Barbie Koncher lives in Hawaii and uses banana fiber as an element in creating her Spirit Women. Indigenous materials add authentic magic to her creations. She sent me some photos of her work along with some great notes:
I’m happy to share my techniques. I have always shared ideas with fellow artists. Inspiration and sharing is critical to artists. I am working on shaping some banana fiber for a Spirit Doll who will inhabit it. I am using this instead of a stick body, using your techniques in my own way. This banana fiber has been soaked overnight then cut to size and scrubbed clean. You can only cut and shape when wet. Then I’ll wax with encaustic before I begin to build my doll, Shaman or Spirit woman. You have shown me an entirely new path!
There’s a lot more to know about this remarkable woman:
I have been creating jewelry for 35+ years and am best known for my large bead creations and fused glass jewelry (20 years). I designed for Saks Fifth Avenue, numerous cruise ships (traveled with them as a guest artist), and my glass was sold at the Museum for Women in the Arts in Washington, DC.
But wait, there’s even more!
I also had a 25 year career with the Department of Defense and capped that career working at the Pentagon and State Department.
I am a certified Art Clay instructor and am toying with the idea of making faces with bronze Art Clay, if I can keep it light enough. I also torch fire enamel on steel beads or copper screen. I am retired in Hawaii and 75 years old but I can’t stop creating. I am an active member of the Kona Palisades Artists and the Las Vegas Artisans Guild.
I just made some lovely cheese cloth painted fabric! I’m having so much fun with the Spirit Woman series.
In this last photo, Barbie accents the Spirit Woman with a cracked glass Christmas ornament and some sea glass. There’s something mythical about it all.
I love Barbie’s work. Many thank to her for permission to use her photos and her thoughts. If you’d like to get in touch with Barbie, you can email her here: firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s such a pleasure to see how the Earthshard faces travel around and inspire so many fantastic artisans. So, now I have the words to “It’s a Small World After All” running through my head!
Happy Holidays – and dare it say it? Happy New Year – yay!!!!