like stars in the sky...

Added on by Tamara Rafkin.

life, art, life and art, life is art, life as art... 

this worries project has taken on a mood and life of it's own, little did I know when it began as an idea, a spark, a concept how it would unfold and wind it's way around my days. some projects happen quickly and some slow like a tree growing- effected by the seasons, rain and sun.

this one is slow - giving the attention and care to the worries I've been given to transform is a heavy task at times. so far while working on this project my own life has brought it's own worries and made it difficult when absorbing the worries I've been intrusted with - last year brought my mother's death after a lifetime of her struggling with mental and physical health issues plus after her death complications arising from the social system that was her guardian. It took most of the year to resolve the issues that came with it all. yet, in the midst of that I managed to progress, albeit slowly working my way through more worries when my own were able to be put to the side (and all the while continuing on both my photographic work and ceramic studies).

As I was working with all of this, a new set of worries came to me from a dear friend that wanted to participate in my project for which I was grateful- not just for the want to contribute but as a sort of way I could help this friend who was fighting cancer to hopefully ease their mind.

As this year came with it's fresh start and more emotional space to continue, I got back to work on the worries....finally getting to share some of beads with their contributors, to make the photographs of the beads in their hands. In between that creating more beads around written worries, firing them, releasing them....and I worked on my list continuing on in the order they have been sent to me.

April rolled around and it became more apparent the worries from the friend fighting cancer needed to be transformed... I made the beads, they went into the fire and one of them cracked (the first in all of them that I've made that has broken in the oven, maybe the worry was too strong). I glazed them to look like the ocean reflecting this persons love of the water and ability to float/surf through life, handling all that life has thrown and maybe also embodying my hope for the friend to get past these worries. next glaze -  out of the kiln and again unplanned results, all the beads had small unglazed pin prick spots on them in random patterns - which when I stared at them made me think of constellations. So I decided they they must be filled in in gold leaf, like shining lights in blue water - a reflection of the stars.

Then the news came this Summer - the contributor for these was told there is nothing more the doctors can do,  the cancer is too strong...the friend is making the most of every moment and I knew that I must send them to the friend. These beads were finished while I cried, cried for the impending loss of someone I care about, cried for the worries that have passed through my hands, cried for the mother and years of worry she weighted me with, cried as transformation...

...all the while threading the beads that look like stars in the sky.