It's this time of a year, when I can proudly say:
"Hello, my name is Anna Mazoń. I'm one of 500 people who are involved yet again in an amazing initiative called Jewellery Makers for the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity."
Actually I said exactly this sentence just a few hours ago, in an interview for the Polish Radio External Service, so I thought that if I was already prepared to talk about this topic in English, I could write about it on my blog as well.
And believe me, it's really worth reading! I promise you LOTS of eye candy ;-). But first a little introduction.
The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity (GOCC, in Polish: Wielka Orkiestra Świątecznej Pomocy) is one of the biggest, non-governmental, non-profit, charity organizations in Poland. Its main objective is protecting health and saving children's lives by providing medical equipment to public hospitals. Every year (since 1993) milions of Poles donate to the GOCC volunteers from all around Poland, who are collecting money on the streets of almost every Polish city. Each year GOCC specialists choose different health issue, ask hospitals what they really need to deal with it, make analysis and then, after the money collection, they buy needed medical equipment. Simple and effective. Almost everyone in Poland knows someone who was treated in a hospital unit equipped fully or partially by The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity.
It's already the fourth time when a group of talented people from Poland decided to create totally handmade, collaborative items to be auctioned off for The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity.
Each year our initiative grows - we make more pieces which raise more and more money. During our first year we made just 7 bracelets, each one consisting of a base and a set of handmade heart-shaped charms - each charm made by a different person. This basic idea is still the same - each project we make is created by at least a few people working together - but the size of our group and amount of projects definitely changed.
This year the group has 500 members, and overall we made more than 70 unique, really precious items.
So let me show you just a few of my favourite pieces created for this year's bidding. Look at this amazing necklace - it's called "Music of the Spheres". You can arrange it any way you want and wear as many elements as you want together, in all possible colour combinations. Someone calculated that there are 6832 ways of wearing it! :-). Each facet of this beaded beauty was made by a different person.This truly is a work of art and heart :-). You can bid it here.
Another beaded and embroidered necklace was made by 39 talented ladies. Not only from Poland - one of them is from USA :-). It's super sparkly but still very elegant and nostalgic. It's called "Rainy necklace". It definitely has this WOW factor :-).
All the crystals used in this necklace are original Swarovski crystals - 84 raindrops - adorned with Toho beads. You can bid it here.
Yet another necklace, but made using a different technique - soutache embroidery - was created by a team of our soutache experts. It's called "Queen Elisabeth" and, in my humble opinion, this is a perfect name for it. It's so beautiful, regal and elegant... It is adorned with natural rubies and sapphires.
I really hope that you already get it, why I am so proud to know some of these talented and generous women and men.
Our model here is a great Polish actress Kinga Preis.
In case you don't like jewellery, we have also a lamp made of thousands of tiny white and silver beads, adorned with snowflakes and spirals - it looks like a dancing Snow Queen and its name is "Magic of light". It was made by 36 people working together. I think this one actually is my personal favourite. I could totally have it in my living room :-).
Or maybe you like.... horses? No, we don't have a beaded horse, but... in case you need a cool outfit for your four legged friend, this is yet another thing you can find on our auctions. It's called Al Shamaal - The Warm Wind. I have to admit that when I heard about this project for the first time I thought that it probably was just a joke. Now I can say that it definitely is anything but a joke! Beautifully designed and crafted by 60 ladies from Poland (and United Kingdom!), photographed on a very handsome and patient model.
Another beautiful necklace - "Golden memories" - was created using metal clay and coppersmithing techniques. All these sculpted circles were made by 20 women, during an amazing retreat in Bory Tucholskie - really beautiful part of Poland. Each little circle tells a personal story - just take a closer look.
Yet another example of a project made by 10 super talented ladies from our group - bracelets with insanely detailed miniature sweets :-). They are so life like and cute, that it is really hard not to eat them ;-). I have to say that I am also bidding this one. This is probably one of the most popular items on our auctions. These tiny charms are entirely made of different types of polymer clays.
We also have quite a few projects for men, inspired by different cultures. This bracelet is my favourite among them. It was inspired by ancient Greece and made by 10 generous women. I especially love the design burnt on this leather strap. Our model here is Sławek Uniatowski - Polish musician. Photo by gorajka.pl.
Maybe just one more ;-). This one is VERY special. This year our initiative has also an educational aspect. Younger generation - children of moms from our group - also decided to make a few beautiful things for the auctions. Small teams of girls and boys created together bracelets, key charms and beaded bookmarks. My personal favourite is this bracelet with super cute tiny owls. Probably the most important thing is that this way children learn, that by using their talents and creativity they can help others.
Ok, so let me show you what I made for this year's auctions. I took part in a project called "Wild Eagle" - it's a hand embellished leather, biker jacket, which was donated to us by a former Polish Superbike Champion - Adam Badziak. Our team added to the back of the jacket hand embroidered wings and the lovliest, steam punk stylized motorcycle. I made a pair of heart shaped charms to go with the jacket. It was a quite tough design challenge for me - I've never designed in this style before. Each of the charms is a stylized heart, but when they are put together, two eagle's claws form yet another stylized heart. In a picture below, you can see how I made them.
If you want to see our other auctions ( more than 70 exciting items), use this link:
And these are my charms :-).
Ok, that's all I wanted to write today :-). If you read it all I am genuinely impressed! :-) I hope you enjoyed this little story.
P.S. I just saw a video from a backstage of photo shoots of our projects :-D I had to share this - it's wonderful. People who are the models are Polish stars :-). My little charms are also there - with a HUGE motorcycle :-D