SfragaSaga ~ Mwimbaji Earth Art by Barbara Sfraga
Working in Collaboration with Nature
I spent a good part of my life as a musician, then took a sharp left turn a few years ago to pick up my art where I left it a few decades earlier. At a pivotal point in my life, my sister suggested I reconnect with drawing again. It was just what I needed at the time, and from that, I started picking up interesting sticks and twigs and shells and found objects, putting them together like pieces of a puzzle. Very therapeutic and quite cathartic, the urge arrived right on time and became so healing that it overshadowed some challenging issues til they dwindled away to nothingness. For me, creating is a fast track into the vortex, and connects me immediately to All That Is. A place of pure Love and Healing.
At first I just put together elements of things I enjoyed wearing that made me feel good. After friends and strangers started complimenting me on the pieces I was wearing, I started making them for others. I made pieces for band members and friends and family and interest grew. People commissioned me to put together elements of pieces they resonate with, sometimes bringing me their own trinkets to work into a piece (I still do that today).
I named the Tree branch element line Mwimbaji, after a friend from Kenya started calling me "Mwimbaji", which is singer in Swahili, and I love the way that word feels when it is spoken. I wore a SfragaSaga Mwimbaji neckpiece everywhere, especially on stage, because it felt so good. Even though I no longer appear on stage, I always have one on because it brings me joy. As the Mwimbaji line expanded I started incorporating gnarly roots from fallen trees into the mix to create decor, trinkets & "Spirit Trees" which are usually set with semi-precious stones, aligning to different chakras.
As you can tell by now, trees weave through the essence of my life - even when I pick up a pen or pencil to draw, what pops out is a tree of some sort morphing every which way. And it's important to note that I never take from a live tree, but seek out the most wonderfully gnarly branches and roots that are left behind after a tree has breathed its last breath.
A Tree's journey is not lost on me. I am fascinated by the evolution of a Tree's life on this earth. From seedling to majestic beauty, its resilience and stamina in the face of the elements and every other challenge, this amazing creature is my gold standard of 'grace under pressure'. We see Trees pushing their brave roots up through city sidewalks; if a boulder is in its path it will simply route around it. No protests or lawsuits, it simply seeks the path of least resistance - 'live and let live'. Absolute acceptance, expecting nothing and making the best use of whatever is given.
Trees are the perfect role model - firmly rooted, yet always reaching for the sun. Focused yet flexible, they rest heartily in winter, then swiftly spring into full frontal foliage when the time is right. On top of all that, they're a constant source of purification for this planet, breathing life into everyone and everything. (I wanna be like that when I grow up.)
Mwimbaji Earth Jewelry is an homage to Trees. It's a Thank You for their life-giving essence and a small way for me to set their fallen pieces on a new journey.
As a Reiki practitioner, I always create in that space, with the intent that each piece - whether wearable or decor - supports the highest intention of the owner and radiates that loving energy out into the world. Should you choose to adopt a SfragaSaga Mwimbaji piece, may it work with your Essence to bring out all that you deem positive. And may it always bring you joy!