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Creativity and En-lightenment with Ziva Art

July 16, 2012

I had a unique lesson in creativity recently when I participated in a Ziva Creation Workshop.

What is a Ziva Creation workshop, you ask? Good question!

The word ziva literally means “light, ” “bright and radiant” in Hebrew. As a piece of art, a ziva is a 3-dimensional work that is created using an array of reclaimed materials and personal relics you want to treasure visually. The idea behind a Ziva Creation Workshop is that you discover a hidden part of yourself as you unleash creativity in the ziva-making process.

Deciding to embark on this workshop was a challenge for me. Although I love creativity, I was intimidated to create my own art piece. I often get an idea in my head what the artwork should look like and if it’s not remotely in line with that vision, I get frustrated. But I really liked the idea of this workshop because I would be creating such a personal piece. And I’m a firm believer in honoring family heirlooms and jewelry by displaying them prominently rather than keeping them stuffed in boxes and drawers.

So with a few pieces of jewelry in hand (and my camera), I spent a Sunday with different women creating our personal treasures. The day was led by the Ziva Queen Deborah Wiley of ZivaWorks. It was a truly enlightening experience. I’m so proud of what I came away with. I highly recommend making your own Ziva. It’s amazing what will come out of your mind, heart, soul, and hands.

Here’s a glimpse of the Ziva Creation day.

The Ziva workroom was FILLED with recycled art pieces, jewelry, metal, wood — you name it!

Deborah said to walk around and let the pieces select me. So after browsing table after table, here’s what I came to my seat with.

Here is the jewelry I brought from home.

Then we were confronted with a variety of glues, poor tools and stuff to put the Ziva together. I actually drilled!

My workstation as my Ziva came together.

I ended up having time to create two Ziva pieces. Here is my big creation, which I called Taking Flight. The butterflies and dragonflies really spoke to me. Probably because I feel like I’m soaring on a flight with my new business and life. I love butterflies and I’m now finding them all over my house.

There are two personal pieces on this: the gold flower-looking broach with the mini pearls on it, which was a gift my great aunt left me. The other items is the silver butterfly toward the bottom. This was a pin Bryan bought me during one of our first holidays together. The pin became too loose to wear, so I honored it on my Ziva.

Here is the second Ziva I created, which feels very peaceful to me. Hence the name Paz. The silvers and blues are calming. When I saw this frame on the table of Ziva stuff, I knew I had to have it. And for some reason, I loved that turtle!

The hamsa, or hand symbol, was from my necklace, as is the pendant at the bottom with the Tree of Life, snake and red apple. Toward the bottom you can see a tiny gold apple with a piece of jade inside. That was a necklace pendant that belonged to my mom (probably because she was a teacher). I think it’s one of her first jewelry pieces and I thought it way too precious to be sitting in a drawer.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. July 16, 2012 3:27 am

    Cool! I have lots of single earrings, broken bracelets, etc. What a good idea!

  2. July 16, 2012 6:12 am

    Just lovely — and what a great way to honor and recognize precious things!

  3. July 16, 2012 6:33 am

    Those are beautiful Leah! How special. And it seems like a fun and motivating way to create! You are always going to such great workshops. I need to look into some! If I tried to do something like this on my own, it would never happen 🙂

  4. July 16, 2012 7:37 am

    Beautiful! I’ve never been “good” at art and I think part of my problem is that expectation I have about what a piece is supposed to look like. I need to let go of that, too. Your work is so inspiring!

  5. July 16, 2012 11:50 am

    This is a wonderful report, Leah! You captured the feelings of Ziva Creation perfectly. I loved having you in the workshop, and I thank you for taking the time to write about it and post these great pictures.

    For those interested: the unique Ziva Art show (showing mine and workshop participant’s Zivas) is still on display through August 11th, 9-5, M-F, at Hera Hub in Sorrento Valley.

    On July 29th another Ziva Creation Workshop is scheduled at Hera Hub. For more information please email me:

    You are all creators!
    with love,
    Deborah Wiley

  6. Lin Johnston permalink
    July 16, 2012 6:12 pm

    Hi there Leah. I am a friend of Deborah’s, just reconnecting with her after 20+ years. So am now being schooled in Ziva creation 😉 !! Your Zivas are amazing, truly, and you gave us such a good sense of what the experience was like for you! Thanks for putting it out there! Best to you – Lin

  7. July 17, 2012 2:17 pm

    I LOVE the pieces that you made at the Ziva Workshop Leah, they are absolutely wonderful. Well done for rising to the challenge and creating some beautiful works of art you can cherish always.

  8. July 18, 2012 9:25 am

    Oh what fun. I’ve never seen this form of art before. You certainly listened well and made 2 beautiful pieces. Well done. 🙂

  9. Nicole Amato permalink
    July 18, 2012 8:23 pm

    Awesome! Great job, Leah!! 🙂

  10. July 19, 2012 6:43 am

    Wow, how creative!

  11. July 19, 2012 12:12 pm

    Leah, your Ziva creations are beautiful! I especially love the one titled “Paz.”The blue hues are lovely. I like the idea of pieces “selecting me.” It’s as if they assist in inspiring me to create! I wish we had workshops like these in my neck of the woods! 🙂

  12. July 19, 2012 12:38 pm

    Hello Leah, again. I loved reading all these comments on your experience. I have been thinking for quite some time how to make this workshop available to a wider audience. I am thinking about creating an on line experience, or training where anyone could make this workshop happen in their area. I find that many people think they are not creative, but this experience proves this to be totally untrue. I would so appreciate any feedback on this idea, how it could manifest and if anyone would really want to facilitate a Ziva Creation Workshop in their part of the world! Thanks so much.

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