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Etha Chakma

Location: Rangamati, Bangladesh

I have been creating since the age of four when my impoverished immigrant mother taught me to sew up little cloth dolls for my intense enjoyment.  Right from an early age, I enjoyed the process of thinking about a concept and creating the reality in my hands.  I now create bead embroidery jewellery; all one of a kind of course, with due respect to the woman who likes to purchase something special that will not be replicated elsewhere.  In a world of mass-produced everything in this day and age, I continue to experience great joy in thinking, designing, and working through the oftentimes difficult element of creating a unique piece of jewellery right through to holding it in my hands to enjoy.  What I find particularly challenging about this passion is that I am self-taught so learning the hard way is often the best way of consolidating crafting knowledge.  I have exhibited my bead embroidery works back in South Australia.  My last exhibition was a solo one. My days are largely spent in my workroom which is packed to the rafters with all manner of colours and textures.

I am dyslexic but have managed to create through both this lens and that of synaesthesia.  Both elements contribute a unique style to my organic works.

I have also published my first book, “Budget Cook Grow” in response to the hard economic living standards experienced by many Australians.  My book delves into my prepper-based lifestyle and encapsulates a lifetime and beyond knowledge on how to live well and thrive by budgeting, cooking meals and growing food.  The book also contains 14 chapters of largely ancestral recipes and horticultural information from my professional background.

When not creating unique pieces of wearable art, I am usually “indie” hand-dyeing Merino wool and using the dyed fibre to create felt works.  I am currently working on a selection of hand-felted, mixed media, hand-embroidered handbags.  I am also a pastel and acrylic painter.

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