Monday, December 20, 2010


 Our studio in Richmond


As we near solstice and inward reflecting begins, may we all pause for a moment and reflect upon the blessings of this year. Our year has been mixed ... with record sales at our annual trek to Mich Fest and slow-going back at home - more in line with the general state of our economy - causing us to ponder things seriously. We have decided to stay cheerful and optimistic, seeking new growth and learning opportunities.

We look forward to sharing new ideas with you as we continue to explore the meaning and expression of the 'language of symbols' in our lives.
     peace and love,

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sophia's Garden- Pilot #2

We are counting our second pilot party for Sophia's Garden as a smashing success!
It was different than the first and will be different from the ones that  follow ....we suppose.... as 
this concept arranges itself and grows.

our first Sophia (wise woman) 
helping a customer and smiling
for the camera.
  Leila, our caterer (and my daughter) for this gathering, impressing the KRD staff (Betsy, Kathryn and Melissa) with her Australian blogsite Tablenosh.
Some of our guests looking at brochures.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Give-A-Way and the Potlatch Tradition

The Pacific Northwest indigenous people's tradition of Potlatch or give-a-way is a gathering in which a family or tribal leader hosts a ceremonial festival.  A primary purpose of the Potlatch is the re-distribution of wealth and teaching of the concept of giving. In honor of the spirit of Potlatch, we will be giving away a few of our silver pendants  periodically. Find out more about the Potlatch traditon on our Art for Social Change page.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


We named our first born Jamil.  At that time, his father and I were celebrating in the Dances of Universal Peace (Sufi Dancing) around Charlottesville, Va and Atlanta, Ga. Jamil is one of the ninety nine names or attributes of Allah. It means 'the beautiful'.

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the man behind the proposed Islamic center near the site of the World Trade Center, is a Sufi. Sufism is generally understood by scholars to be the inner, mystical, or psycho-spiritual dimension of Islam. One of the most prominent Sufis was Rumi, the Persian  also known as the Sufi poet of love.

The Sufi Community is vibrant and peaceful around Charlottesville where I live. A few years ago, while studying Japanese Tea Ceremony, I designed a pendant for my teacher Asha Greer (senior teacher in the Sufi Ruhaniat The piece is called ‘Gratitude’ and it includes the Sufi heart and wings in a gesture of gratitude and service (giving and receiving).  Click here to find out more...

So…. when news reached my ears that Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is a practicing Sufi I sat down at the computer to study a little more and then….write. The current news story about the mosque at ground zero is  fascinating to me as I gather more information.  It is being used, often shamefully and ignorantly, by politicians and pundits to further a variety of fears and untruths. I hope you will be moved to do some earnest research about the ancient mystics, including Christian and Jewish Gnosticism and Sufi masters. 

"Our work is to spread the knowledge and love and light of God. By stressing the positive, the affirmative, the true, we help ourselves and all humanity".
Murshid Samuel L. Lewis

 PS: My son Jamil loves his Sufi name. He has a tattoo of it in Arabic on his shoulder. The name  fits him well as he is bright and happy with a spiritually inquisitive and open mind.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Magical Sea Turtle Kauila

(wax carving~copyright 2010 Melissa Luce)

Living in a freshwater spring, 
Kauila always kept a watchful eye
on the children (keiki.) She loved
the keiki so much that sometimes
she transformed herself into a little girl 
so she could play.

I started working with K back in April, and have been enjoying polishing silver and fixing blemishes on her beautiful silver sculptures. Working with K has been very inspiring and I had/have many ideas about designs. One day, while looking through a magazine, I saw a photo of a baby leatherback sea turtle heading towards the ocean. It looked so vulnerable and brave, and the shape was beautiful to me. I started by drawing different designs and learning more about the turtles--both biologically and storywise. When I heard the Hawaiian myth of Kauila, the magical sea turtle, I knew I wanted to create a sea turtle pendant. 

Then the Gulf Oil Disaster happened, and every day I was getting emails about the difficulties these turtles were facing--all 7 species on the endangered list--now being covered in oil and their nesting grounds at risk. And again calls the story of Kauila, who lived in a freshwater spring and watched over the children. My interest in creating the pendant increased as this magical turtle seemed a beacon for our times. The importance of clean water is becoming more and more apparent as we continue to pollute. We need to nurture the sources of clean water, for our sake and for our children as well as the animals who depend on it.

So I started carving, with advice and tools borrowed from K. I had never carved anything before, and I would practice on spare pieces of wax until I became competent at some aspect of technique. I decided I liked one of my practice pieces, and so took that to near completion (as a leatherback turtle.) But then the design seemed too complicated and I found out that Kauila was a Green sea turtle--a hardshell not a leatherback, and so I began again on the original piece, this time turning it into a green turtle with the characteristic hexagonal pattern. This whole process took several months as life would distract me or I would feel intimidated by the process (and the prospect of ruining what I had started.) And all the time, the sea turtles were suffering for lack of clean water and sand. It felt important to get the turtle finished. 

Well I just found out, the first rehabilitated oiled sea turtles were released into the Gulf today. And I just finished one more pass over all the lines on my little sculpture tonight. We will send the wax to the caster this week who will turn the wax into silver. As soon as it's ready, I will be contacting sea turtle conservation and protection groups to see if they are interested in partnering with us to help raise money for sea turtle protection and research. I'm aware of the Sea Turtle Conservancy,, and Save the Sea Turtles International, but if anyone knows or has personal experience with any Sea Turtle groups, I would be interested in hearing about them.

Thank you and look for Kauila at K Robins Designs very soon,

Monday, July 26, 2010

Matzu - Goddess of the Sea

Sea Goddess Matzu is on sale at half-price for a limited time or until we run out.   This sale is only being announced on Facebook, so forward to your friends.

We hope that Matzu will serve as a graceful  reminder of the importance of respecting and caring for our precious seas. 

Find out more about Matzu (Mazu) on our Guardians of the Sea page on our Blog. Click here to visit Matzu and purchase her on our website (
or call us at1-434-361-2128.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Guardians of the Sea

Your purchase of our water designs will inspire us in our work as artists of social and environmental change. Our intention is to also assist organizations working to protect the waters of the world with our art and funds if possible. Visit our Guardians of the Sea page to find out more about these pieces and the project. Items may be purchased at our website .

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

From K's Sister

Welcome to our new blog at K Robins Designs. We have been wanting to do this for several years, so here we go. I am K's sister, Sidney and I will be the one urging K to write, reply, etc. Also, you might just see posts from me, Kathryn, Betsy, Melissa, Kelsey - all of us work for K (not full-time, since this is a small business, but believe me, we are fully engaged). Anyway, this has been a somewhat strange last year. The loss of our mom has prompted changes - one of them being a move. The 'journey' to the Rockfish Valley Community Center has been an adventure, but we are settled in and finally settling down. I will let the other ladies talk more about that, if they wish.
Anyway, we will be posting happenings in the Studio at RVCC, new designs coming up, your comments and other things as we also learn more about blogging. We so appreciate your sharing your stories about the wearing and giving of K's designs. We have received so many beautiful stories in the past and they are all heartfelt and inspiring. Now we want to start sharing with you.

LOTUS - I have been wearing CHANGER for years and years, but this year, for some reason, Lotus started calling to me. I guess after Mom's death and some of the personal and physical struggles I have had in the past few years, it became more about opening up my heart and soul to others and new possibilities. For many years, I had been drawn to Changer - it had been about changing and facilitating change in the world - it still is, but I realized there is now a new dimension - thus,Lotus feels right to me now. Sidney