Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Mandalas



Mandalas have been on my mind a lot lately.
Struggling to find my truth.

I find making these in the studio calms me.
Vitreous enamel, steel, and silver.
Silver and copper ring
Even though I knew that hard solder melts at 1450 degrees I still had to try enameling the copper.  In theory the solder should not have run.  If I only took it out of the kiln a minute sooner this may not have happened.
A total melt down but I love that color!  :)

Vitreous enamel, copper, and 22k gold leaf
My intention for the above mandala was a ring.  The challenge was difficult but I managed to make it.
Vitreous enamel, copper, 22K gold leaf, and silver
I feel myself pivoting once again and feeling the need to create amulets and talismans but in sculpture form.

Each person's life is like a mandala - vast, limitless circle. We stand in the center of our own circle, and everything we see, hear and think forms the mandala of our life...everything that shows up in your mandala is a vehicle for your awakening.

~Pema Chodron

Namaste
Kalaya

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Production...Duction What's Your Function?


Every now and then a little elf steps into the studio while I am working and starts asking these annoying questions.
  
What are you doing?
Why are you wasting your time working on that?
PRODUCTION WORK?!!!
WTH?!!!

He (yep the little bugger is a "he"), I shall name him Doubt, infects my mind from time to time.  
This all happened last Friday while making some of my New Orleans'  Token pendants.

So I reached down deep inside me to think about the "why".  I thought about it because I was running towards something else and resisting the moment.

As I sat there at my bench working on this particular token pendant here is what came to me.
New Orleans Token Pendant
These particular tokens were minted in 1947 and 1970.  They differ only on what is said on the back (1947 - "One Base Fare" and 1970 - "One Cash Fare") .
 The ones I use for my pendants are minted in 1947.  

I do not clean them up.  Instead I examine them, hold them, turn them over in my hand, and then begin my work.  
I do not clean them up because they carry the terroir and energy of the city.

Imagine how many hands these tokens must have touched.  These tokens traveled ALL over the city well into the 1970s. Sitting there in the money box inside the street cars, being handled from the people here, and soaking up all of the cities energy, 

becoming charged...
becoming a
 talisman!
This particular pendant is going to a native New Orlenian who is about to move to another city on her own.  I find this very admirable.  Leaving your native city at a young age and going to a place where you know NO ONE!
  
INCREDIBLE

BRAVE

Courageous!

I get this overwhelming wave of emotion.  
When she feels alone or fearful all she need do is hold it in her hand, this talisman, and she will not be alone.  
She will have New Orleans with her always.
   
This is why I make these tokens of mine.  I did not realize I was making a talisman.  That is what is so great about this journey.  
For a long time I have been fighting on making production work but now I realize something.  If I am going to make production work then whatever it is I have to have a love for it and I do love me some talismans and amulets.  Anything to increase positive power or ward off that evil eye.  
You never know when one is eyeing you!  
hahahaha

It is a talisman for anyone, native or not.

Namaste
Kalaya

Friday, September 16, 2016

Color Your Life


Oh it's that time of year again.  Where I get all excited because dia de Los Muertos is around the corner.  It's that time when the spirits of the dead come for a visit and I make sugar skulls to remember.

I usually do my traditional white sugar skulls but this year decided to add some color to my life.  After all, dia de los muertos is about celebrating life, remembering the dead, and nothing expresses life more then color!
Getting ready to be fired.  It's like making cookies.  I just want to eat those skulls!
The colors were all inspired by those skull beads you see EVERYWHERE!
Howlite Skull beads
If you look closely at the picture below you can see the enamel in sugar form.
Calaveras or Sugar Skulls
These are available now in my store.  I've been updating the site on a weekly basis.  So come on in and see what's new.  Have a great Friday and remember to have fun and breathe!

Namaste
Kalaya

Thursday, August 11, 2016

For The Love Of Bees!!!

Did I ever tell y'all that I absolutely adore bees?
I think they are the most amazing beings on the planet.  Well...at this moment I did.  I saw this piece of furniture at University of British Columbia outside its bookstore.  I'm like cool man.  What is this?
This totally inspired me.  Yes I looked inside this tiny cells to see if anything was inside but to my disappointment no.

I heard a woman say, hey look at that.  I bet there are bees inside.  Hahahaha!!! 
No silly woman.  Tricks are for kids!  hahaha  Cute...very cute that she thought that.

This piece of art/furniture sparked curiosity and that is the AWESOMist thing EVER! 
But what is more cool is THIS...
Did y'all read that?  Shrooms helped make them.  What a great collaborative endeavor. 
How long does a piece of furniture like this last?
I have no clue but talk about impermanence. 

I LOVE IT!
So there you have it folks.  The future awaits.

Namaste
Kalaya

Friday, August 5, 2016

Life's Little Wonders

It has been awhile hasn't it?

I have been in Vancouver, BC for a week now escaping New Orleans heat.  This is sort of my reset.  I've been lost but this is a normal occurrence.  I get off my path only to find my path but then get off again.

I'm thinking about the ACC show in San Francisco thinking I should go since I am so close but here I sit.  In my flat overlooking downtown.  I cannot go into coffee shops here because it is a tad to loud.  Definitly not what I'm used to.  You see New Orleans is a small big city and there are plenty of cool coffee shops to hang out and ponder.  There are times that I actually think my hood is too loud.  I will shout.  How can I work with such noise!

I found this little guy in a field of green while walking downtown.
I plucked him out of the ground and then felt guilty about it but told Chi that I would like it if he would walk with me home.  I will take him on a journey.  I was so delighted as we walked to the bus stop but all of a sudden a breeze came out of nowhere and that is when Chi decided to let go.  I stood there and shouted...NOOoooooo...
but then watched every little seed take flight.  
What a powerful visual for me to witness .  It just let go and said, bye...gotta go and do what I do.

Hahaha...my little magic of the day.  I just had an idea.  I would like to collect some of these seeds.  Is that a bad thing?  I would be preventing them from becoming.  Hmmmm....I must ponder this now.  Preferably at a quiet coffee shop.
;)

Namaste
Kalaya

Monday, May 9, 2016

Have You Eaten Uni Lately?


I absolutely adore sea urchins.  The shape, geometry, and texture of it all.
So what would be the next step?  Well, to eat it of course!  After watching countless documentaries such as, Mind of a Chef, Spinning Plates, I'll Have What Phil's Having, Three Stars, etc...What???  There's a documentary called El Bulli?  Anyway, I have wanted to try uni.  However, I was too scared to try it by myself.  After all I needed to be with another person just in case I didn't like it.   Right?  So I passed on the Uni and had the Icelandic Char and salmon but I knew I would return for lunch. 

What I didn't know was that the Bird's Nest was not on the lunch menu.
NOOOOooooooo!!! 
But here's the thing.  Remember I said they were so nice in my last blog?  Well, the chef said he would make it for us!  That really warmed my heart.  I was so grateful especially because I know I wouldn't be back for a long time.

Introducing Bird's Nest...
Uni is tucked away inside.
thinly sliced baby calamari with uni, quail egg, and drizzled with truffle-soy sauce.  It looks so delicious!  Will it be everything I dreamed about?

After the first bite I knew why they served this in the evening.  It was very rich, buttery even and I will fall asleep immediately!  Is that egg sexy or what? 

Mi amor said that the uni tasted like sweet bread.  Are y'all familiar with sweet bread?  He enjoyed the Bird's nest tremendously.

Did I like it?  Let's just say Uni isn't my favorite but that Icelandic Artic Char is!  Hahaha!!! 

Alright signing off for now.  If you are ever in D.C. be sure to check out Kaz in Foggy Bottom.


Namaste
Kalaya

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