Guardians of the Sea

Clean drinking water and healthy oceans are clearly a high priority. Join us as we educate ourselves as caretakers of this vital resource.

It makes sense that these five goddesses should form the foundation of our Guardians of the Sea Project. I began to really focus on water a couple of years after making Yemaya and Oshun. I wanted to bring attention to the possibility of water as a human right. The theme of water protectors, healing waters and fresh water was imbued into Marina and Calypso. I asked my apprentice Jessica to begin her carving experience with a water design and she came up with a piece I named Matzu. I now have two more wax-carving apprentices that I have asked to begin with water pieces. We shall see what comes especially  now when everyone is very concerned about the gulf.

We are planning to announce a half-price sale on our Sea Goddess Matzu, hopefully this week.  The sale will only be announced on Facebook.

Is it interesting to me that, just as we are about to put her on sale, a wealth of information about her is presenting itself.  Yesterday I actually heard a story about her on NPR.

Over a year ago, I stumbled upon this name when doing a search for a sea protector.  There have been hundreds of sea protectors down through the ages and I picked Mazu (Matzu is the alternate spelling) to personify (or anthropomorphize) our whale tail.  If you do a search on her, you will find a wonderful story about a Chinese girl with healing and visionary powers who became immortal and forever roamed the country, rescuing and helping fishermen in distress. 

Art as Activism  

Please let us know if you are involved in a project that is raising consciousness about the waters of our world. We would like to brainstorm with you!

These are some sites we are researching - you might find them interesting or useful:
Hydraulic Fracking - Next Disaster
Get informed about this procedure in your community and get it regulated!
Gasland" - now on PBS

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,


K Robins Designs said...

“You sit up there with a straight face and act like you know, when you don’t know”- gulf resident at town hall meeting with BP and government officials.

We know now when we lift off the lid of the underworld mother Earth bleeds. She is talking to us now. Will we listen?
Virtually all indigenous cultures have myths about gods and goddesses living in the natural world - in rocks, mountains, glaciers, forests, oceans - as did European culture before the Scientific Revolution. Calling the Earth “sacred” is another way of expressing humility in the face of forces we do not fully comprehend. When something is sacred it demands that we proceed with caution… even awe.
Naomi Klein on BP oil hemorrhage

K Robins Designs said...
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