Finding a Focus

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We have already hit the half way point through October, a month celebrated for the advent of Halloween, baking season, and other cold weather treats. October, for some, also signals the onset of seasonal and holiday depression. Incidentally, October has been declared Mental Health Month by professional mental health organizations, including the American Hospital Association, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and the National Council for Behavioral Health. This focus has gained traction with the global artist community, and artists of various forms and mediums are participating in “Inktober“, a collaboration to raise awareness of mental health conditions and support for the individuals battling varying degrees of disorderly states. It is also traditional artists, largely painters and sculptors who have catalyzed the relatively young discipline of art therapy in the academic and medical forums. 

Not until the 1940’s was art therapy formally legitimized in the Western world as effective means of sustainable treatment for individuals dealing with chronic illnesses, but the concept and practice of using traditional art forms to soothe the mind and soul has been in practice around the world, notably in Asian and Middle Eastern cultures. 

Conceiving a project and contemplating ideas momentarily closes out the disappointments and disturbances which can preoccupy the mind. Bringing our artistic visions to life with our hands not only redirects our thoughts and emotions; we have rendered a tangible collage of our feelings, perspectives, and even aspirations. Sometimes we produce art forms that others can relate to. This article focuses on art forms that, again, can be used for brightening the holidays: creating small decorative focals. 

Southern Arizona is home to many skilled crafters and two particularly have produced some very unique pieces which incorporate wire wrapping.  

Hailing from Cochise County, multi-faceted artist, crafter, and photographer Karen Evans fashions beautiful leather work, jewelry, quilts, and much more! Her wire wrapped focals marry semi-precious stones with other elements of nature.

Desiree Beazell is a jewelry designer in Pima County, and she has channeled her creativity into beautiful jewelry made with precious and semi-precious stones. She is accelerating bead work with her crystalline spiders. Looking for a way to advance at work? These spiders are the perfect gift for co-workers! They provide most enchanting distractions – just be sure to not place one on your workspace. 

Aside from employing our personal creativity in choosing focals, Karen and Desiree advise paying close attention in selecting wire with the appropriate thickness. Wire can be purchased at almost any craft store and can be ordered online. 

Capture someone else’s focus with your own creativity this holiday season! Cheerful October to all! 


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