Allie Hafez: Artist's Statement
I started making jewelry in my teens, to accessorize the clothing I was making for myself. To this day, most of my inspiration for jewelry comes from fabric and textiles, especially when I see color combinations that I love, but would never have occurred to me as compatible.
Although I rarely make clothing anymore, I still like to work with fabric and fiber, especially if I can mix them with other materials. I like to recycle/re-purpose a variety of materials into my art, preferably in ways that aren't obvious to the viewer.
I have a vision impairment, so most of the materials I use must be fairly forgiving. That forgiveness will allow me to back up to an earlier part of the process, or even start over, without wasting materials, if my poor eyesight leads to a mistake. I usually have to improvise from my "mind's eye" and use trial and error to do what I think I see. Therefore, rendering an idea into a finished piece is always an adventure into uncharted territory.
Like many artists, I consider being creative as essential for my emotional well-being. For 35 years, I was a practicing Occupational Therapist, which gave me first hand experience with how effective the artistic process can be in helping people overcome challenges and achieve personal goals.