Thursday, September 24, 2015

Carmen's Golden Crown (Wrapunzel)

The rules and regulations Musa (enlightened being and teacher of ancient times) provided for Northern societies has lived on and provided a strong foundation that still resonates and is seen today.  Such is the case with the culture of Head-wrapping.  In today's society, women from all over the world engage in the practice of head covering.  The reasons are more than religiously bounded.  Health and Fashion are just two of the many other reasons women practice head covering today.

Social media and the web have provided the medium by which women who share this commonality can engage in  meaningful dialogue to share thoughts, styles, techniques and to serve as a support system in a world where Western norms don't accommodate head covering as part of women's lives.

Regardless to society's views and status quo, women from all over are breaking this norm, we are bringing visibility to this practice, cultural aspect, and art.  I created Earth Crowns with this intention.  To provide a look and perspective at a woman and her creations as she head covers every single day as part of her cultural practice.  I am honored that another head-wrapping community, I am a part of, decided to feature me.  Big shout out to Wrapunzel.

Here is the link and title of their write-up:  Carmen's Golden Crown

The video in my YouTube Channel, seen below, features how to do the technique of the Side Bow.


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Creating High Crowns/Headwraps

"...Then, then it's, then it's the Method Man.  It's like mad different methods to the way I do my shit..." -Method Man on "Can It All Be So Simple"

Lately, I've been experimenting with very light fabrics that are not too heavy on the head.  Summer is still providing us with infinite warmth and abundant sunlight and so my creative energy has shifted to approaching head wrapping with a different state of mind.  I have come to the realization that each season informs the way in which I go about in creating a head-wrap.  With the change in weather comes internal thoughts/ideas that correspond to the state of nature.  Our internal selves (emotions-feelings) become a reflection of the weather.  In turn, our mind state controls the patterns and shifts in weather.  With nature as a guide, each head-wrap will follow a similar pattern of arrangement, but its final design will turn out entirely different from another.  It's an interesting idea of differentiation.  One small tweek, or twirl, or knot will create an entire new look to two crowns made with the same basic outline.  That is the infinity of creation.  Diversity truly is but small changes that may not be visible or apparent at first sight.  This is the beauty of nature herself and in head-wrapping when you observe the creations of a particular head-wrapper you can see what techniques they've been working with or are mastering through their different designs.  Is this jewel what religious head-wrappers that bite and make adapted styles benefit from? Maybe a smaller act in the bigger one entailing the displacement of millions of original people with a historical connection to an ancient city so that they can claim it as their own. It starts as little as claiming authenticity to a style of head-wrap once one of their members (to legitimize it's creation) has adapted it from an original style they copied from a laywoman The pompous historisczing of a people based on exclusivity of religion while their history shows their devilish collective nature by cleverly taking from the original peoples and claiming it as their own innovations. Based on my knowledge I can only conclude that there is nothing original about taking, profiting off the knowledge, teachings and creations of original to claim it as their own. And our people have truly fallen victim to these ideas.

Head-wraps/crowns by the same head-wrapper are differentiated by the small changes in the process of its design.   The placement of tails, for example, or hanging ends of a scarf after that first rotation around the head can be the variant. What gives that head-wrap part of its character is what the head-wrapper decides to do with the tails.   In this case, the summer has allowed me to start thinking about wrapping from the bottom up and focus on the upper part of my head to create new designs and styles.  This means that the foundation of these head-wraps/crowns have been it's high knotting with the variations in the tail manipulation through tucking, coiling and spreading the fabric. In the winter, my method has been to wrap from top to bottom while focusing on giving the head-wrap/crown its character by placing emphasis on the middle sides or bottom of the head.  Below are three different styles of head-wraps/crowns that followed the same pattern of creation, but varied in format because the tails were used differently each time.

 Birds Nesting Crown
The "Birds Nesting Crown" arises out of the decision to fold the scarf/fabric with printed blossoms and birds, in half to bring the sides upward and tie them at the center top of my head.  I worked on the first tail (left side) and brought it towards the right. I made a long coiling and tucked in the ends under the knot. The right tail was looped right on top of the left and tucked into the left side of the knot, where space was available. When I started to stretch and spread out the fabric in a circular backwards and forward motion, it created this wonderful rippled effect on the knotted center, and simultaneously created a nest-like overall shape. This provided the viewer with a sense of the place of origin of the head-wrap/crown. From this center I continued to spread out the fabric and achieved the design I wanted. The end result was a circular voluminous crown predominantly exhibiting on the right side of my head. The denim blue scarf was used to accentuate the top. I brought up the left right tail, which had been tied longer than its left counterpart, already tucked in under the birds scarf, diagonally on the right side. I held the scarf at the center top and then started to twist the remaining part of tail. I placed the twist portion on the left side making sure it outlined the knotted center now protruding more on the left side. The denim blue scarf added great outline and contrast to the overall design of the crown with the lines that the twist provided.

Flower Bud Crown
The "Flower Bud Crown" was the result of experimentation right before heading out. Using an Indian Sari scarf, I positioned the sari from the bottom up and made a knot on the right top side of head. Using the right tail first, I made two continuous loops and tucked under the knot. I proceeded to follow the same process with the left tail. Since the sari is a sturdier fabric, it stayed in placed much better and it created two distinct knotted loops. The remaining part of the tail, as they were not tucked in at the very end, we're brought towards the front to create a center fold. This added extra shape and personality to the crown. Using the solid green scarf, I wanted to create a hugging or holding feeling to the crown, so I brought the left tail to run through the shape of the sari scarf. This worked very well and provided much contrast and support to the sari design. Again, we are able to see lines accentuating the high top.  The green tail gave a hugged effect to the top yellow design it made me think on the lower part of a flower, in particular the pedicle (stalk) and receptacle parts of the stem of the flower. This led me to the name of the crown. It resembles a flower before it blooms. 

Birds by the Stream Crown
The third crown is the first variation of the "Birds Nesting Crown." After tying the Denim blue scarf, the left tail was left hanging for later usage.  Following the same wrapping technique as the other two crowns, the birds scarf was tied by placing it at the bottom of head and bringing the tails up to knot at top.  What followed was a first sided loop towards the right side of head by tucking the ends of tail under the knot. The second tail was re-looped on top of the first one and tucked in another part of the knot where room was available to prevent clumping and dismantling of entire design. I carefully stretched the loops up to create a bit more volume. Using the left over solid blue tail, I moved it over the bun-like shape of the Birds scarf sideways.  This gave the crown a richer shape as it scooped the scarf. The final positioning of the scarves made me come up with the name "Birds by the Stream." The crown design captured a scene in nature when birds are around a stream drinking its water and flapping it with their wings. 


In the video found in my YouTube Channel, you get to see the exact variations in details, specifically the treatment of the tails that allowed me to create two very different styles of head-wraps/crowns.  This has truly inspired me to continue working with high styles as I have a preference for them because they are more pronounced, thus, resembling more of an actual crown.  They bring me closer to my roots.  Additionally, working and creating these styles have brought me to a deeper understanding in the process of creation.  The small details are truly what set the mold for the end result.  It is in this way, creation continues to evolve.