Sand and Fire
Exploring African glass beads
M.Kala’s first collection, called “Sand and Fire”, features beads, traditionally crafted in Ghana from recycled glass.
Glass is made from sand and heat. It can change shape and purpose. In pre-colonial Africa, it was considered precious to such extent that the beads were used for trade. Nowadays, they may have lost their worth but they are still loved as multicoloured adornment. M.Kala was touched by the different stories that one could read in the beads: stories of conquest, power, changes but also attachment. In her pieces, she incorporates them sparingly as if they were precious stones and textures the silver to resemble the grainy aspect of the beads or the sand. Using simple tools – the hammer, the torch, the drill - to shape the silver in patterns echoing those seen in textile and sculptures in Africa, and particularly in the Congo area - she creates statement pieces that have a rough but tactile beauty.
The Kala Collection
After texturing the silver I cut it in simple geometric shapes and assemble them together to create articulated pieces. I am inspired by the symbolism of ancient Kongo as seen in textiles and sculptures.
This explains the earnest tribal look of the pieces. However, being minimalist in term of colour and forms, they also have a contemporain look. I specially like the way the silver shimmers softly in the light when the pieces move on the body.
It was said that we came out of dirt.
This collection came out of experimenting with sand casting around the idea of Kala (birth) and earthy texture.
The pieces look like a piece of a planet out of which a dot - an event/ a Kala / a birth ? - is coming out.
It started with a brooch and it became earrings and a bracelet
The Birth Collection