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2012 Twenty Questions Interviews : Maria Chatzi

20 Questions Interview with Maria Chatzi

Craft Designer, Jewelry Artist,
Writer & Poet, Teacher


Maria Chatzi

1. What's your name?

My name's Maria Chatzi.

2. Where are you from?

Iím from Greece.

3. Who are you today?

Today Iím a website owner, a craft designer and crafter, a writer and poet, a teacher, a rockhound, and beachcomber.

4. What do you do? (Elevator speech)

  • I design and create unique artistic gift items and jewelry, using beach stones, semi-precious rocks, glass, wire, metals and other natural materials.
  • I write articles and craft tutorials for my website and other peopleís websites.
  • I also organize and teach short courses on arts and crafts for adults and kids, using recycled and everyday materials.
  • I do a lot of volunteering (mainly for public libraries) to help people learn how to find what inspires them and express themselves through crafts, art, and writing.

5. What's your story (how did you get here)?

I got here for the love of play, experimentation and exploration. I got here from toy to toy, from one game to another, from one realization to another — and my world of creativity, freedom and happiness kept expanding. You can read more about this in my answer to question number 7.

6. Why is creativity important to you?

Creativity is the essence of life for me — itís what makes living worthwhile. Creativity is love and believing and trying again and again. It is a calling to find the meaningful order you believe is missing from your world. Without creativity life is boring and purposeless.

7. When/how did you realize you had a creative dream or calling to fulfill?

Well… let’s see… I’ve been creative my whole life, since I was nine or ten, as I can remember — I made all my dolls’ clothes myself, even slippers and boots for them. I had learnt to embroider and do needleworks by watching my mother. First, in the early years, it seemed to be a calling to my inner self, some sort of self-exploration for self-knowledge.

When I was a teen I found myself writing verses for friends who weren’t good at writing poetry. At that time I thought all I wanted to be in my life was a story writer and a poet.

Later, when I studied at University to become a teacher I believed teaching would be only a pleasant profession to help me make a living. I didn’t know then that teaching would become part of my creative inspiration for the rest of my life. (Today, I teach crafts to kids and adults and creative writing to kids, very different from the English Language Courses I used to teach in the past but it is true I cannot live without teaching. Because as I often say “Once a teacher, always a teacher.” )

Before I was twenty I had learnt to knit and sew in my free time and made a few of my own clothes.

But it wasn’t until I got married and became a mother of two girls that I realized this creativity calling wasn’t just a journey of self-discovery nor was I gifted with such talents only to fulfill my individual needs. There were a lot of things I had the pleasure to teach my daughters and their friends as well. Through their school years, I’ve been inviting their friends to stay at our home and I’ve been entertaining them with fun creative activities, arts and crafts — games, salt dough creations, drawing, painting, card-making and jewelry-making being their most favorites. My creative life inspired me to facilitate kids and adults find their own creative inspiration. Our home was, is and will always be like a crafts and art studio, with plenty of tools and materials for all family members and friends of the family too who would like to experiment with their creative side.

Then one day, on a day trip with my family, about a decade ago, I found a lovely, round and smooth pink quartzite river stone. That was the beginning of my love relationship with rocks and pebbles and the start of my other passion: rock hunting and pebble collecting. Combine that with my love for all natural things and that’s how I took up beach combing.

With such fantastic treasures from beaches and riverbeds and the artful talent of a crafter it was only a matter of time till I opened my own crafts and jewelry studio, where I’ve spent some of my most creative hours.

8. How did you embrace it?

With the joy, wonder and anticipation a child embraces a journey into the woods, the mountains, the seaside or the adventure park of his/her dreams. With a ďPlease, let me stay here forever.Ē attitude.

9. How did that feel?

I felt blessed and challenged, peaceful and passionate, calm and restless, scared and empowered at the same time.

10. Where has your journey taken you?

My creativity journey has taken me to places of natural wonder and has made me some new friends. It has lead me to discover the power of being self-taught as well as the importance and the happiness of giving. It has also taken me to owning a crafts and jewelry studio, teaching crafts and arts to primary school kids, making crafts for school craft-fairs and taking part in fundraising, writing articles and joining online communities to promote crafts world-wide.

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