ‘nervous’ activity. Why? I don’t really know, maybe because a lot of things are happening, life is changing new projects coming up and the blog helps me to keep track of what I am doing.
Shalateen, mysterious place is the title I gave to this post. If you look the place up it is a tiny dot on the map, Egypt almost 350 km south of Marsa Alam near to the Sudanese border.
a little Beduin village, maybe not that little at the end there is a quite big camel market and a bank and a little handcraft shop, lots of children, beautiful people, lots of goats and the 4 of us Lili, Piero, Dina, me plus Ibrahim giving a workshop on Makrame techniques in leather to the ladies of the village.
I know this photo does not look like work, it was shot on the day of our departure.
We taught but we also learned a lot, there is lots to learn from the ladies
They hold the strings with their beautifully designed feet, the henna designs they do is absolutely amazing
this is my hand, I could not stop looking at it,
we worked a lot, 9 days without break with classes of 14 to 19 ladies. It was tough but also wonderful and enormously enriching.
the classrooms were simple but we had everything we needed and the outcomes were quite good for all of us
the very particular goat leather the ladies prepare was surprising for us and the results with the Makrame very interesting
Piero our photographer was of immense help, but not always welcome by the ladies
and then there was Ibrahim our guide, without him nothing would have been possible.
Here I got him together with Piero, while the ladies were working Ibrahim and Piero went to the market to smoke Shisha, eat wonderful falafel and other goodies from the area, especially the incredible coffee they make. But these activities have not been documented- unfortunately
Some months ago I invited Martino Margheri a friend and wonderful photographer to shoot a series of photos in my studio. I wanted to document a certain state of mind and of things and to ‘freeze’ a moment for myself.
I wanted to see my studio and with it my work through the eyes of somebody else, what would be chosen, what would be enhanced, what would be left out…….
Isn’t work always about selection, or better living equals selecting, what does our brain decide to select of the innumerable inputs that arrive every second through our nerves.
Martino selected 40 shots from many more he took, I did not see the discarded ones and did not interfere in his selection. Now in this post I selected again the 20 photos I wanted to show. Are they the best ones -no they are the ones that in this given moment of time, I selected to go on the internet, and maybe some might be chosen by someone I don’t know and end up in another selection, selection, selection
they guide the visitors through the space, watching, listening, but at the end the visitor knows they don’t care
a room to really work, what is real work? hammers files, some little machine
books, computer, writing table, the window to lean out and observe the square below
and again ladies watching….
but also not
and drawings on the walls
Last February I held a Textile Techniques workshop in Cairo at DSAF, the Design studio Azza Fahmy.
It was a great experience. Students were very excited about this technique and my work
mostly girls, as usual, with some manicure problems. They had to work first with iron wire which is pretty hard and hurts fingers that are not used to it
but then once understood the technique and its potential, concentration was complete
Thanks to Lilian Mattuschka, my assistant and especially Piero Aricò who made the photos, the course was a success and students all happy at the end and able to take home pieces and new material and a new technique to further experience and use in their jewellery.
December means magic,
only for children ?
the month most craved for, more than July and August.
Christmas with all its surprises, the old ending the new beginning……………
Rituals so necessary to human life, traditions that go back much further than the birth of Christ.
The shortest day in the year, the winter solstice,
six months of contraction, six months of slow loss of light and then the change,
like a u-turn,
a new start is possible
we can forget the old and begin all over again, maybe.
feeling part of something bigger,
entering in the eyes of a child
the final contraction and the light of the ritual cleaning your soul
and then the new start,
a slow start not all the light at once
just some minutes a day
cold, fresh air,
hopefully snow falling, covering the loss and the gaps
Do to the other what you would like done for you.
All the best
Yes it took me more than three months to make a post about my own final presentation at the EKWC. It almost seems ages ago. I have been writing a lot on the Alchimia blog but I could not find the time to report about my own work. Good ? Bad ? I don’t know, it is hard to write about oneself and much easier to write about others. But now I decide that I just have to do it before……………… before its too late!
It was a breathtaking moment for me. My ladies on their blankets on the floor, my studio completely cleaned up. Everything taken away, drawings, textiles, tables ….I decided for a totally clean presentation.
It had been a hard decision, to leave all out and only show ladies and babies, but I needed to clean myself up after these three months of compulsory production.
It took me three days to decide the position of each lady, shifting them around, rearranging over and over again.
putting together the army of babies and letting go of the not strictly necessary
At the end I was happy and could say please come in and see….
a lot of friends came and made me really happy
What an emotion to see the reaction and try to answer all the questions
today when I think about these three months everything seems almost a dream, I can surely say that this period was one of the most beautiful of my life.
Dense and solitary, not always easy, often full of doubts, what am I doing here, am I really an artist, maybe I should stop it, maybe what I am doing is just ridiculous……
but at the end my final decision – yes, it is a great work, and I am an artist !
my mind following my hands – intuitive decisions – being able to give up to your hands – allowing yourself to be seriously not serious
spending three months in making thousands of babies and naked ladies
and lots and lots of friends!
A big thank you to all the staff who helped me to fullfill this obsession of mine………..
maybe lets hope I will be able to come back one day, obsessions need to be continued……
White or better “bluish” white : pillars, obelisks, piles, stacks, stanchions, balusters, poles, posts..
It is difficult to find the right word for Jieun’s amazing work, maybe ghosts could be also a good description because they appear suddenly and their presence is both strongly real but also fading into translucent white like a shadow of some alien presence.
Jieun tried and succeeded in a technically extremely difficult process, it was incredible to watch her determination to master and dominate material, process and form. At the end of her residency she almost worked round the clock every day to get her project to the end.When her last kiln was fired the whole EKWC was with her.
It took hours to build it up, and Rob the kiln master made a fantastic installation.
One of the ladies entered for good luck, and Rob got help and good wishes from all sides
You can imagine the happiness when all succeeded
and the friends arrived for her presentation
You can see the difference between the first trials and the last ones, but actually a lot of people really appreciate also the “swaying columns” but Jieun wanted them straight and she got them.
and as we would say in German “Hut ab” (hat off) Jieun for your enterprise.
Thirty ladies, their blankets and babies going in the kiln at 1280 degrees!!!!
You can see there is some kind of excitement going on
not that they are frightened……let’s say just a little bit in “disorder”
and in fact they ought to be ……
the fork lift is approaching……
the fork lift with Marianne contolling every move, so in reality nothing to fear but still quite scary
all up in the air and in this brittle state they are in, every sharp movement could mean the end
but Marianne puts them down soft and smooth and calm is reigning again
now for 24 hourse they will stay here, in the purgatory at 1280 degrees, no guilt could ever withstand
they fit all in and we close and fire, until….
until the next morning…….to open the kiln and see
all seems ok, but….
but no….something terrible happened during the night
a lady in pieces….
scattered in midst of the babies
Well, two ladies litterally exploded (who knows what their guilt was) but all the others are fine!!
and I could bring them up in my studio
where they can breathe fresh air again
and enjoy life.