Thomas Merton.

“Finally I am coming to the conclusion that my highest ambition is to be what I already am. That I will never fulfill my obligation to surpass myself unless I first accept myself, and if I accept myself fully in the right way, I will already have surpassed myself”.

Black Cloud-Carlos Amorales

20150710_155129

“Sometimes, seeing one of these moths that have met their end in my house, I wonder what kind of fear and pain they feel while they are lost. As Alphonso had told him, said Austerlitz, there is really no reason to suppose that lesser beings are devoid of sentient life. We are not alone in dreaming at night for, quite apart from dogs and other domestic creatures whose emotions have been bound up with ours for many thousands of years, the smaller mammals such as mice and moles also live in a world that exists only in their minds whilst they are asleep, as we can detect from their eye movements, and who knows, said Austerlitz, perhaps moths dream as well, perhaps a lettuce in the garden dreams as it looks up at the moon by night.”

W.G. Sebald

20150710_151158

This past weekend I saw this beautiful piece in the Contemporary cultural center of Barcelona.. thousands of black butterflies surrounded the place.

20150710_160404

And in this video you can see the motivations behind the piece and a few glimpses of the installation in another place.

Why do we collect?- Small Collection- Process

I usually start by displaying materials on a table, I do a small layout to see what I have and the possibilities available, here you can see bits and pieces found on the street, on the beach.. just different walks, as time goes by I also have friends that find little pieces and give them to me just in case I can use them..

IMG_1653

Why is there that innate eagerness of collecting?

Why do we do this? sometimes there is really not a financial value for these objects still, we feel accomplished when we find something that just fits.

But why do we have this light obsession, why do some of us do it, some of us don´t?

I have been very interested in the topic, specially because I try to understand why do I get that light sense of “joy” when I find certain materials, I am attracted to things that have a worn aspect, a sense of time that has gone past them, everything, even the smallest thing has a story.

It is all a way to understand my own nature through making, I like giving these materials a chance, a space, why not?

IMG_1652

“We use keepsakes to stimulate memory, especially to trigger fond memories but even if memory cannot be relied upon to faithfully reproduce a record of the past, it remains vital to our understanding of the past.” Terry Shoptaugh

Photographs, toys, train tickets, the lists are endless and it varies from person to person, do you collect anything?

Back to the piece:

20150512_153608

20150512_180006

I made boxes to keep and display them as small treasures and kept experimenting with arranging, re-arranging, and classifying parts of a-big-world-out-there, I found a composition that made sense to me, the piece that fitted each box.

This is the first brooch I made where I did made some boxes specifically for some pieces I wanted to use but for the second one (which I will show you later on) it took a little longer, I made the arrangement and then just waited until I found the correct piece for each box.

IMG_1665

Since this is a brooch I didn’t want the copper to go directly in touch with the clothing so I made a sterling silver frame to give it a bit of volume and stability as you see the boxes are in mixed positions, so having a frame in the back gives me a good space to make the mechanism.

At the same time, I made and soldered bezels, tubes and all the parts to hold the pieces in place.

IMG_1668 IMG_1669IMG_1679Patina and wounded finger:

IMG_1680

Preparing for rivets.IMG_1681

Some are tied with waxed cord, the knots can be burnt and is held securely in place.IMG_1685

Riveting

IMG_1682

And after finishing off, removing some of the patina in certain places, oxidizing and placing the stainless steel needle in the back, this is the result.

It makes a little noise since the bell is  tied and swinging loose 🙂

ArayaNatalia_Collections ArayaNatalia_Collections_detailIMG_1839

After finishing, the piece left me and it’s off in the Museum of Anthropology of Palencia, for a while.

11391544_646836402082951_1589666398251834936_n 11036328_646836412082950_1733932961070742416_n

I have been through hell and back and let me tell you, it was wonderful- Louise Bourgeois

A few days ago I had the opportunity to see the Louise Bourgeois exhibition “Structures of existence-The cells”.

I have admired her for as long as I can remember, seen documentaries, read and tried to understand all the little details of art as psychoanalysis,  the volume of her work it is impressive and seeing it in person has been truly a wonderful experience I am quite grateful for.

This is the only photo I took, honestly I do respect the rules of not photographing but I was also too busy taking it all in.

IMG_0451

Still here are a few photos I found online of what I saw inside:

descarga

The cells represent different types of pain.

25_Cell bour655b_t1 lb  LB_Cell_in_and_out_630x345_01 louise-bourgeois-spider2 lowery6-15-10-8 Salas_Bourgeois_-_Manuel_Blanco_-_La_Casa_Encendida_adesk_

What touched me the most is that as you walk through the cells, it’s like walking into someone’s dreams, it’s so intimate,you can feel the fear, the anxiety the slow growth and coming to terms with things and to finally reach  acceptance and forgiveness.LB_630_YouBetterGrowUP_01scan0001.2

It was truly beautiful.

I’m not afraid to say, that I want everything

Don’t you wish you had the time to just try different things, to experiment with new materials, to spend days in a single project without feeling guilty about not working?

I have a small list of things I want to learn, starting with baking, I wish I could be really good at it and also I want to learn to sew and learn to make specifically 2 things, long dresses and loose straight pants , the list goes on but each craft,  really is a small world with techniques l,tips, secrets, takes practice, patience, money for materials etc

And then try juggling that with real life, work, house work, family time,that thing people talk about mmm yeeee sleeping! and those of you who have children and still have Etsy shops and work from home, I tip my hat to you and admire you so much.

I want to learn about jewelry because is what I do, and when I see other things such as textiles I just think of how to incorporate it in jewelry, and my brain functions toward how to wear something.

And since I got to Antigua like a year and a half ago, for the every first time i traveled here,  I met  him, he is from Japan and who I bought the stones from, and from then and my travels here to today of me living here he has been my stone supplier, then one day I stop by and see him pulling out of some boxes the most beautiful leather bags

– I lost it-

Specially when I found out the whole thing was hand stiched all the little pockets, all by hand because is too thick for a sewing machine.

He  is so kind, and sweet and told me he can teach me a little bit, and I gave him ideas for belts and jewelry and we both have been collaborating this past week making some bags for my shop, using stones I love and that I would have used for jewelry. He makes the structures this while I learn to set stones with leather and make the right stitching so if over time one stitch got loose all the rest would still be there perfectly not like it would with a machine (you know when you pull it and the whole thread comes out 😛  )

It’s so hard because it’s new, is really cool the new tools, the stitching, the leather itself, it’s so beautiful and like he said, in the begining it was made this way, in an artisan way with a few tools and a lot of love and creativity

You know what I learned this week?

I learned that people are ok with teaching about what they do, if they know you will give it your own twist and you will respect the craft, because it’s true I could teach someone how to do the basics in jewelry but if I felt that person is going to make the exact same thing as I , changes everything, so this harmony of collaborating, sharing ideas, it’s so so so beautiful.

Well let me show you the first 2 bags :

 

This one made with ocean jasper, I am obsessed with mustard/yellow tones, and this stone has them all , and along the leather it looks so nice.

And this one with a faceted agate with a little pocket druzy , a belt with a pocket perfect for jeans and a tank or with a long dress like this…

As for mine I did a little stiching of it and is not done but is also one with a belt , I’ll post photos when it’s done..

I’m leaving in 15 days and well I’m a bit sad because I won’t learn as much, but back home I’ll experiment by myself and see what comes out, also I can’t wait to see my family it’s been way too long.

And now I’m off to list these 2 bags on my shop and I leave you with this song where the title of this post comes from and that I can’t get it out of my head..

 

All last month, and a whole new year.

The last month of the year has been really,really special, I’ve been doing so much, seeing things for the first time and learning about how rich and how beautiful traditions and people are here in Guatemala,prepare because this post might be a little long,  this is what happened in December:

First it was the burning of the devil, I had never heard of such thing and well after asking around, the version is pretty much the same but  I liked the most was the one of a taxi driver who told me that when he was a child  people would grab all their old stuff in December, their clothes, matresses back then made of hemp, etc and they would burn them in the front of the house in a way of saying “off with the old, on with the new” this is not done like that anymore because of pollution and sometimes because the whole burning of things got out of hand.. but we have the devil, that it was a must see.

Sadly I waited for it for like a week and then went to ship some packages to the city and didn’t make it back on time for the burning and couldn’t take photos, but you must see the Devil on a bicycle

This was on early December, then there were more celebrations which I managed to go to,

Folkloric dances,delicious food,music,costumes,good friends tons of laughs..

I made a whole album of the folkloric dances that you can find over here

Then there where the celebrations of the Virgin, the cutest thing in the world, with a bunch of little kids dressed up in typical clothing.

the little girls where so cute, and the little boys with painted mustaches it was just too adorable, they had this little scenes where they could take a photo with the virgin

I have a photo with the virgin but I didn’t fit in the chair , some little kids where cracking up when they saw me go in there to take a photo too, and then I told them my friend forgot to dress me up 😛

You can see some photos of this day over here

Ohh I’m so in love with this country, can you tell? I feel so happy, I smile so much , I can’t remember the last time my neck was killing me from the stress..

I had a very mellow christmas with some amazing people around me who I’m happy to have in my life, and got so many cute presents that where completely unexpected that really need a blog post of their own.

I am a horrible blogger and didn’t do a Merry Christmas post, so MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Then some relaxing days where I did manage to make some jewelry, not pressuring myself too much just enjoying what I do.

Some just for fun:

Now the year is done and I am here on the first day of the year thinking what comes next, there is a lot going on, many decisions to take, isn’t it nice we have the power upon our own life to guide it to the path we choose?

There is a trip coming soon, there is a long journey , some sad decisions, some opportunities for growth,one more time of giving it all away to start in a new place, but all this I have to tell you later because is too early and I still have to figure out things myself.

I like the new year, I feel really good, today I’m starting RAW today, remember the ring a day??? now everyone is making a ring a week, is such a wonderful group of jewelers who do amazing work and support each other,  this time we are doing a ring a week, which is very exciting because there is really more time to make some really nice, more planned pieces.

Feeling ready to work, to move, to take on this year..

And wishing all you that this year is the best one  of your life and only my heart knows  gratitude  I feel , for all your support, in so many ways this past 2010

Happy new year!

-Nat

Random facts about me..

DSC06539

Random facts…

1. I bite my nails…

2. I am right now as I am writing this saving every penny that comes across me to move to Guatemala for a year with all my workshop.

3. I hate jeans.. I only own 2 .

4. I worked in an orphanage for almost a year.. Taking care of 10 kids under 5 all by myself.

5. I don’t own a car or drive or plan to drive ever..

6. My whole name is Natalia Andreina Araya Cubero… kindergarden was so so hard 😛

7. When I was born they expected a boy, the doc said I was a boy, they had blue everything and then I showed up…my poor dad

8. I can teach you to dance salsa or do your accounting..

9. I am terribly shy when introduced to people, I say “Hi” smile and look down … ALWAYS

10. I wish I was strong and could fight people..ahh remember Mallory knox? Like that

11. I have 4 brothers and 1 sister…

12. It’s just soooo easy to scare me

13. I get bored of a lot of things very easily

Was tagged by the lovely http://www.flickr.com/photos/kendall-kenny/

René Magritte

“If the dream is a translation of waking life, waking life is also a translation of the dream.”

Attempting the impossible.

magritte49.jpgI Like this quote

… they evoke mystery and indeed when one sees one of my pictures, one asks oneself this simple question ‘What does that mean’? It does not mean anything, because mystery means nothing either, it is unknowable.”

Elective Affinities.

magritte36.jpg

“Everything we see hides another thing, we always want to see what is hidden by what we see.”

Dangerous Liaisons

magritte48.jpg

      “The mind loves the unknown. It loves images whose meaning is unknown, since the meaning of the mind itself is unknown.”

The Acrobat’s Exercises

magritte46.jpg

 by Rene Magritte

wolleh_magritte.jpg