Recent Creative Pursuits: Naima-biles

Just a quick post to update you on my month of August, which is unbelievably, almost over.  I've continued teaching, worked on a CMMAG project, and got word last week that I was to be included among the artists in the third annual African American Cultural Festival of Raleigh and Wake County (wow, that's a mouthful, isn't it?!).  I'd been on the waiting list for over a month, so I'm glad to know I'm finally in. 

Our CMMAG project:  "Winds of Change," debuts next month, and will continue through October, Breast Cancer Awareness month.  Participating members are creating wind chimes or mobiles which will be auctioned off in early October, at the Carolina Artists Colony in Sanford, NC.  It's a great cause, and a lovely idea, but when it was announced, my first thought was: Here's another one of those "out of my comfort zone" projects, since I don't work with anything which makes a good wind chime sounds!  Polymer clay is clunky, and beads don't really make sounds, so I was at a loss. 

My second thought was:  I'll make a mobile.  Yay.  But wait, I don't know how to build a mobile...uh oh...I need help. After a bit of moaning and complaining, my son the architecture student came to my rescue, and sketched out a design. We figured I could use paper, fishing line, and lightweight wire, but needed a way to hold the wire at the top.  So, I made a small cylinder of polymer, cut the wire, and pushed it through.  Once baked, the wire stayed inside, and we were in business.  My paper shapes are cut, painted and stamped with my original designs, and I love the result!  So much so, that after submitting the first one for the Winds of Change event, I've made four more to sell at the African American Cultural Festival.  I'm calling them "Naima-biles." Naima is the Arabic word for joy, and these mobiles bring a smile to my face whenever I see them.  I hope they will do that for others, too. 

Isn't it funny how when you're nudged (or shoved) outside your comfort zone, wonderful things happen that you'd never imagined? 

We're still working out how to best photograph them, but here's a first effort.  What do you think?
Naima-bile II
©2012 Michelle Davis Petelinz