I get alot of inquiries mostly about how I do it.
How did I go from having nothing but a dream, some silver grain and an acetylene tank
to developing a full jewelry brand with ideas that have adorned bodies across the world and a manufacturing/design facility dedicated to Developing Ideas from concept to creation.
While I am sure that there's no right answer,
all I can say is that I am Held Together By Divination and Magic.
XENOPHORA Divination and Magic Necklace in oxidized .925 Sterling Silver
Feeling inspired. Ran some errands today to acquire some .925 Ag (sterling silver) - mostly excited to melt this down and cast some tears. I am thinking of ways to grow, to extend my heart and to live the life that are according to my own standards.
When I confront the very real anxieties of being a young black woman and it’s very real metaphysical dilemma of the burning that resides on my face and the Sahara desert that lives on my tongue. I found solace in the vision that I live to manifest.
I live for it like breathing, however there are unidentified bodies, like ghosts made of matter sucking breath like a newborn nursing from it’s mothers’ breast.
Now The Vision is to live life according to aesthetics.
To live life according to the spirit that is the marrow of my bones. I wish to transform this spirit of healing into matter, into talismans, fragrances, hand bags that you carry, utensils that adorn our place settings with fare that takes the place of medicine or the furniture that fill our temples.
All in hope for a more beautiful, a more fulfilling life, to even be the source for others to manufacture the same.
XENOPHORA 006_We've Shed Tears Like Layers of Skin
My 6th phase of XENOPHORA Jewelry represents a new phase in my life that I've undergone. A phase in my life where I have withstood the most difficult, yet the most blissfully exciting period of my life.
A phase where I've critically questioned my own identity, endured bouts of pain, trauma and suffering, teetered on the shores of bliss from attaining certain major life milestones, lost a sister and gained a new element of being; being at the helm of my dreams. This phase spanned beyond a year and through it all, I've questioned my humanity at not being able to cry at times of sadness or happiness - it felt like a sort of numbness, as I was fully immersed in the work.
Why am I not able to cry?
And then I wondered, what are tears exactly? What do they look like? These thoughts seemed to be a sort of distraction from the current self-deprecating thoughts of I must be going crazy. Why am I not crying right now / I should be crying. But within the haze of seemingly irrelevant thoughts, I stumbled on the Typography of Tears, a digital-imaging study of the typography of the chemical composition of actual unique tear types. Greatly inspired, I've created a collection of jewelry where we've created rings made from bits of each unique tear typography.
The thoughts of something must being wrong with me ceased. I've realized that in this phase and throughout my entire life, I tend to hit the ground running, with a flight or fight mental. I must survive and do what I've got to do. No longer in that spiral of otherness, I realized that in great times of stress or happiness I am still focused on whatever task or milestone is at hand. “Put on your big girl panties and keep going”, I'd say to myself. My life has always been about survival growing up in Detroit, a primitive instinct that rooted itself at the soles of my feet. Keep-it-moving. So rarely did I shed any tears, but when I did it was like I shed layers of skin. Deconstructing conditioned thought after thought. A series of evolution, one after another.
Isn't this what this life game is about? Growth.
So while at the helm of my dreams from having received funding to grow my business, I've acquired new capabilities, new ideals and ideas. I've acquired new technologies too.
I've cried certain tears from certain aspects of experience. Though it was on rare occasion, I saw the value in these tears. I imagined them being like metal, with a certain kind of inspired luminance.
The tears I've shed came with the shedding of my skins layers and I became anew each and every time. Among some of these tears were: Tears of Possibility and Hope, Tears of Those Yearning for liberation and Tears of Release.
What do these tears look like? What would they look like if they were rings?
Now we have the answer to the inquiry which started as the (slightly petty) thought of,
what the fuck is wrong with me? Why can't I cry? I should be crying.
Now we can adorn ourselves with these tears as a homage of the tears we shed, the tears we've fought-off due to our pride and ego, appreciation for our friends and loved ones who've shed these tears and an remembrance that we are all human, in the most raw and primitive form. We are thinking, ever-evolving, tear shedding, over-thinking/over-analyzing/over-critical, beautiful humans.
I look at each of my endured experiences, whether good or troubling, as an opportunity for growth and creation.
This body of work was created entirely using Computer Aided Design, stereolithography 3D printing, ancient lost wax casting and hand finishing techniques. There was so much magic in creating this collection - from the synthesis of each specific tear type's typography. Then the 3D printing, which is like this mind boggling process of this click-to-print form growing out of this ubiquitous-like matter. The precision of this is like never before seen, the tiniest details personified in this ascension of cured substance. And then the lost wax casting process is equally amazing.
First comes this vicious 12-hour burnout cycle to burn out the resin material that we grew from the tray of blue liquidous plastic-type material. After having carefully sprued each piece into the perfect tree of tears and invested it into it's flask.
Then there's the casting.
Where is all about the force of the pull of molten metal- we work with vacuum force for optimal precision, detail and quality. This process is so magical to me, with its relation to alchemy. The force from the vacuum pulls the molten silver into the mold where the resin and wax once was, a chalice or vessel of sorts. The flask still hot from being in the kiln helps the metal flow into this tree and VOILA! Magic.
I present to you, readers of Odalisque the preview of my latest collection,
XENOPHORA 006 _We've Shed Tears like Layers of Skin
Featuring the actual tear types of:
Tears of Those Yearning for Liberation
Tears of Possibility and Hope
Tears of Release
Available soon on xenophoraobjects.com
Developed exclusively with my latest venture into full-service experiential jewelry design and manufacturing Casting de Khrysopoeia
Special thanks to CDK's Director of Design, Simon Anton -
who is the most patient and amazing person to work with every other day in the manufacturing facility/design house.