Dominica – Tropical Storm Erika

You may have heard in the news about Tropical Storm Erika that caused devastation in Dominica on the 26th and 27th August 2015.

The tropical storm was reportedly one category down from being classed as a hurricane, and caused all 365 rivers to burst their banks resulting in flash flooding and landslides all over the island leaving 34 dead and 22 people missing. The floods also devastated villages, the one of worst of the disasters being Petite Savanne which was completely destroyed and had to be evacuated, so a lot of people have been displaced; there are questions regarding whether the village will be rebuilt. I’ve been told that the people of Dominica did not receive adequate warning of the storm, and so as a result were not prepared. My grandmother told me that the damage is the worst they’ve seen since Hurricane David in 1979, (and that category 5 hurricane claimed 56 lives and caused widespread infrastructural damage, and severely damaged the island’s farming industry). To think, Erika still had tropical storm status.



Tropical Storm Erika has caused widespread infrastuctural damage all over the island. It’s reported to be enough damage to set Dominica back 20 years, so right now the country could use all the help they can get. So posting a few links of where to donate if you can, the Dominican government and High Commision have endorsed a couple of GoFundMe pages:

Thank you!

P.S.
Yes, my family are okay.


Updating with links as I come across them below:



Dominica (February 2015)

Trafalgar Falls, Dominica. These are a set of twin waterfalls on the island. Due to the island's volcanic nature, the waterfall on the left has hot sulphur water, while the waterfall on the right has cold freshwater. The water from both waterfalls have created pools for people to bathe in, the hot pools are higher up, but as you climb further down, you will then reach the cold freshwater pools. The water from both waterfalls then go out to sea.

Trafalgar Falls, Dominica.
These are a set of twin waterfalls on the island. Due to the island’s volcanic nature, the waterfall on the left has hot sulphur water, while the waterfall on the right has cold freshwater. The water from both waterfalls have created pools for people to bathe in, the hot pools are higher up, but as you climb further down, you will then reach the cold freshwater pools. The water from both waterfalls then go out to sea.

You may have noticed that I have been very quiet recently. I’ve been quiet for a number of reasons, one of them being that I was on a hiatus from jewellery through the second of 2014 and early 2015 while pursuing various other projects, so studio time was reduced, (but hadn’t actually stopped).

Flag of Dominica Featuring the national bird in the centre, the Sisserou Parrot (aka Imperial Amazon). Image source: Wikipedia

The flag of Dominica, featuring the national bird in the centre, the Sisserou Parrot (aka Imperial Amazon). Dominica is the only country that uses the colour purple on it’s national flag.
Dominica (/ˌdɒmɪˈniːkə/ dom-i-nee-kə; French: Dominique; Kalinago: Wai‘tu kubuli) Image source: Wikipedia

I also took the time to do a bit of travelling (two weekend trips last year within Europe, and one long haul trip in February 2015). My mum brought me and my brother to Jamaica several times during our childhood so we could see when she was from, but unlike my brother, I had never visited Dominica, where my father is from, so my dad decided it was time we fix that. So I spent February 2015 in Dominica with my dad and his wife and my grandma, seeing the sights, and reuniting with relatives whom I’ve met before while meeting other relatives for the first time.

Just to be clear, Dominica is NOT the Dominican Republic. They are two different counties and two different islands. (Image source khattstours.com)

Just to be clear, Dominica is NOT the Dominican Republic. They are two different countries and two different islands.
(Image source khattstours.com)

Just to be clear, Dominica is NOT the Dominican Republic. They are two different counties and two different islands. Also note Dominica actually had the name first. But I’ll leave it to those from the D.R. to explain their own history how they came to call themselves the Dominican Republic, while I continue to talk about Dominica, my father’s home country. Dominica is an island nation in the Lesser Antilles region of the Caribbean Sea, southeast of Guadeloupe and northwest of Martinique. Roseau is the country’s capital. Christopher Columbus named the island after the day of the week on which he spotted it: Sunday (dies Dominica in Latin), 3 November 1493. Dominica later became colonised by the French, who had the longest European influence on the island; it was then colonised by the British after France formally ceded possession of the island to Britain after losing the Seven Years’ War). Dominica gained it’s independence from Britain on 3rd November 1978. Although English is now the official language, an Antillean Creole (known locally as kwéyòl), based on the French language, West African and Kalinago influences, is still spoken by many residents, especially people of older generations.

It’s pre-columbian name given by the Kalinago people (the island’s indigenous people) was Wai‘tu kubuli, which means “Tall is her body”. Please note that the indigenous people of Dominica do not like to be referred to as “Caribs”, they prefer to be known as Kalinago. Today the Kalinago have the use of some reserved land, known as the Kalinago Territory, an area similar to the Native American reserves of Canada or the USA. Dominica is the only island in the Caribbean that has an indigenous reserve, partly because it’s one of the few islands that still has an indigenous population.

View from my grandmother's house up in the hills in Roseau, Dominica. Top right photo is on a clear sunny day, but when it rains, the water combines with the heat and steam rises from the forest in the valley.

View from my grandmother’s house up in the hills in Roseau, Dominica. Top right photo is on a clear sunny day, but when it rains, the water combines with the heat and steam rises from the forest in the valley, as you can see from the other photos. I took the photo while standing in Grandma’s porch.

Dominica has been nicknamed “the nature isle of the Caribbean” for it’s unspoilt natural beauty, it’s largely covered in lush mountainous rain forests, and has 365 rivers as well as many waterfalls and springs. Some plants and animals thought to be extinct on surrounding islands can still be found in Dominica’s forests. The island has several protected areas, including it’s national parks. Dominica is also a volcanic island, and the island is home to 9 out of the 12 volcanoes in the Lesser Antilles region of the Caribbean. It is also the youngest island in the Lesser Antilles region and is still being formed, hence there is a lot of geothermal-volcanic activity on the island, and the island is home to the second largest hot spring, Boiling Lake.

Lennox Honychurch is Dominica’s resident historian, you’re likely to get the most information about the island, it’s people, history, and culture from him. His website is:

You can also find information about the country and it’s history from the following links provided below, but there are plenty more sources out there:

An afternoon trip to the Emerald Pool near Roseau, Dominica. Yes, that's my father with his camera equipment in the bottom picture.

An afternoon trip to the Emerald Pool near Roseau, Dominica. Yes, that’s my father with his camera equipment in the bottom picture.

Like most of the Caribbean and South America, Dominica is very much a carnival culture. There were many events in the weeks leading up to the main carnival events on Monday 16th and Tuesday 17th February, including the Miss Dominica Carnival Queen pageant, the Calypso King competition, several free concerts, etc. The main carnival events kicks off with J’ouvert, which starts at 04:00AM on the Monday before Lent. Yes, you read correctly, the first of the main parties starts at four o’clock in the morning, J’ouvert is a large street party during Carnival in the eastern Caribbean region, and it’s the first of the main carnival events. Traditionally, the celebration involves calypso, soca, and bouyon bands and their followers dancing through the streets, as previously mentioned the festival starts before dawn, usually around 04:00AM, and peaks a few hours after sunrise.

The word “J’ouvert” is a contraction of the French jour ouvert, or dawn/day break. It began during the trans atlantic slave trade when carnival was introduced to the Caribbean by French settlers. The enslaved Africans were banned from the masquerade balls of the French, and so in response to this they would stage their own mini carnivals in their backyards using their own rituals and folklore, but also imitating and sometimes mocking their masters’ behaviour at the masquerade balls. The origins of street parties associated with J’ouvert coincide with the emancipation from slavery in 1838. Emancipation provided Africans with the opportunity, to not only participate in Carnival, but to embrace it as an expression of their newfound freedom. The traditions of J’ouvert vary from island to island; in Dominica, locals celebrate by blowing flutes and conch shells or by beating goat skin drums, irons or bamboo sticks while singing folk songs, bouyon music (a genre of music originating in Dominica) is a major feature, as well as calypso.

You can find more information on the culture behind Dominica’s carnival here:

Me and Dad at just after 04:00AM in Roseau during J'ouvert 2015.

Me and Dad at just after 04:30AM in Roseau during J’ouvert 2015. You’re supposed to be in costume for J’ouvert, so I put mine together, while dad decided that he didn’t feel like wearing an elaborate costume this year so opted for a mask instead.

It was during the Carnival Monday celebrations that I had the opportunity to get a proper look at the Sensay costume. My dad said that he used to make them as a child, apparently you won’t find this costume on any other island, it’s a Dominican thing. Seeing these costumes gave me some design ideas, which I’m currently working on.

The costume is similar to costumes worn in tribal ceremonies in West Africa, particularly a costume worn by the Twi people of Ghana. The word Sensay comes from the Ghanian word ‘senseh’. In the Twi language spoken in Ghana, ‘senseh’ is a chicken with ruffled feathers. Traditionally, Sensay costumes were made of sisal rope, derived from natural fibres of the agave sisalana plant. Today, they are made from crocus bags, banana leaves, frayed rope and cloth, with a mask and cow horn headpieces. The costume is tied around the entire body in layers so that it falls from the head to the feet- resembling a ‘frizzle fowl’.

Sensay Carnival Costumes. Dad says he used to make these as a child. They trace their origin to costumes worn in West African tribal ceremonies. Dominica is the only island in the Caribbean that has these costumes.

Sensay Carnival Costumes. Dad says he used to make these as a child. They trace their origin to costumes worn in West African tribal ceremonies. Dominica is the only island in the Caribbean that has these costumes.

More information on the island’s carnival traditions can be found here:

I discovered in the weeks before my journey to Dominica that carnival is a family tradition; my grandmother never misses it, she is in the parade every year and I was expected to take part in the parade as well. I grew up watching carnival parades but never took part in the parade, so this was the first time I wore a costume and joined a carnival band, it was great fun. I’m intending to go back to see the boiling lake but you can only get to the boiling lake on foot, and it’s a six-hour trek, so some training is needed. It’s worth mentioning that there is no direct flight to Dominica from outside the Caribbean; to get there you either have to fly to Antigua or Barbados, and then change flights onto an island hopping airline called Liat, or if you’re coming from the USA or Canada, you can fly to Puerto Rico and then use an airline called SeaBoard. I flew from London to Antigua and the flew Liat to Dominica via Guadeloupe.

Worth watching the video embedded below:


Back to work I go! 😉


Update: 6th September 2015

You may have heard in the news about Tropical Storm Erika that caused devastation in Dominica on the 27th August 2015.

The tropical storm was one category down from being classed as a hurricane, and caused all 365 rivers to burst their banks resulting in flash flooding and landslides all over the island leaving 34 dead and 22 people missing. The floods also devastated villages, the worst of the disasters being Petite Savanne which was completely destroyed and had to be evacuated, so a lot of people have been displaced. The people of Dominica did not receive adequate warning of the storm, and so as a result were not prepared.


Tropical Storm Erika caused widespread infrastuctural damage all over the island, enough damage to set Dominica back 20 years, so right now the country could use all the help they can get. So posting a few links of where to donate, the Dominican government and High Commision have endorsed a couple of GoFundMe pages:

Thank you!

P.S.

Yes, my family are okay.

“Makers at the Mill 2014” – (Fri 19th – Sun 28th September)

In the summer of 2012, my designs were exhibited at The House Mill in Bromley By Bow as part of the first annual “Makers at the Mill” showcase. I have now been invited back to showcase my “Fun Timer” pendant.

 

The Fun Timer

Makers at the Mill is now a yearly event which takes place at the House Mill, a grade 2 listed 18th Century Tidal Mill, built across the River Lea and situated enroute to the Olympic village via boat. It is also accessible by bus and via the London Underground network. This year it will take place from September 19th – 28th, starting just in time for the London Open House Weekend. Two other designers, Elsa Tierney and Carol Zilla (whom I happen to share my studio space with) will also have their 2012 “mill inspired” pieces on display. Fellow JeDeCo members, Catherine Marche, Cindy Dennis Mangan and Emma Lavery will showing and selling selected designs along with their own specially made pieces inspired by the Mill. As always, my studio work mate and fellow JeDeCo member Rosemary Lucas is co-curating and is showcasing new jewellery from her River collection, this time inspired by the River Lea.

The selling exhibition features fine art, print-making, photography, ceramics, copper etching, wire sculpture and artist-textiles as well as jewellery. (Please note that the “mill inspired” pieces by myself, Elsa and Carol will be for display purposes only at the Mill, and one will have to contact us directly for purchase enquiries).

The UK's oldest and largest tidal mill. 5-storey, timber-framed, brick-clad watermill with four waterwheels, originally built 1776 to mill grain for distillery trade. Operational until 1940. (Organised by River Lea Tidal Mill Trust.)

The UK’s oldest and largest tidal mill. 5-storey, timber-framed, brick-clad watermill with four waterwheels, originally built 1776 to mill grain for distillery trade. Operational until 1940. (Organised by River Lea Tidal Mill Trust.)

Address:

The House Mill, Three Mill Lane, Bromley by Bow, London, E3 3DU

 

Opening times:

Fri 19th – Sun 28th Sept 2014, 11-5pm.

Late night Thurs 25th 11-7:30pm. Closed Monday.

 

For more details visit:

www.housemill.org.uk

http://www.facebook.com/makers.at.the.Mill

How to get to The House Mill

How to get to The House Mill

How to get there:

By Road
Three Mills Island is easy to find being very close to the intersection between the Blackwall Tunnel Approach (A12) and the Bow Flyover (Bow Interchange). Take the South exit and follow the signs to Tesco along the slip road (Hancock Road). By the Tesco car park you will see a barrier across the road before the bridge leading to the island. No parking is permitted on the island so park where you can and cross the river on foot.
If any of the visitors are disabled, please notify us in advance so that we can make arrangements to have the barrier lifted.

By Tube
Bromley-by-Bow station, which is on the District and Hammersmith and City underground lines, is about 5 minutes walk away. See map for alternate stations.

By Bus
488, D8, 108. All stop at Three Mill Lane. 25,8 to Bow Road then a short walk away.

The Appeal (RE: Robbery)

In the past few weeks, you may have seen articles in both Benchpeg and The Professional Jeweller about a robbery that occurred on my family’s property. If not, then here they are:

 

http://www.professionaljeweller.com/article-14799-kareece-peters-launches-appeal-for-stolen-jewels/

 

http://benchpeg.com/news/kareece-peters-appeals-for-stolen-goods-to-be-returned/

So here’s the story…

These past three months there has been a been a string of burglaries in my neighbourhood. This started around mid May 2014, but they were most likely casing the area long before. The common pattern seems to be that they like to hit two house per day, and the burglaries in the neighbourhood seem to happen on average once or twice a week, so because of this, the residents in my area are convinced that the robberies are gang related. Honestly, considering the way it started so suddenly, it wouldn’t surprise me if a gang has recently moved into the area to cause trouble, (burglaries in the area are usually once in a blue moon, rather than waves with multiple neighbours being hit on the same day).

Unfortunately, my family’s home happens to be one of the houses that was hit. Not only have they taken work from my 2009 graduate degree show but they’ve also taken, a set of “1999 Dolley Maddison Commemorative Silver Dollar Coins” from the United States Mint that was gifted to me by my father, as well as a whole list of other jewellery items from my mother, and my brother (including rings that were given to him by our now deceased grandfather). They basically cleaned us out, taking items that I had made for my personal jewellery collection as well as very expensive items of fine jewellery that had been gifted to me by my relatives over the years.

To be frank, I’m extremely annoyed and fed up, and so are my neighbours, so I’ve decided to take the advice of my colleagues in the trade and put the word out. I sent images to trade press, particularly Benchpeg and The Professional Jeweller, on the off chance that we can get these people caught. I sent them images of the most distinctive items that were taken, but one should note that the images that I sent to the press are only a small sample of what was taken, (I wasn’t joking when I said that they cleaned us out. They were very thorough). I’ve also posted the same images to this blog post, but as I said before, the images posted are just a small fraction of what was taken.

The way I see it, the more people within the trade that know about this, the harder it will be for these people to sell the stuff. I want to make life hard for them.

I would like to request that if any dealers come across these items, that they should contact me so I can forward the information to the police. The police have specifically requested that I keep the crime reference number to myself, so I’m afraid I’m unable to publish that, otherwise I’d tell you to quote the reference number when calling them. But I am well aware that bullion dealers and pawn brokers tend to request ID from the people that they buy from. This is important because the thieves took the paper half of my provisional driving licence, so they might try to use it as ID when attempting to sell stolen goods. So if anyone walks in with a paper provisional driving licence with my full name, Kareece Deanne Peters, with an Ilford address, dealers should check to see if that licence is valid as I have reported it stolen and the DVLA have since replaced it, so the licence that they took is now void. Especially check the licence if they don’t provide photo ID. I personally only use photo ID, I would never provide paper documents with no photo as ID, so if anyone walks into a dealer’s shop with an invalid paper licence with my name on it, the dealer should not serve them, instead contact me and call the police to tell them that someone is in the area with stolen ID and most likely trying to sell stolen goods.

Contact me on:

info@KareecePeters.com

Police non-emergency number is 101

14 Days of Valentines – NOW OPEN!

Valentine’s Day 2014 comes early to JeDeCo at the OXO Tower! Watch this space for our 14 Valentine’s Day offers.

valentine poster final

From Saturday 1st February to Friday 14th February, JeDeCo will feature a different designer’s offer each day on our Facebook and Twitter pages as well as our website, (www.JeDeCo.co.uk).

All Valentines offers will have a minimum of 30% off the original retail price, and will be available for purchase from the 1st-14th February.

JeDeCo-Valentines2014

JeDeCo: Jewellery Designers’ Collective
Unit 1.17 First Floor Courtyard
Oxo Tower Wharf
Bargehouse St
Southbank
London
SE1 9PH

Tues – Sun: 11am – 6pm
Contact
Tel: 020 7633 9635
Email: oxo@jedeco.co.uk

image4

NOW OPEN! “Simply Charming” with JeDeCo… 5th – 22nd December

For the first time, the Jewellery Designers Collective are launching a collaborative charm showcase at the JeDeCo Shop in the Oxo Tower.

Join us for a fabulous start to the season!
Thursdays 5th, 12th and 19th December
5:30-7:30pm

 

Simply Charming

Join one of our special Charming evenings this December in our gallery, with a glass of bubbly. We’d love to show you around.

Our designers have chosen from their favourite creations to bring you an imaginative Collection of charms. Figurative, abstract, ornate, geometric or whimsical, every piece tells a story about the designer and their inspiration.

A perfect gift for Christmas.

RSVP
oxo@jedeco.co.uk
020 76339635

http://www.jedeco.co.uk

Kareece Sand