A Tibetan Moon: Shamanistic Indie Designers

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From the Zlaba range

I recently had a good, earthy chat with a couple of indie jewellery designers who showcased their work at the Brightspot market in Jakarta. Brightspot’s goal is to provide an outlet for local and international designers to present their innovative or original work to a receptive bunch of funky junkies.

All of Tarita Aurora’s creations in her jewellery range, Shamanistic Adornments, are produced by her own hands – each piece is original and unique and influenced by the natural patterns in nature. I was eager to find out about the philosophies behind Tarita’s craft.

I grew up in Sydney, Australia, from the age of 10 until I was 23, when I recently moved back to Indonesia. I grew up with a diverse group of super creative and out-of-the-box people in Newtown. We challenged each other to be original and constantly bounced ideas.  I guess my principle of DIY has been greatly influenced by these guys. They silently taught me that each unique piece captures an original ‘soul’ or essence when made by your own hands. I also just really enjoy making stuff with my hands; it’s a meditative thing for me.

Are all of your creations inspired by the “Sky, Earth and Sea” and if so, how?  

Yeah most of my creations are inspired by designs found in nature, unaltered by human hands, so I try to flow with nature’s patterns. I gather bits ‘n’ pieces from all the places I’ve travelled around the world as well, not just Indonesia; and if I don’t get to travel, I usually get my friends to bring me back any bits of nature they can find from their travels.

You once posted, “Indie designers SHOULD support one another and settle differences with respect, clear communication and mutual understanding. We shouldn’t compete with one another, because no matter how ‘similar’ designs are, the unique touch will always prevail.” Is there a background story behind this?

Not really, just a general social observation. It stemmed from commentaries from friends and customers when, for instance I’d be out at Brightspot and there would be another feather jewellery stall. The first impression would be like “Ooo there’s your competition,” but I never got that impression. I believe all creations (no matter how similar) are unique and regardless of how hard they try to copycat, the outcome will always be different. That’s just natural and I think that if we support each other with positive vibes and words of encouragement it will help us push towards honing and finding our own signature styles.

Shamanistic Adornments

From the Shamanistic Adornments range

I was tattooing long before I did any other work. I did a short apprenticeship after high school, when I was 18-19 years old. Tattooing has been my original calling since I was around 14-15 years old, for some strange reason. I grew up in an artistic family, both in fine art and technical fields. My dad is an architect, my mom a painter, my cousin is a technical sport shoe designer, so I’ve been making scratches on paper since I was a little girl. I spent around 12-14 years in Australia, since I was 10. The awesome crazy artistic people in my hometown helped me push boundaries of creation and mediums.

While Tarita brainstorms on plans to produce a silver jewellery collection she is pausing the ranges, however her Shamanistic Adornment items are available to order online and she also accepts custom orders.

Indie designers Salvita DeCorte and Noran Bakrie also showcased their jewellery line, Zlaba, at the Brightspot market. Curious about their multi-talented backgrounds, I asked Noran about how these two artistic minds became conjoined to create Zlaba.

I’m a photographer and Sal is a fashion model, we met at work; I was shooting Sal in her homeland in Bedugul, Bali. We became friends afterwards, especially when she got a work contract in Jakarta so she moved in and we hung out more often. We get along in terms of art tastes, and I rarely find someone who likes the things that I like in this town, so one day we were eating sashimi and Sal told me that she’s been making jewellery and showed me her creations, I was stoked. It was about the sea. I’m all about the sea, I fell in love instantly.  And I told her about my plans to make a jewellery line called “ZLABA”, it means the moon in Tibetan, and then it was Sal’s turn to be stoked because she said she is all about the moon. So there you go. The moon and the sea got married and gave birth to ZLABA.

Shamanistic Adornments

From the Shamanistic Adornments range

Dead Sea collection is one of the most personal lines that we have. Sal’s been collecting corals and stones from all the beaches she’s visited, from New Zealand, India, Lake Tahoe, and of course Bali. Each coral or stone is a piece of her memory, re-experiencing the time when she visited the beach – for others, it’s just coral, but for Sal, it is a piece of her.

Brightspot also featured designer Bonnie Natasha Arif whose goal was to create everlasting pieces that outlive trends for her clothes range “Ensemble”, as well as designer Martha Ellen from London who studied fashion in Jakarta – Ellen used traditional Indonesian designs such as ikat in her creations. The next Brightspot market is already being planned for April-May 2014. Finding unique, long-lasting, crafted items is not easy and hopefully more markets will be accommodating to indie designers. As Noran says, “We love markets like Brightspot – it is exactly what we want, to be that tiny shop in the corner with lovely jewellery and a shop assistant who you can always talk to about life.”

Further Information

Shamanistic Adornments: https://www.facebook.com/shamanisticadornments

Zlaba: http://zlaba.com/

Brightspot: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Brightspot-Market/208208121962

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Tess Joyce is a writer from the UK but currently lives with her husband in Indonesia. Her writings have appeared online for OFI.