Dreams of October

October’s Blog-o-sphere Think Tank topic: “Seasonal shifts….Do you enjoy the changing of the seasons?”

The season is changing. Some days, the heat sears through the skin. On other nights, the cold chills the bone. My nights are restless, mostly from unpleasant dreams. I lie awake till exhaustion consumes me. The eyes always feel dull…they haven’t laughed in a long time. Darkness beckons.

He was always big, in stature and in ego. I often thought of him as a large inflated balloon, gaping at works of art with his mouth wide open…at a complete loss of words.
He had unsuccessfully tried setting up his own business. His father had to intervene eventually. That must have humbled him; always so sensitive about not being able to make it on his own.

And then his son was born…not all man would he ever be.

This large man, with his large pride, cowered and cried in the dark till he was limp, not from sorrow but sore from bruised pride. His wife must have rubbed him, and massaged him…and bathed him in oils, prodding him on, all day, everyday, till he was ready to face the world again…with this son, not all man.

Suddenly, he turned to me…this priest of smallness, sermonizing…must have a wife to massage and art that can only be hobby.

It is Diwali. The noise deafens me. I try to run but my leg is wrapped up with fire crackers. My mother’s face is lit with spite. She holds the other end of the rope as she lights the crackers. I break into cold sweat. My heart is pounding madly. It will break through my flesh any moment now.
Is it a dream?…It is a dream! It is a dream!
Then why can’t I wake up?..Wake up. Wake up!

My eyes open. The silence is pitch dark. I lie paralyzed.

And here’s the brooch that was inspired by this month’s blog post…or was it the other way ’round.

The limp of the Royal Buffoon

The limp of the Royal Buffoon

You can read my friends posts on this topic here:

Andes Cruz: http://andescruz.wordpress.com/2014/10/20/seasonal-shifts/

Kathleen Krucoff: http://kathleenkrucoff.wordpress.com

Robyn Hawk: http://flyviewsandreviews.blogspot.com/

Catherine Witherell: http://happydayart.typepad.com

Tosca Teran: http://nanopod.me/2014/10/20/seasonal-shifts/

Shelagh Blatz http://www.designsbyshelagh.com/blog

The vigil of Utka, the expectant heroine

I was inspired by the traditional, miniature style Basohli Painting, that I came across in M.S. Randhawa’s book of the same name.

It is a painting of Utka, the expectant heroine who is waiting at the trysting place. Nearby is a lotus pond. It is a pitch dark night and her anxiety is greatly aroused at her lover’s inability to keep his appointment with her at the promised hour.

The vigil of the expectant heroine

The vigil of the expectant heroine

In the pendant cum brooch, Utka’s anxiety is evident through the restlessness of the parrot and the startled deer (back of piece), both symbols of love. The piece is made of sterling silver and pearls.

The vigil of Utka: front

The vigil of Utka: front

The vigil of Utka: back

The vigil of Utka: back

Shiva emerging from the pillar of fire

‘….a pillar of fire appeared between them. It stretched up beyond the dome of the sky and down below the foundations of the earth. And the fire seemed to be burning without any fuel.

Both Brahma and Vishnu decided to look for the ends of this pillar of fire. Brahma took the form of the swan and flew up to find its top. Vishnu took the form of a boar and dug his way down, determined to find its base.’

‘[....] the pillar of fire burst open and out came another god, who looked like a mendicant, smeared with ash and wrapped in animal skins.

The mendicant identified himself, ‘If the formless can be given a form then I am he. I am God, I am Shiva.’

From the 7 Secrets of Shiva by Devdutt Pattanaik

Shiva emerging from the pillar of fire: pendant cum brooch

sterling silver


Shiva emerging from the pillar of fire

Blog-o-sphere Think Tank

We are a group of bloggers who come together on the 20th of each month to post on the same topic at the same time.
Some of us are studio jewelers and artists.

You can check out our posts and our work here:

Andes Cruz(moderator & Blog-o-sphere Think Tank idea generator)  : http://www.andescruz.wordpress.com

Beth Cyr: http://bcyrjewelry.blogspot.com/

Kathleen Krucoff: http://mysticalmythicalmetalwork.wordpress.com/

Barbara Donovan: http://barbaradonovan.blogspot.com/

WATTO (Mary Spenser Watson) http://www.wattoonline.com/news

Pallavi Gandhi: http://studioat605.wordpress.com/

Catherine Witherell: http://happydayart.typepad.com

Shelagh Blatz http://www.designsbyshelagh.com/blog

K.Skiles Studio: http://kaskiles.com

Tosca Teran: http://www.nanopod.me

Robyn Hawk: http://flyviewsandreviews.blogspot.com

An adventure to hope for.

The bench

The bench

September’s Blog-o-sphere Think Tank topic:  “Describe an adventure you hope/want to experience in your lifetime.”

I’ve been in depression for some years now on account of relentless harassment and constant public humiliation by my family and a lay Buddhist organization that I was once a part of for many years.
By the time I left the organization, all of those relations seemed alien and irrelevant.

The only thing that kept me alive through this entire ordeal, was my memory of making jewellery, which I love passionately and the beautiful jewellery-making posts generously shared by my online friends.
I’m far from well even today.

Recently, I read a post of one the Blog-O-Sphere’s members (http://andescruz.wordpress.com/2014/08/20/solitude-august-blog-o-sphere/), and it started me thinking about my life and the aspirations that once were.
I’ve slowly started working in and on my studio again, taking one day at a time.

Everyday I wake up hoping to recreate a sense of that adventure in my studio, that I once possessed, making it worthwhile to have lived another day.

Construction of the soldering station

Construction of the soldering station

The design table

The design table

Here’s a great quote I came across and pinned it on my board:

‘As hard as it is, stop caring so much about what other people think. Find a way to hear what you want. Recognize what is your dream. And then put everything you have into that: your work, the relationships you surround yourself with, the food you put in your body. Everything you have control over in your world should feed that dream and make you feel like a GIRLBOSS.’ Christene Barberich.

You can read my friends posts on this topic here:

Andes Cruz:  http://andescruz.wordpress.com/2014/09/20/adventure-blogospherethinktank/

Catherine Witherell:  http://happydayart.typepad.com

Shelagh Blatz www.designsbyshelagh.com/blog

Beth Cyr – http://BethCyr.com/blog

a mask making workshop

“…Asuras who live under the earth…are hostile to humans and hence deemed demons.” Jaya: an illustrated retelling of the Mahabharata by Devdutt Pattanaik.

Last month, I participated in a Cherial Mask Making workshop, conducted by National Award-winning Artist M. Madhu and organized by the Happy Hands Foundation.

Cherial masks are a folk art, made using an unusual medium mix of tamarind seed powder and sawdust and in keeping with Indian tradition, are painted with bright and vibrant colours. The masks are used as accompaniments to story-telling based on popular folklore. You can see examples of traditional Cherial masks and read about the process here.

I used the technique to make a mask of my own, inspired by the description of Asuras, as given in the Mahabharata (see quote above).


Asura: Front


Asura: Back