Turquoise Mountain

My studio is quite a private place.  I draw, I paint, I listen to music and I design all my jewelry… this is where I spend the majority of my time.  Each person I invite into my space is here because they are special to me, and I want them to experience the joy that I feel each day.

Earlier this week, one of those very special studio guests was Saeeda Etebari, a young Afghani artisan to whom I was introduced through a wonderful organization called Turquoise Mountain. Saeeda is a very talented jeweller and designer- having learned these crafts at the Turquoise Mountain school in Kabul. She was invited to the US to view her final finished pieces  which were featured in the new Turquoise Mountain exhibition at the Freer Sackler Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.  (a magnificent exhibition which I highly recommend.)  This was her first time traveling abroad, and my studio was her first stop upon arrival in New York. We were so excited to meet each other, despite the slight language, as Saeeda is deaf.  She was accompanied by her charming host from England, Dr. Tommy Wide, and her fabulous interpreter Amanda, who signed in Dari with impressive ease. Suddenly, the language barrier diffculty was eliminated.  We lunched, browsed through designs, discussed techniques, and shared experiences... it was so fabulous!

Meeting Saeeda was truly a privilege, every minute of which was inspirational. It was a reminder to me, of how important and vital it is to step out of our daily world, to simply stop...to take a look around at other people, their cultures and their stories. It is truly eye opening and adds so much to our outlook on life. I must remember to try and step out more often.