Making Tea with Camellia


Camellia sinensisis the tea plant, from it, our traditional teas come from. Refined in nature, traditional in virtues and deeply nurturing, Camellia- better known as "Tea" is the calmest, softest, most gentle and personable of all the Sisterhood.  Her mind is one of stimulating conversation, creativity and calm, her reputation being that of a healer.  Her elements are earth and water and she delights in the ritual of ceremony and in the formality of tradition.  She is just as powerful as her sister Coffea, but Camellia tends to know how to water down her personality, which can be a tad overwhelming if not properly diluted.  She acclimates well to the seasons, being best when sweet and dark in the summer, or rich and red during winter, or moon jade pale.  When I think tea, which is typically traditional black or green, I feel a deep grounding, like my body is growing still and focused.   Camellia is loved all over the world, finding herself to be an honored part of cultures all across the planet, a testament to her enduring, endearing nature.

Tea house and tea parlor culture are one of my favorite aspects of my childhood.  My grandmother regularly took me to fancy tea houses here and in Canada for high tea and beautiful courses in botanical gardens and on islands.  I admit, my favorite part was the lemon tarts and I only ever drank peppermint tea as a rule in public.  The tradition of it is a warm memory for me.  I still do tea parties, but I miss the tarts...

Just like brewing a good tea blend, brewing up the inspiration comes from a combination of creativity and tradition.  Usually when I start my statues, it starts with dreams, then becomes (admittedly awful) sketches of basic concepts.  The end results are never quite like the original plans, they wind up far different and usually a lot better.  In this case, I was satisfied with the evolution.  I was especially tickled over her tabi-sock inspired socks.  The pearl earrings were sourced from an old pair of earrings my grandpa gave me a few years before he died.   He really liked my statuettes and encouraged me to use the beads and jewelry he left me in my work.  

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