Vibes & Vices: Eccentrica Jewelry Workshop @ Spanish Experience Center

The practice of self-decoration through jewelry is a universal human tradition that dates back far into antiquity. Early pieces of flair were made from materials such as shells, stone, and bones, and were worn as mild protection for especially vulnerable areas such as the neck and wrists as well as indicators of status or affiliation within a society.

Historically, jewelry was worn by men as regularly if not more often than women for these reasons…if you were the only monkey in the valley who could make blue rocks, the chances that you would attract the attention of cave-ladies who prefer that color sharply rose.

While jewelry retains some vestige of its primal purposes, it is mostly worn for aesthetics in today’s world. Of course, I’m a guy who places a high value on aesthetics…the vast majority of modern-day humans do, I just don’t deceive myself about it.

I type all this to explain that self-decoration is kinda my thing, and so when a special collaboration between Eccentrica Jewelry and the ever-popular Spanish Experience Center in 5 de Deciembre (Rep. de Chile 182) was announced, I was almost obligated to partake.

The Vibes: I met the mind of Kimberly, the creator behind the designs at Eccentrica, before I was charmed to make her acquaintance at the event. Among her imaginative designs was a piece I will do well to describe in under 1,000 words, a pendulous chain of bronze-toned oval links adorned in places with large detailed feather pendants in a matching finish and anchored a by an oblong chevron amethyst.

It had been long sold by the time I saw the picture, so I won’t taunt you with an actual image, but let it suffice to say it was ever so fly.

Her shop, Eccentrica Jewelry in Centro, is filled with similarly stunning pieces from rings and bracelets to more daring personal decor like hair jewelry and anklets, those appealing markers of ostentatious optimism. She also lends her inspiration to crafting custom jewelry with a broad range of materials…anyone with that kind of stylish sensibility was clearly worth learning more about.

The Vices: Arriving on the evening of the workshop, I was delighted to see the event would be well-attended, with children of all ages gathering to make bracelets and friends. Jazzy selections played in the background to set the scene as the cool night air descended upon the open courtyard.  It was sort of like arts & crafts time at summer camp, only with red wine and guacamole instead of peanut butter sandwiches and weakly flavored Kool-Aid.

After taking well over half an hour to carefully select a theme and materials for my latest tribute to the human condition, I sat down with a few friends who had also found their way to the bracelet seminar and set about the meticulous process of threading small beads onto a short length of elastic.

It’s a little more difficult than I probably made it sound, but aesthetical architect Kimberly made things much easier with a dab of super glue applied to the end of the thread to essentially turn it into a needle…an exemplary foresight.

First, a few beads chosen for their resemblance to our home planet, then 8 larger beads, one for each planet in our solar system. A couple of charms because obviously, then a few more Earth beads. Yes, that makes a total of 10 tributes to Terra in the design, but it’s the most important planet in the set so it deserves a spotlight.

Instead of a soccer ball-size Sun marble for scale, I went the representative route with a pineapple, that glorious golden illumination of man’s ingenuity (it’s a longish story, but can be summed up “almost no king to ever live got to eat a pineapple”). The finished product was a worthy addition to my character design and well worth the price of admission.

By the end of the evening, people who would have remained strangers on the street flitted from table to table, sharing stories and admiring each others’ work. It was a fitting result for this refined revival of an ancient tradition, our brand new bracelets linking us to the practices of our prehistoric predecessors…and now, each other.

The Verdict: Puerto Vallarta’s Spanish Experience Center is the scene for an array of fun community events from language exchanges and charity events as well as local club meetings and general camaraderie. The featured bracelet-making workshop at the venue brought the kid out of all assembled, and made us all look just a little cooler as a result. Maybe I’ll catch you there.

Info:

Spanish Experience Center: Rep. de Chile 182, 5 de Deciembre (322 223 5864)

Eccentrica: Independencia 234, Centro (https://web.facebook.com/EccentricaPuertoVallarta/)

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AJ Freeman
AJ Freeman is an adventurous spirit, serial friendmaker, and general enthusiast. He lives his everyday life hoping to demonstrate the nearly infinite potential for discovery and wonder on this small wet rock orbiting a dim yellow star in the backwoods of the Milky Way.