8 feet of door for the mfg. facility, Casting de Khrysopoeia - Made by master-welder Sam,
a Lebanese immigrant that has been welding since he was 13. He has been a business owner since he was 15, starting back in his home country. Now at at 50 and now in America for almost 35 years, he owns a magnificent facility where he employs 10 men of all different races, colors and creeds. In our interactions of him developing work for me, I could sense that there's not a pretentious bone in his body, not a misogynistic hair embed beneath the layers of his skin. Let me tell you how rare this is in America, especially and in Detroit when you're a double-minority - I can only really speak to this Detroit/American perspective because it is the only earthly coordinate where I have created things. It is the only place where I have sought to manifest the images that live in my head. In this city, where people tend to forget what matters as with any other developing city, I can see the whole of the world.
By this I mean, I can circle my block and it is as if I have circled the whole of the earth; walked the full equatorial circumference of the entire Universe.
For that it holds all of the secrets of existence.
As I journey through the process of living my waking dream, I realize this - although it is fulfilling, it is a trying process.
Working with Sam is refreshing. He's an honest, hardworking man that owns a stunning fortress with steel stock stacked along the vast never ending walls.
I asked him, “…and how is business going, it is good?” and this genuine inquiry made him smile the purest smile that I have seen in a while.
He replies, “Oh, it is very good. I can feed my family which is all that matters. I can never work again and move my entire family back home to our country and be ok, and generations beyond the living will be ok”.
We pace around his fortress of steel and discuss the key to living so that our doors, as people of color will open. His conclusion after living his dream for nearly 40 years is to find what you love to do, whatever makes you happy and work damn hard at it and the doors will open.
This resonated deeply.
The doors will open despite whatever your circumstance, whatever oppressive variables you face and that in order to be successful in America, as people of color you have to work harder than anyone else. You have to sometimes take breaks from talking about it and sharing accounts of your story so that you can work countless hours to defeat those oppressive circumstances.
Earlier that day, I had brunch with a new friend (of course, I was the only person of color at the restaurant located in Detroit, a black ass city) and we discussed the nature of overcoming. I felt very confident in my views that one's doors will open, once you do the following:
Identify what you love
...and why you love it.
Then what you're willing to do to get there -
This typically looks like the hours in which you're committed to living the life, the art life
as David Lynch calls it.
But most importantly, what is your threshold of tolerance? What are you not willing to do? What are the things that you may face along your journey of living your art life that you are not willing to do for any reason, whatsoever. These things are non-negotiable and not up for debate. These things are the things that will never feed or nourish your purpose, in fact they act against it and they don't align with your morals.
Carry the answers to these simple inquiries and your doors will open, for the simple fact that your circumstances will begin to evaporate into irrelevance.
The doors will open…
Throughout my world building of Xenophora,
I was filled with the force to create something additional. A platform where one could create precious metal jewelry, to build their own individual world within our multiverse of being.
A manufacturing facility - of course, I had to give it a name that represents its essence, like Xenophora.
It would not be me, if I didn't give it a name that was difficult to pronounce, yet lasting in its remembrance and timeless with its meaning.
Casting de Khrysopoeia[kris•so•pee•ya] meaning to make into Gold
A experiential manufacturing facility in my hometown, right within the community, Detroit.
Creative, artistic spaces; spaces for building worlds are essential to me. When I was developing the brand, Xenophora. I ended building Detroit's only precious metal manufacturing facility. But this wasn't enough, I am enclosed and wasn't being inclusive by utilizing my skills and ideas for the building of XENOPHORA.
Naturally, a new development occurred. An experiential manufacturing facility dedicated to the making and creating of precious or semi precious jewels that's not just for Xenophora but for the world.
Xenophora is about us as humans being carriers. We all pick up elements along the way, they become apart of us. Theres a world of ideas that are dying to be created. Yet, the resources in Detroit for this are not so abundant.
So what to do? Build it.
I want to share with you my process here, with full transparency of being a young artist and a young entrepreneur; breaking many a glass ceiling. With the hopes that my sharing inspires you, whoever you are/where ever you are, to do what's meaningful to you.
To continue to struggle, if that means attaining your dream.
And I feel a little bit closer to that dream…..
A Day Within The Process [2.3.17]
I met with the architect based in New York that is designing the manufacturing facility, Casting de Khrysopoeia. He goes by Ish -
After an exchange of emails and conversations about ideas that are important to me when considering the design of the interior he came with a design proposal that blew me away.
But before I get into that, I would like to share with you my notes and a back story of our meeting, I call this the collision of worlds.
The Collision of Worlds
Introduced to his work by developer, PK and having been fully immersed in one of my favorite dining experiences in Detroit, I was introduced to Ish. Seeing his exactitude and thoroughness with the projects that he took on with such an ease in complexity I was inspired and had to engage. I had to share with him my ideas, and to see what he thought about them. He spoke my language
I think the strength in the person is not only the ability to teach a 'foreigner' your native tongue but to be able to speak theirs.
And he spoke my language. So naturally, it was a yes.
I told Ish that what's important to me is a space that is experiential.
To me that means a space that is aesthetically aligned with manufacturing with the goal of creating an experience. To experience the process of Talisman making. I think the importance of it all is being in a space that is inspired and inspiring to me and the people that will work there and visit. Ultimately, it should be a space that is a culmination of my aesthetic world. What does that look like? Ergonomic workbenches that are kind to the jeweler. So yes, the details of height and such matters but I want these spaces where people create to be like real furniture. Not just work tables that outfit the space, that's not appealing nor interesting to me. So strong concrete tables, reinforced with raw steel.
While Ish was in Detroit working with PK on the many things going on, we met to discuss the proposed design themes, concepts and ideas.
PK made us coffee. They thought it was I that had the sweet tooth but I was mistaken for my friend @hwahwalala's and hers. The last time I saw my dear friend in Detroit, I introduced her to the project and Ish, she needed some sweets. We journeyed to 2 places in search of something decadent together.
However, the sweet cinnamon rolls was a great compliment to the black coffee and the proposed concrete workbenches.
We are still within the process and I am told that the build out has begun. Here are some images from the day - I am looking forward to sharing more of the process here. Stay tuned.