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S/V Blue Dawn of Sark: Circumnavigation I & II
Sea's Reflections
Smiles, Giggles & Crafts: An insight into Tongan Life
09/20/2009, Neiafu Market, Tonga

I always wondered since I first visited those islands in 2000 why most of the Tongan are such strong and big people.
After spending several days at the local market learning how to weave baskets with Primrose; a gentle and patient man who passed onto me his knowledge and magnificent work; I was able to meet many of the local vendors. A real private insight onto Tongan lifestyle started!
By learning their trade and wanting to be like them, all barriers broke; they immediately accepted me and gave me their friendship. I did not know yet how lucky this was going to be. Groups of local peoples crowded around, amazed to see "Palangis" (foreigners) crafting as they do. Everyone wanted to talk or help, sharing their food and bringing drinks to quench our thirst after 5 hours of weaving! And I had to control myself to stop my laugher when I saw schoolgirls taking pictures of us?
Spending such a long time with Primrose, Mary, Analite and all the many others something came to me. Maybe they are just big people because they have to house such an amazing personality, an enormous heart and a huge sense of humor. When I think about it all I can remember is smiling faces and the lovely sound of giggles echoing underneath the corrugated roof.

My Craft's Gallery
Painting Sarongs
07/19/2009, Moorea, behind the Bali Hai, Maeva Center, Natural Mystic Shop

What a great afternoon, with my friend Brit, having fun with the two ladies at the Natural Mystic shop and learning how to paint on a Pareu. It took us about two hours to finish the work! First we had to think of something to draw then they give you a small jar of Gutta, which is a rubbery substance derived from the latex of any of several tropical trees of the genera Palaquium and Payena. You use the gutta to draw your design and then you fill up the different area with the paint. The result was really surprising and could not believe how well they came out!
Click Here to See the Website of the people making the dyes with tips to try making your own pareu!

Click Here to See Pictures!

My Craft's Gallery
Making Pareo
06/15/2009, Moorea, Cook's Bay

The girls and I had a pareo dyeing course at the shop of Magalie behind the Bali Hai Hotel. It was really fun to try the Sun Painting or Heliographic Art. It is a process whereby certain fabric paints are applied to fabric and while still wet, objects like stencils, leafs, feathers etc are placed onto the wet fabric. It is then placed in the sun, the outlines of the objects are transferred to the fabric.

My Craft's Gallery
Whimsy in Bottle
02/13/2009, Around the world

I always had an interest and passion for manual work. Since I traveled around the world, crafts have been a big part of what I have experienced: seeing local people weaving, carving and using the natural products of their environment inspired me.
I developed a desire to learn from them, they are really pleased that I am fascinated by their handiwork. I had the chance to learn all type of methods, from dyeing to weaving. It is really lovely to be sitting in small villages with the women teaching me their craft, I sometimes become the attraction of the area with flocks of children watching. Even if my hands are slow and awkward I can see pride in their eyes. They absolutely love that you get involved in their life.
I have also learn a lot from yachties, so many of them are real talented artists! But the best of all so far has been when David on Danza showed me of to prepare and carve bone.
I really enjoy picking a bit there and some more there, take all that I have learn and mixed it up. My favorite craft is to carve little pieces of life and build them up into a "Whimsy in bottle".
On the picture above you can see one of the scene in a bottle that I have created with mostly wood and bones. I was trying to remake the deck of an old whaling ship. Oh, there is one thing I must clarify after getting several emails, my little bottles are not pure Whimsy as I am only using them to display my created scenes. I have not yet tried to use a narrow neck bottle but it will come in the future. To be able to fit every pieces through a very slim neck is incredible!
I will love any tips or suggestions as always, thanks.

Click Here to see Pictures!

My Craft's Gallery

 

 
Trintella 75
Who: Geoffrey & Geraldine Ashby
Port: Guernsey
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