Thursday, 9 May 2019

Thursday at Mystica - art and sadness

This morning I woke up with sadness. One of my favorite writers, Jonathan Safran Foer, in one of his novels, calls this state of mind 'heavy boots'. 

My morning solution for heaviness of heart is to jump in the pool.

The weather is cooling down, fans are off, the pool is cold. Nevertheless, I like to jump in in the morning to help wake me up. (I am not a morning person). Nothing like cold water to make you feel alive and ready for the day.

We had a morning pottery class, with a really nice group of people. I floated around, feeling heavy, which sounds like a contradiction, but that's how it feels. 

In the afternoon I went to meet an old friend, who is especially good for lifting the spirit. I love this friend because she always makes me laugh, even if the conversation is laden with comparing frustrating obstacles. We laugh at ourselves, at our successes and failures, at our sadness and joy. 

When I paint, I listen to music. Depending on my state of mind, I choose the music. Sometimes its Ben Howard.....a beautiful sadness. Yes, sadness can be beautiful. Radiohead is one of my favorite bands for painting. It's powerful and deep. 

I want to work on my unfinished painting... but cannot get started. Self-doubt keeps creeping in. I like this painting so far and am so afraid I will mess it up. I tried to express river stones, like the ones we had while living by the river in Africa. It was a dark river, surrounded by wild vegetation and many tall trees. If you stand in the river and place your hand just under the surface, it disappears into the darkness. In the shallows, you can see the river stones, brown, green, beige, the color of autumn leaves. I painted a wash of color and then started on the stones. I need to continue with the stones and then try to capture the reflection of the water. Here is a picture of the stones so far.

Maybe I will feel better tomorrow. More capable. For now, I feel like this painting of an abandoned room:

Just floating in space.

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Today at Mystica Art Studio

Today, I decided to keep you all in the loop. Many things happen at Mystica and I thought I would share some things with you.I will try to be more consistent from now on and share some of our journey. I hope you can relate to at least some experiences, funny and sad, up and down, struggles and successes, but always trying to focus on the beautiful things in life. There are many. Sometimes the world seems to be completely upside down. The priorities are are muddled up. How do we keep creative and inspired?

Last night we had a great class with quite a few new students. The ambiance was warm and positive and very calm. The evening classes always seem to be soft and relaxed.

This morning we are working on a proposal for a mosaic wall. We need to depict a story that begun in the 1940's and continues today. It's a long and mostly tragic story condensed into 2 x 1.5m (approximately). This is a huge challenge. I won't tell you the story yet. We were requested to end the story with some light, expressing a feeling of hope for the future, so we are debating how to express this in the most effective way. When working as a team, a couple who both have ideas about how to express a story,  it's quite a process to agree on a final decision. We always start with a direction and let it develop from there as we work. Somehow we always end up with a similar vision. Then there are technical challenges, which are almost easier to solve as there is always a 'best' way of doing something.

Over the weekend we had the privilege of attended a life cycle event. It was very meaningful and beautifully expressed. A child's passage to adulthood. The facilitator is a special person who has assisted us with our family journey over the years. We presented him with a small token of appreciation, a symbolic gift from our studio.

Ceramic pomegranates: symbolizing fruitfulness.

So, let us continue planning this large mosaic wall surface, and I will keep you updated. 

Love from Mystica.

Thursday, 26 May 2016


Yes, I haven't visited my blog for a very long time. I've been kind of lost for words.

In the search for simplicity I find much complexity.
I long for the basics.
The distance is too far between the food on my table and the source of it.
I want to go fishing, to plant our own vegetables, to spend free time doing art.

Instead, we spend our time running after cash.

Here are some pictures of our attempts at simplicity.........far from perfect, but closer to the source......I miss those times.......I dream about these times and try to find a way to do it again......even better, with everything we have learned.........

The paradox.......the simplest things are hardest to achieve, in the context of today.

Let me know your thoughts......about this there anyone out there thinking the same?

Saturday, 21 November 2015

October 'Animal Raku ' workshop



 Congratulations to Natacha, Stephanie, Stephanie 2, Julie, Simon, Tessa and Torin for their exceptionally beautiful creations. We had a great atmosphere and the firing evening was a night to remember.
The November workshop firing falls on a full moon, so there is a good chance of getting amazing color effects. Watch this space for the results of the full moon fire after the 26th November.




Monday, 3 August 2015

Baby hand and footprints in ceramics:

Our second request from new parents for something to keep and remember forever. I think they came out great, with the ancient look that was requested. We enjoyed being part of this memory. This set was for baby Sienna.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Made in Mauritius

Funky teapots at the Mystica studio, Mauritius.

A range of funky teapots, made to order. Individually hand made, no two are the same.
Come to the studio for a visit and choose your favorite teapot.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Tribal Harmony – The Way of the Fijian

Eighteen degrees South of the equator in the East Pacific ocean lie the three hundred and thirty three island nation of Fiji.

The Fijians are different from other Pacific nations in that they are the only Pacific people descended from Africa.  They are renowned for their navigational skills till today which makes sense when you think of the incredible distance they had to travel by boat in ancient times to get to Fiji from Tanganyika (the modern Tanzania). The legend of their mysterious journey is another story for another day because for now, I would like to tell you about their inherent synchronicity with nature.

A tribal people who still own their land, the Fijians live simply, surrounded by immaculate gardens of coconut palms, hibiscus and banana trees in tidy traditional huts devoid of clutter. The traditional ‘sulu’ or sarong is still worn by everyone and they will greet you with a friendly and open ‘bula’ smile which represents a welcoming peace and harmony. 

Kava ceremony

 Originally used only by the Chief, it has become an almost every day occasion or at least every weekend on the mainland.  On the outer, more remote islands, it is more traditional and just as often. Joining our tribe at a Kava ceremony we present a ‘sevu sevu’ - an authentic Kava root to the honorable Chief.

Most late afternoons, one can hear the sound of the Kava root being pounded with a large metal pestle and mortar type apparatus, a friendly clanging sound in the distance. The powdered root is squeezed with water in a cloth and poured into a Kava bowl, carved from the Wesi tree.

We are all invited to sit in a circle on a natural woven mat. The ‘bilo’ (coconut shell)  is filled, low-tide, high-tide or tsunami and is passed around.
The diluted, powdered root tastes like bark. Our tongues instantly go numb. A few members play the ukulele between rounds. The laughter comes as naturally as the deep blue waves in the nearby lagoon. The kava ceremony exudes a certain tranquility and everyone is free to tease, to laugh out loud and everyone does, for hours and hours.

We laugh from our bellies, a deep, loud, satisfying laugh, full of substance (excuse the pun). We giggle, chuckle, fall down laughing. We laugh at each other’s shortcomings and make fun of each other’s mistakes. It is an intelligent laugh, a knowing laugh, a kind laugh, a laugh that symbolizes acceptance and respect for the natural world.

In spite of the many hardships around their daily existence, the Fijian demonstrate a certain grace. Their attitude and way of life is to be admired and their ancient traditions to be cherished. We can learn a great deal from these gentle and strong people and should grant them the utmost respect.

To make things all the more intriguing, to be angry in Fijian culture is taboo. Imagine that………to be angry is taboo. This is the way of the tribal Fijian.

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By Maiyan Karidi @