Jeweller Kali Yaziji, from We Of The Wild in Trentham, talks to Calder Western about how positive thinking can be a powerful force in life and how running her own jewellery business has been a rollercoaster ride that has led to many magical encounters.
We of The Wild is a beautiful shop. Can you please tell me a little about the amazing journey to its creation and how Trentham Falls has influenced this adventure?
I have always had an eye for making jewellery as well as working with spiritual teachings and the natural world, working many jobs in those areas for fifteen years while living in Melbourne.
In 2017 I was transitioning through a major life change. I was first drawn to Trentham with a single purpose, to meditate at the Trentham Falls in search of guidance. I sat within a living hollowed gum tree to surrender to myself to embrace the energy of this healing country. The forest awakened something dormant inside me, something I’d buried beneath the delusions and distractions of my city life.
What awoke was so immediate and profound that I made a leap of faith decision and moved here four weeks later. I had no plan mapped out and no idea how I was going to go about making a new life in this beautiful place. It took trust, patience and a lot of manifesting, the entire shop has come together organically. The entire space is repurposed, salvaged or bartered, from the street signage to the entire studio fit-out. You could say it has almost created itself, which is why it has such a unique energy that people always comment on.
The shop has a very organic feel, full of natural elements and designs. Where does your love of nature originate?
The spirit of the land has always been my muse. I grew up in the country and fondly remember spending my days talking with the trees, connecting deeply with the natural world. I’d lose all sense of time; creating, imagining, daydreaming and feeling into the beauty of nature. I feel at home in the forest, held and seen by the trees, more than I have anywhere else.
Does the region itself have any direct influence on your creative process?
The Wombat State Forest and surrounds is a truly spectacular part of our beautiful and diverse country. Since moving here my connection to the spirit of the land has reawakened, merging my geomancy/feng shui subtle energy training with my jewellery design.
The seasons are so potent and varied here, you can easily embody the cyclical healing of the natural world. Every day this country offers some form of wonderment I haven’t experienced before.
What pieces are you working on right now?
Currently, I am creating the “Animal Spirit Allies”, which I am aiming to release later in the year.
The Allies are potent talismanic jewellery designs that embody the spiritual properties of the indigenous animals of central Victoria. They incorporate potent glyphs, similar in concept to the Norse runes, but hold the vibrational coding of this part of the world, the intention of which guide and empower the wearer.
Their purpose is to facilitate resonant change, moving the wearer from a position of submersion or stagnancy into acceptance and flow. For example; you may resonate with Magpie (Kulbardi) to seek balance and activate change through embracing new experiences. I have designed twelve Animal Spirit Allies through my own spiritual connection to the land and guidance through my higher self.
I am an avid collector of feathers and I know that you are too. What is it about them that you love?
Feathers to me are a symbol of the element of freedom. Being a sky/air personality, I tend to find certain feathers at meaningful times as confirmation of my intentions, and symbolic answers about my creations, my insights and whether I am aligned with my path and purpose.
Have you always loved selling your creations or is this something new to you?
The studio is a new concept for me. I love that I have a space to sit and tinker which allows me to really connect with those who drift down the path to visit. In a world so focused on digital expression through being “online”, as a tactile person I find great value in sharing a space where I can chat and truly see the full spectrum of those who visit, not simply a name on a screen, and they can do the same with me. Customers can have a true experience that includes and goes beyond the product or space itself. I do love it when the piece finds the person, it is as though everything I create is specifically for someone in particular. I just wait till they come to discover it.
Social media is an important part of most businesses these days. Has it helped you with your shop?
Yes and no. It has proven to be a positive avenue to share my offerings and connect with people I may not have otherwise found; however, it can be difficult to explain the energy and artistry that goes into the business, from behind a small screen. For me, social media and online retail are more of a bespoke entry portal into my world, where I can show something that might inspire people to reach beyond a two dimensional screen and embrace life to the fullest at the same time. So I tend to capture and share the authentic nature of who and what I am on social media within a kind of highlights reel of the most magical parts of my life. After all, my ambition is to share and inspire and be inspired by others in kind as we are not defined by who “follows” us, but by who we walk alongside hand in hand.
What types of materials do you use in your designs?
I like to draw my inspiration from the natural world, and repurpose things when possible, which is why I call myself a jeweller and tinkerer. I have a romantic notion around the concept of tinkering, magicking things together to make a new object of expression. I only ever use silver or titanium and natural stones.
The forest awakened something dormant inside me, something I’d buried beneath the delusions and distractions of my city life.
What comes first, the materials or the idea? Could you tell me about the process of making a piece of jewellery?
For now, all my creations will be about consciously connecting with “The Will”. By this I mean they are to assist in working with the wearer to implement change within their reality, as well as having a unique and contemporary aesthetic.
So, the current process is to receive the inspiration and then sketch it out, create the back story to inform the design's intent and then I set to the making, infusing the intention into the object.
How long does one piece usually take to create?
Most of my intricate pieces take the better part of a day, sometimes longer. It really differs from piece to piece and is, therefore, a difficult question to answer.
When creating do you have a music playlist? If so, what artists do you love listening to?
Yes. Currently, I am obsessed with the tonal alchemy of Cascadian folktronic artists Yaima. Their soundscapes inspire me very deeply, and as music is energy, what I listen to whilst I create is an important part of my creative process. For me, their offerings awaken a deep knowing of the truth of who we truly are, spiritual beings having a physical experience.
What have been the trickiest aspects of operating We Of The Wild?
Creating We Of The Wild has been a spiritual journey of personal healing. Pushing past self-limiting beliefs and learning to trust in the process of manifestation and the Law Of Attraction. Hence We Of The Wild is all parts of me. I am sharing my heart and essence of my deepest truth with my creations. Learning to emerge as a tactile, energetically sensitive woman without fear of how my offerings will be received. When we create we give of ourselves to those who seek to share that with us. Moving past vulnerability and sharing with authenticity has been challenging but hugely rewarding.
What are your hopes and dreams for We Of The Wild?
My dream is to keep doing what I love, sharing my creations and meeting wonderful people who appreciate what I do and who I am.
Ultimately as an energy worker and geomancer as well as a jeweller, my key ambition is to create jewellery that helps people who wear it to grow spiritually and feel the essence of rewilding back to our true nature.
Like me, you believe in the Law Of Attraction. What things have happened to you that enforce this belief.
Absolutely everything since I moved to Trentham and created We Of The Wild.
The entire studio has been manifested through opening my consciousness in trust and surrender to the flow of all things. This has been my greatest learning. If I went looking for things the studio required in a conventional way, they wouldn’t appear. Whenever I asked my higher self, and fostered patience, it would serendipitously appear. That said, it took time.
Currently, we live in a paradigm of immediate expectations. We click a button and receive, and yet we are never content and always seek more.
When we step back and slow down, we can receive more enriching fulfillment in our lives than we ever dreamt imaginable, and it is often more humbling than we may have been led by the modern world to want for.
The universe knows better than we do, so to manifest is to imagine the desired outcome, then get out of the way and allow it to be written into our reality, instead of attempting to control it. We plant the seed in the earth and wait, it arrives in its own time. Likewise, we cannot push the river. It shall flow in its own time, we can simply clear a pathway.
As with all things in nature, we are to trust in the natural rhythms of the cosmic web, remove fear and learn to have humble generous hearts.
Are there any milestones in your life that you are particularly proud of?
This latest one without question: throwing caution to the wind and relocating my life and that of my children to the country; simply trusting it would all work out.
Are there any particular websites that you frequent for inspiration?
Truthfully no. No binary code can develop a website that will ever come close to the natural world and the inspiration it brings.
Do you have any guilty indulgences?
Hmmm ... only if Pana vegan chocolate is a guilty indulgence?
A must-have for every home is ...?
Love. A home devoid of love is merely a house, materials placed together to give us protection from the elements. A home is where we share our journeys with those closest to us, we cook and sit by the fire. In feng shui terms this is generated in the hearth (heart), where the fireplace or oven resides. Gifting us warmth and a place to share stories and be together.
What is one crystal that everyone should own and why?
That’s quite a difficult question to answer as all of us are drawn to the healing properties intuitively at different times in our journey for our growth, self-empowerment, and expansion. Recently, I have been drawn to Selenite as it facilitates clarity of our thinking, allowing us to call in necessary changes for us to exist within the flow of the universe. It draws our attention to emotional blocks embedded within our routines and relationships which we can then adjust for a deeper connection to our true state of being.
What is your favorite season and why?
To be honest I don’t really have a favorite. If I had to choose, I’d say “Petyan” or Spring. “Petyan” is after “Larneuk”, or pre-spring, when all the wild herbs and plants begin to emerge with the promise of new life unfurling.
What I love about where I live is being able to fully experience the dynamic changes of the seasonal wheel. I live in connection with the six season cycle, as it is an appropriate understanding of the local landscape used by the first peoples for over 40,000 years. The four season northern hemisphere overlay is incorrect and doesn’t honor the land nor allow us as inhabitants to fully immerse in the natural world.
How has feng shui helped you in your life?
When I studied feng shui I soon discovered my infatuation with geomancy, earth acupuncture and harmonizing the subtle energies of the land and its occupants. It has reconnected me, to see that we are one with nature; there is a deep reverence to be experienced through embracing ancient knowledge and living in harmony and balance as parts of the whole, not valuing the natural world as a commodity to be used and taken.
Are there any simple things we can do that would create better energy in our homes?
Yes, smoke clearing using eucalyptus leaves, sage or other herbs clears the dense energetic build-up within the home. It is like energetic vacuuming. This is best done both when we emerge from the retreat of the colder months and as we farewell the warmer weather.
What places would you recommend people visit while in Trentham?
We are spoilt for selection in Trentham. Amazing local food, boutiques and galleries. A must visit is The Green Store, on Market Street, for local and sustainable homewares.
My recommendation for anyone will always be walking through the forest or visiting the Trentham Falls. Come and immerse in the natural world and recalibrate your soul.
Are you a great cook? If you invited me over for dinner, what would you cook to impress me?
Um no, I wouldn’t say I’m a great cook, but I’m teaching myself to explore the world of nutritious food choices. Being a vegan, the running joke in our family is that whenever someone visits, I cook vegan paella as I know everyone will love it. Hopefully, if you came to dinner it would impress you, if not, I’d have to hope you are engaged by my conversation and offer you crackers and dip!
You and your children love listening to Alan Watts. Can you tell me a little about him and in what ways does he inspire you?
A close friend of mine introduced me to Alan's lectures. When I first heard him, I felt like I knew him. I felt as though he soothed my weary spirit. Now as I sit by the fire of an evening sketching and imagining my next chapter, my children always request we listen to him, they fall asleep to him even though many of his philosophies are beyond their understanding. I know in my heart however, his truthful words are settling in their subconscious, helping to expand their understanding of life and reality.
If you could have three people over for dinner, living or not, who would they be and why?
Oh, that’s easy. I’m certain my answer to this would change week to week, however, currently they would be Brigid of the Tuatha De Danann, to hear her tales of the otherworld would be incredible, philosopher Alan Watts, to share his eastern spiritual offerings for the western world and Thoth of the Great Pyramid, to share the secret alchemy of the universe.
And my offering, yet again, would be my go-to meal: vegan paella! (laughs)