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Meet my neighborhood: Coyoacán

My favorite thing to do is to walk the streets with a camera in hand and capture beauty. In Coyoacán, my new neighborhood, this is easy. Everything seems to shout out: look at me, I'm interesting! 


Art Clay Documentary

Here's a short documentary made by my talented friend, David Haghenbeck, from Focus Cinema and  Wild Film, for the first Art Clay Mexico exhibition. He and his lovely wife and creative partner, Patricia, photographed and filmed me in my Roma apartment in early September.

This is the english translation of the interview:

My name is Jennifer Musi and I am a jeweler.

It has has been 9 years this month since I began to make jewelry. I took a class in a government-run trade school, where I learnt the technical aspects of the trade: how to cut, solder, and learn all the basic skills you need to make jewelry with a few tools and a simple method. 

I began to create from an early age. My mother is an artist, and when my sister and I were little, she showed us how to make things so that we would let her work in peace. She taught us every new medium she learnt. We learnt to make punch rugs, sew, knit, dye fabric and paint. So ever since I was young, making things with my hands has been natural to me.  

I love Art Clay because I was first a painter and a ceramist, and my work as a jeweler is very graphic. Art Clay allows me to draw on a maleable substance and turn it into a piece that is hardened by fire. With my background as a visual artist, it is the perfect medium for me to make jewelry. 

Art Clay registers every mark I make when I draw on a soft rubber mold. It is the best way to faithfully reproduce something. I love that I get to keep every mark I make during the building process: it registers fingerprints or crooked lines, and both can be part of the finished silver piece. I think that those details or “accidents” give life to a handmade object. It’s like when children draw, it’s their looseness and freedom which gives their art such energy and vitality. 

For this show, I made 15 small amulets. Some will later become pendants or rings, but for this exhibition I decided to leave them as small frames. Every piece has a figure; there are animals, objects and people. I like that every one is a symbol: the hand represents peace or protection, animals are the beast within, they are all a part of us. I wanted to create a playful inner world. 


Coyoacán Tree House

I have a new home. The earthquake kicked me out of the colonia Roma, and now I live in the south of the city, in a colorful borough named Coyoacán (Place of Coyotes, in Nahuatl). 

Colonia del Carmen, where my apartment is located, has been home to the poet Octavio Paz, the actors Dolores del Río and Mario Moreno Cantinflas, exiled Leon Trotsky, and of course, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, among many other creative beings.

Here, I feel the ancient roots of Mexico. The old hacienda homes, the carved churches, the amber fragrance of copal incence, the abundant food and craft market. Nature is present on every block, and my heart soars when I pass flowering cacti on the sidewalks, or walk under the shade of magnificent jacaranda trees. 

The national university is nearby, so there are students enjoying themselves in every park bench and fountain; some read, others converse, exited to be alive. I feel the same way. 

I am grateful that the adventure continues. After the ground shook me, I became more present. I no longer seek to understand the great mystery of life, I just let myself feel it. 

Welcome to my home!
 


Bookshelf

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My new bookshelf has arrived! I designed it to fit my book collection, and had it made with a local carpenter.

Books are an important part of my life, every time I pick one off the shelf I get new ideas. 

My home finally feels complete.

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New Home

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I finally feel at home in my new apartment. In the past two weeks I’ve had to make important decisions by trusting my taste, my ideas, and my way of understanding life. I’ve spent time alone, and I’ve also had magical encounters with special people. This home is perfect for good conversations and for introspection. 

I am fortunate to live in such a calm, beautiful and luminous place. As soon as I venture into the street, I appreciate the contrast of being surrounded by people, pets, energy and movement. In the Roma –my neighborhood– everything is within reach: parks, galleries, restaurants, cafes, and markets.

I am ready to create.

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