Friday, November 28, 2008
phew... I have a few minutes and want to reflect a bit on this journey. My husband and I have explored, worked and even relaxed a little, but the events of the last two days in Mumbai, is quite disturbing for India, of course, but also for the world. Why is there such disparity amongst us and why must we humans create violence and chaos into others lives?? India is such a strong and beautiful place with so much suffering and now this massive terrorist attack. I don't know how to feel, how to be here and now be stressed about it.. I am sending out my prayers to all involved from both sides and hoping for the pain to cease.
Here are a few photos of my finished pieces....I am so excited about them. They are all custom orders and all turned out so wonderful.
peace to you all
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Phew!!! Our whirlwind trip is coming to a close. We have now been in Mysore only two days and it's been so busy with work, it seems like a month. Our jewelry has turned out perfect. The photos are of work in progress and will be finished tonight, just before I will leave tomorrow.
We will return in one month and I am accepting orders, please contact me if you are interested in any of our work...
These are some photos of Kumar and Rangaswami, we have been working together for 7 years now and have become very good friends and are great teachers. Most of what I have learned about Indian goldsmithing has come from Kumar. They are wonderful people... Thanks to them all of these beautiful jewels are made..
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I spent 5 wonderful days in Kerala, with Balan, the goldsmith. He lives in the jungle just along the northern coast of Kerala on the Arabian Sea. He has a very modest home and a beautiful wonderful family. During my stay, I attended puja (a blessing ceremony) at their family temple on his land, we celebrated my birthday with a beautiful little birthday cake, we saw scorpions, snakes and mongoose. We took the bus into a town nearby so he could deliver one of his pieces.
But mostly, I sat with him learning how to make a chain, Indian style. In my quest to learn and try to help keep alive the tradition of Indian goldsmithing (a dieing art). I made a chain with him and commissioned him to make me five more. Please let me know if you are interested in one. I will save one for you. The purchase of one of these chains will help support his family of 4. He works 7 days a week 10-12 hours a day out on his veranda making beautiful gold jewelry. He is a lively spirit and a wonderful man.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Yesterday, it was overcast, super humid and it poured rain (for about 10 minutes). It is unseasonable, global warming... India is seeing a lot of this "unseasonable" rain. It was, though, perfect for a photo shoot of my jewelry. So, here are a couple of my 2009 jewelry. Plus, I love this old mirror in our room, thus a few photos of that too.
I went to a spa and got an ayurvedic massage. It was wonderful, they cover your body in medicated oil and rub rub rub for about an hour and then put you in a steam bath for 10 minutes. I felt so good.
Tomorrow I leave Panaji, Goa for Kannur, Kerala.. I can't wait for the train ride through the lush tropical countryside. And to meet up with Balan, the goldsmith I met and learned from last year.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
We've been here a few days and I am liking it. It's not on the beach, but we are staying in an old Portugese house, all remodeled, very nice and airy. Goa was colonized by the Portugese for hundreds of years. So, the energy is very different here. There are a lot of Christians, the architecture is very European and the culture is different too.
My first day here I wandered the streets looking for goldsmiths. Unfortunately, this town is not the goldsmith town. It is a town near here called Mapusa. I did, tough find two men selling gold and one making it. So, I sat and chatted for hours, watching learning and I even bought a piece..
I've attached a few photos from my day of wandering.
one goldsmith is demonstrating a hand drill
some photos of the Portugese influenced gold jewelry. I've never seen silver and gold together in Indian jewelry. It is very distinct for Goa.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Drama... It always starts with a little drama. Our flight out of Seattle was delayed, which was not a good sign because our layover in London was only 2 hours. So, long story short, we had to sprint through Heathrow, and our bags did not make it on the plane to India. We are in Mysore now, we took a taxi, not my usual mode of transport, but the new airport is far from the railway station and we had a lot to do in Mysore, so we ended up with the taxi.
We are now in Mysore, still without our bags supposedly they are arriving this morning. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. One more day here and we fly to Goa.