“Let the beauty you love be what you do. There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the earth.” ~Rumi
This quote appears just below the signature of every e-mail Susan Reeves sends out – After learning about Susan and her amazing talent, you can see that she lives this mantra…Moondog Treasures is truly all that – uplifting handcrafted jewelry designs that inspire in so many ways. The love that is within each piece is clear.
Susan Reeves created Yoga Jewelry by Moondog Treasures out of her desire to merge two of her favorite things: yoga and art. Her jewelry includes mala bracelets, thai silver pendants on beaded strands, soldered pieces, stamped pieces, and jewelry made from PMC (precious metal clay).
Susan is a vinyasa yoga teacher, and creates jewelry from her home in Highland Village, Texas where she lives with her husband, daughter and son. Her work is sold online and at yoga studios in the Dallas area. Susan’s jewelry has been presented at various craft fairs and trunk shows, including Exhale Spa Dallas and The Art Show at Yoga Island.
Yoga With Style aims to connect with artisans who work with charities that we support as well. Every year during the month of September, Susan donates 54% of all sales of her mala bracelets to charity. She does this in honor of the Global Mala, an incredible annual yoga event that was set into motion in 2007 by Shiva Rea to raise awareness and funds for causes that affect our planet. See www.globalmala.org or www.yogamonth.org for more information. We hope to further support Susan’s efforts in this charity by designing a Yoga With Style mala to be donated to this cause in 2011.
As with so many of our designers, I just love hearing about how they started out and what inspires them:
YWS: When did you decide to become a designer/artisan?
SR: Probably when I first dipped my hands into finger paint as a child. Creativity is our birthright. We are all artists in the way that we express ourselves in the world. It comes about in different forms and at various times in life. At one point, I expressed myself through learning another language and teaching it to others. Then I discovered an endless well of creativity when I gave birth to my children. I love peering through their eyes and seeing the fresh view that they had of the world. Creativity emerges through my evolving practice and teaching of yoga. My jewelry creations came about in the past 5 years, and recently my passion for yoga and jewelry have combined to form the collection, Yoga Jewelry by Moondog Treasures.
YWS: Where (or how) did you train?
SR: I learned how to bead from my best friend, Cynde. We’ve signed up for jewelry workshops together as birthday gifts to each other. I’ve learned many techniques that way, including metal stamping, soldering, and working with silver clay.
YWS: How did your training influence you?
SR: My training has given me the basic techniques. Beyond that, pure inspiration guides me.
YWS: Where do you get your ideas?
SR: My color ideas come from the outdoors. If the colors appear together in nature, they look good together on a necklace or bracelet. I also gain inspiration from the beautiful language of Sanskrit. Several of my pieces include Sanskrit words, phrases or mantras.
SR: I’m inspired by what I see. Soon the bluebonnets will be blooming all over the state of Texas. Their bright violet-blue color will show up in my spring collection. I’m also inspired by what I hear. I’m in love with kirtan! The first time I experienced it live was hearing Dave Stringer perform during a yoga class in California. Some of my other favorite kirtan artists are Jai Uttal, Donna DeLory, Steve Gold, and Girish. Just last summer in Venice Beach, I was walking along the shore and happened upon a small group of yogis sitting in the sand and singing, only to find out that it was Girish. I definitely joined in!
YWS: Is there any symbolic imagery in your work?
SR: I’m fascinated with the stories behind the great figures of Hindu mythology. Many of my pieces contain images of Ganesh, the god of wisdom and remover of obstacles; Hanuman, the monkey, revered for his courage and strength; and Nataraj, Shiva as the cosmic dancer.
YWS: What helped to shape you?
SR: My biggest influences have been my grandmother and my mother. My grandmother expressed her creativity through sewing. My mom feels most alive when she is in her garden. Jai Ma!
YWS: How did you decide on this medium? What are your favorite materials and colors, media, to work with?
SR: I started to create yoga jewelry because I was not seeing it for sale anywhere at the time. So I made my own. My favorite jewelry art medium is PMC (precious metal clay), which arrives to me in clay form. I mold it into a design that inspires me, and fire it at 1200 degrees in a kiln. This burns off the clay binder and leaves a pendant of 99.9% pure silver. My pendants are unique, containing tiny marks and faint fingerprints where I worked and formed the clay. I don’t sand these away because it shows that the pendants are made by hand and are one of a kind.
YWS: Tell us a little about your personal yoga practice and how it affects or inspires your designs?
SR: I began practicing yoga in 1998, after the birth of my daughter. I’ve been teaching vinyasa and gentle yoga since 2005 and became an RYT-500 through Yoga Alliance in 2009. My teaching style is influenced by Shiva Rea, with whom I completed an advanced teacher training program. I continue to study with Shiva and serve as a mentor to new teacher trainees in her program. I love how Shiva encourages all people to discover their own creativity in the flow. I experience this flow every time I step onto my mat and every time I sit down at my work table to design a new jewelry piece.
Yoga With Style offers Moondog Treasures to our customers and we literally cannot keep it long in our studio space! We look forward to having some exclusive designs just for Yoga With Style that supports Susan’s efforts with charity as well as personafies our mantra and Susan’s:…love & light! We have so much gratitude for sharing Susan’s designs with you!