Art Elements Ornament design challenge is here with crafters all over the world participating with their creative entries. As usual, I had great plans for the hop. Recycled Ornaments with Gota, CD doodles, and fabric ornaments, all topped my list of items to do. Only when I got a reminder mail from AJE, I realised that apart from making my ornaments I would have to photograph and write about it too, which I could do only on weekends. Duh! Determined not be a klutz this time, I quickly whipped up some ornaments with my own Kolam art components.
I have been writing about Kolams regularly now on both this blog as well as on my Instagram page as a part of #Margazhi series. But for Nebies, here is a refresher.
What is Kolam?
Kolam which literally means “form” is a type of transient art. It is drawn on the ground in the threshold of the house or in front of indoor/outdoor shrines to welcome positivity and divinity inside. Kolams can be drawn in the form of mandalas, eternal knots and/or grid structures based on dots and lines or just a composition of shapes. I wrote a post on how kolams and Celtic knots are connected a few years back here. A Kolam is usually drawn with white chalk powder (original dry rice flour) and can be filled with colours. It can be also drawn with wet rice paste and colored with red oxide. There are several names for this art form in India – Kolam, rangoli, Alpana, Murjha, Mandana and Mungli are some of them. Please read my past posts on Kolam here. You can see some samples of my Kolam jewelry here.
Ornament design challenge
The Ornament Challenge set forth by Art elements suggested that we create handmade ornaments in any style of our choice with any material. Usually both AJE and ABS mandate that we use Art components for their challenges. This is at times difficult, as I do not really have access to Art beads not it is sell them here. So I end up making art components as not making a suitable component means forgoing a particular challenge. However, this time, it was not necessary to use Art beads and look what I did – I made three art components and used them! I guess that I am still not over the “No means yes” phase that my students are in.
Kolam in Ornament design – the philosophy
Kolam and Ornament design might seem like a strange combination but there is sound reasoning behind it. At a time and age when women were not allowed to voice their opinions even inside the house, drawing kolams provided them with outlet to express their views outside the house. Looking at the kolam drawn you could figure the mood of the lady or her likes and dislikes.w You could tell hether there is a celebration in the house that day. It also showed the world what she wanted to manifest for her home and family on that day.
When I was thinking about ornaments, I was reminded on my school days and how we used to bring a pine ( orw as it fir?) tree to class and decorate it. We would buy ball or star ornaments and paper streamers with whatever little money we had. We would make tassels or tiny gift boxes out of paper and old birthday card crafts to decorate the trees. Lights were not a possibility as this was the pre LED serial lights period and we had no money for an electrician. If we wanted to manifest a glow there would be golden stars or balls with shapes out of golden and silver paper. Canes were rare; we pretended that they were sweet treats for the elves. Hanging up a gift box meant that we wished for a gift in the New year. My mini artificial tree at home too would be completely filled with gift boxes, stars and a Mardi gras bead necklace that was supposed to represent the lights. I still have that mini tree (20 years and going) and for the past three years it goes up on my desk at work.
Well that reminiscence was how the word “Manifestation” struck me and I made the association with Kolam. I made three ornaments – A Bottle pendant, a beaded black pulli kolam charm, and one with a quirky parrot. They are meant to manifest creativity, order, knowledge with a little bit of fun. In the spirit of transformation, these ornaments too would later become pendants on necklaces to celebrate Margazhi. What is Margazhi you ask? Come back next week and you will find out.
Until then, a Merry Christmas and holiday season to all of you. Enjoy spending time with family and friends while decked up in your best. Do Check out the recent Tutorial on how to create a Blingy Tassel necklace if you are still looking for ideas to create a stunning piece of jewelry for yourself.
Do check out past ornament posts like the Upcycled Bohemian ornament and Mandala Ornament as you create your own decorative objects. Hop around the participating blogs of the Ornament design challenge to look at lovely ornaments. Manifest love, joy, and Prosperity.