Silversmiths Brigitte Huet and her husband Ivan Campant are making their last sterling silver jewelry castings in December 2013. They will dismantle their Oaxaca Kand-art studio in early January 2014 to prepare for a permanent move to Brittany, France in early spring. For over twenty years, Brigitte and Ivan have been carving intricate, traditional Mexican designs derived from Azetc, Mixtec and Zapotec symbology using the ancient lost wax casting method. Sadness does not begin to express how I feel about this. It is a creative loss for Oaxaca.
Here is a message from Brigitte and Ivan to share with you:
I write because we may have met in Oaxaca, during one of our trips to the United States, or in a jewelry making workshop you attended. Perhaps you collected and wear one of our jewelry creations. I write to share this news with you.
My husband Ivan and I are returning to France in March 2014 where we will live permanently. It has been a difficult decision since Oaxaca has been our home for over 20 years and we have met many wonderful people like you during the time we have lived and worked here.
We want to stay connected to you and hope you will join our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100005496314184) where we post photographs and the process of how we work. There will be new designs to come, too. We will create these after we settle into our new home in France. My Facebook email is firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Who knows ? Perhaps you will come to visit us there or we will see you again somewhere else! Maybe even in Oaxaca! Thank you for your interest and support of our work. We appreciate it.
Con besos y abrazos – with kisses and hugs – a bientôt – until we meet again,
Brigitte Huet and Ivan Campant
Their work can be found at El Nahual Gallery, 5 de Mayo, Central Historico, Oaxaca. They are also accepting special orders which they will cast and make before they leave. For any of you who know their work, you know how finely detailed it is, the quality of the workmanship, and the love and caring that goes into each piece. For those of us who love Mexico, Kandart work represents a contemporary interpretation of pre-Hispanic life and reverence for the forces of nature: earth, wind, fire, water, sun and moon, soaring eagle, grecas and caracols. The codices become wearable art.
Yesterday, Brigitte and Ivan came to the casita for lunch. They brought with them treasured plants to entrust in my care. I promise to care for them well. We talk about their future and leaving Oaxaca. We talk about how everything they own must fit into one small shipping container. We talk about how tourism has changed since the 2006 APPO demonstrations, fear of drug violence, and the economic crash of 2009.
I am reading Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart by Mark Epstein, M.D., a Buddhist psychiatrist-therapist. He talks about transience and letting go. He reminds me of the impermanence of all things. He tells me to be mindful of each moment and the beauty therein. To be is more important than to do.
This is a perfect lesson for me as I begin to say goodbye to Brigitte and Ivan. They are leaving Oaxaca but they are not leaving my life. A bientot. Until the next time. Perhaps in Bretagne.