Advanced work of apprentice Inga Savage

Advanced work of apprentice Inga Savage

 

 

Inga is a very creative soul, and is even experimenting with techniques I have not tried out myself. Here is the first two fo what I expect to be many listing for for my etsy.com shop.  You can click on the photos to enter the etsy shop pages for these all new pieces. They are part of a series, the rest to be posted soon I hope, on a Fairy Tale theme.Love_to_Dance_i

Finding_Joy_i

Only one workshop planned for the rest of 2015

Only one workshop planned for the rest of 2015

Want to learn how to weave Ojos de Dios mandalas to give as holiday gifts?  Not so sure about learning from videos?  I’m holding ONE WORKSHOP between now and the end of the year, scheduled for Sat-Sun-Mon, Nov. 7, 8 & 9. If only a very few sign up, it will be held in my small apartment in east Asheville, NC.  If more than 4 or 5 sign up, it will be held in the much larger house of my apprentice Elizabeth, in north Asheville, NC.

You can take one day, or two, or all three, with prices of $45 for the first day, and $25 for any one other day, all materials included.  Email me if you have any questions, jayfroggy@yahoo.com, or call my cell: 828.707.0759.

Information available online, including payment links to reserve a spot by paying in advance with PayPal.

Go to ojo.guru/workshops

Earlier I had planned on a trip to Mexico in November, but that trip has now been put off until Jan-Feb 2016.  More information on that later as plans get more concrete. I’m still swamped with custom orders to get finished up, but my apprentice Elizabeth has gotten to the point to where she can help me with almost any order that comes in, so that helps a lot. Hopefully before the holiday shopping rush sets in we’ll not only be caught up, but have built up a collection to offer on my etsy shop, and maybe even to take to a local crafts fair here in the Asheville area.

Peace and love always,

Jay

 

 

 

New instructional videos on patreon.com/jaysmandalas

New instructional videos on patreon.com/jaysmandalas

pearl_within

 

For those who want really complete video instructions, up to and including weaving your own 12-sided, 24 inch Ojo de Dios, I’ve uploaded new videos to my patreon site.   This is the second batch, and covers all the way to the needlework, which is usally the final stage of mandala weaving, although in this particular ojo, it gets woven in a bit before the end. It’s all based on the pictured ojo,  The Pearl Within. The video clips are raw and unedited.  Later, I’m going to use the experience I gained from filming these, and create a truly polished and finished instructional video, which will include adding tassels. That video will require a monthly pledge of $3 a month, but for now, all uploaded videos are available even to those who pledge as little as $1 a month.

I also hope to get back to writing my biography, which includes detailed instructions and information about Ojos de Dios. This too is to be made available via my patreon.com/jaysmandalas page.

Interested in an Ojo de Dios workshop? choose your own dates!

Interested in an Ojo de Dios workshop? choose your own dates!

 

Weekdays, weekends …. one, two or three day workshops can be arranged for most any days for $35 the first day (all materials included) and $25 for additional days.  I recommend three days if you want to make anything complex, but just one day may well be enough to get you started, and able to work on your own.  Prices subject to change at any time.

Workshops coming up in June and August, 2015, other dates available by request.

Check out THIS WEBPAGE for details, and to make payments. Call me with any questions, 828.707.0759, or email: jayfroggy@yahoo.com

I get a bit wild in my designs

I get a bit wild in my designs

Ojo de Dios, Heart of Gold

Once I started weaving these new interlocking designs, of course I had to keep on experimenting, and I’m sure I’ll be weaving many more in the future.  This one I think came out particularly nice.  You can click on the photo to see and learn more in my etsy.com online shop.

 

Ojo de Dios, Silver Lining

My most modern and wild, “Silver Lining”

 

 

 

 

Golden Ring

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although I’m returning to more conventional weavings, and working on my writing, for the moment, expect more such designs down the road.

 

 

 

All my best wishes for much joy and creativity for all my readers,

Jay

Spiritual significance, or artistic beauty?

Spiritual significance, or artistic beauty?

Usually when weaving a mandala, I am thinking only of creating artwork.  Also, to me at least, in as much as a mandala might be a talisman, or have some spiritual significance, my idea is that, the more beautiful I make the mandala, the more spiritual significance might shine out to the viewer. And so, while weaving away, I seek to create the most beautiful mandala that I am capable of weaving.

If you have read My Ojo de Dios Story  on my website, you know that back in the 1960′s, as a young man, I discovered that Tibetans, and Huicholes of Mexico, made yarn and stick mandalas of incredibly similar design, and that this got me started on my path of mandala artist. Later, after reading a National Geographic article about Huicholi Indians, I realized that both the Huicholi and Tibetan peoples used their yarn and stick mandalas as protection from “ghosts,” or “evil spirits.”  Here is a recreation I wove recently of that Tibetan/Huicholi design.

Slowly over the many years of weaving yarn and stick mandalas, I’ve evolved my own style and pattern of work, which has ended up mostly being twelve-sided designs with a central diamond, and needlework of various patterns in the border.  Artistically, I very much like the complexities and the design possibilities in a twelve sided mandala, but I also like the design comparisons to common Western cosmologies.

I think almost every spiritually minded Westerner believes in either Jesus as the Christ, with his twelve disciples, or in the twelve signs of the Zodiac, as meaningful patterns.  Myself, I believe in both, and so see twelve as a particularly meaningful number.  Also the fact that twelve is the combination of three, for a three part Godhood common to both Hinduism (Preserver, Protector, Destroyer) and Christianity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit), and four, for the common pattern of the four directions commonly referred to by Native Americans, gives the number twelve special meaning to me.

I virtually always weave the very center of my mandalas as a four point diamond pattern, matching the center patterns of the very first yarn mandalas I saw. I also almost always weave that center pattern with white yarn. I aim to accomplish two main things in my yarn artwork: balance of color and design that stills the mind; and a constant return of the viewers eye to the mandala center.

Today many people are drawing, painting, and using computer programs to create mandala patterns. I much prefer my woven mandalas, however, with their three dimensional, stand-out-from-the-wall reality.  There is one design element to the woven mandala, especially in the twelve-sided pattern, that stands unique from the other mandalas available today; and that always points back to the mandala center, and that is the empty spaces.

Overall, my best hope for people that hang one of my mandalas on their wall, is that it brings a bit of beauty into their lives, and perhaps a reminder that there is a higher power watching over us, and that we can learn to remember that beyond the everyday cares of life, there is unlimited beauty, everlasting peace, and true happiness.

Moved to new home, new phase in life

Moved to new home, new phase in life

I’ve moved from the Myrtle Beach SC area to a brand new home in North Carolina, 17 miles north of the incredible and artistic city of Asheville, and just two miles south of the equally incredible small town of Mars Hill.  The house (?) that I’ve moved into, shared with the couple that owns it, is the most amazing space for artwork that I could ever imagine I’d find.  In fact, I didn’t “find” it, but rather advertised what I was looking for, and owner Mark Peyton answered my Craigslist ad.  Mark and his partner Betty and myself share more values and ideas about life than seems possible ….. two prime examples: No TV, and blending foods in a Vitamix.  That last is especially magical for me, as I’ve been eating often two meals a day run through a Vitamix blender that I had to leave behind, as it is owned by my former, North Myrtle Beach, housemate.

So, for this post, THE HOUSE.  First of all, it’s not really a house at all, but a commercial building that the three of us are living in.  There is, though a huge kitchen, and, well, bathrooms (albeit of the sort found in gas stations).

The magical part is the space for displaying artwork, as Mark and Betty have transformed the former general store/gas station into an art gallery.  It’s not a full time art gallery (if you are in the area though, feel free to drop by) but rather is opened up once a month or so for special shows and events. What this opens up for me is, a new phase in my life, that I’ve had in mind for a long time: teaching others to weave mandalas through workshops.  The ceiling here is about twelve feet high, and windows for natural light are huge.  Artwork, chandeliers made by Mark, and such things as Amethyst crystals, are everywhere.

The cabinet is for glass knobs that Mark makes from tumbled glass, made to resemble beach glass.  Originally is was a library Dewey Decimal system card file.

 

 

Packing up, moving, and now unpacking has, of course, seriously disrupted and delayed my work schedule, but in the long run living here creates all kinds of opportunities for expansion of my artwork, and I’m very much looking forward to getting back to weaving new mandalas, and, planning and hosting my first Asheville NC area workshop.

Ojos de Dios and the Native American

Ojos de Dios and the Native American

My artwork, perhaps especially when I weave 8-sided designs, looks like Native American art, and so I have to be very careful in how I represent my work, as, I believe, all weavers of Ojos de Dios yarn mandalas should be careful. Let me state clearly, that, although I’ve largely been inspired by Native American artwork, I have no known or provable Native American ancestry, nor any affiliation with any Native American tribe.

In like fashion, I believe it is important for all weavers of Ojos de Dios to never label their artwork in such a way that anyone might confuse your work with arts or crafts created by genuine Native American, unless, of course, you genuinely are of American Indian blood. Likewise, I think it’s good to give credit to Native American influences and inspiration in as much as that is the case.  One might note that it is not only courtesy to avoid all claims of unfounded Native American origin, it’s the law, and a person falsely representing work as Native American when it is not can face serious fines.  For more, see The Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990 .

Collecting Native American art is a wonderful thing, and I strongly encourage it, as myself, I find Native American arts and crafts to the amongst the most beautiful artworks available.  If you are looking for American Indian made Ojos de Dios, I only know of ONE current weaver, a Lupan Apache from southeastern Texas, Julia Nava.  You can find her artwork online at a Cyrstal Buffalo website.  I was once able to find some of her pieces on eBay, when a shop owner who had carried her work went out of business, and sold off remaining stock.  I have some good photos of that collection HERE.

For anyone looking for genuine Native American arts and crafts, the Dept. of Interior, Indian Arts and Crafts Board has an online Source Directory, with listings by states.

 

When traveling around our great American Southwest in recent years, I did run across a few galleries and trading posts with either Hopi or Navajo ojos, but compared to the great quantity of such offering back in the 1970′s, there were very few indeed to be found.

My own first findings of Eyes of God was in the Guadalajara Mexico central market, where there was a stand of Huichol items for sale, including several colorful 4-sided (with four added on 4-sided smaller ojos) in a pattern I later imitated, and you can see an example of my most recent creation along those lines here.

This is definitely not Huicholi colors, but I believe I got the design proportions close to what I saw back in 1966.  I was commissioned to make this ojo for a HBO movie, but it ended up not being used.

A few months after I purchased a couple of these ojos, I saw an amazingly similar yarn mandala as part of an exhibit sent from Tibet.  I wrote up that experience on my website, Ojos-de-Dios.com HERE.  I plan on telling that whole story in more detail on this blog in my next post, hopefully coming soon.

Myself, I’ve often maintained good relations with individual Native Americans, received tips on weaving Ojos de Dios yarn mandalas in at least one case, and have even sold my work to Native Americans in recent years.

As far as I can determine, the Navajos and other tribal people in the United States, as I did, took up the mandala work of the Huicholi peoples, and expanded it into their own designs.  I believe also that native people of the USA, in a much larger area even the our great Southwest, took up the weaving of Ojos de Dios, and hung them in their own homes.  Apparently certain tribes in South America also have their own versions of yarn mandalas, which I assume evolved separately from the Huicholi peoples or any North American tribes.  There’s a good write up of the Huicholi Ojo de Dios in Wikipedia.

Until next time, Peace and Love to all,

Jay