Thursday, June 19, 2008

Finding Inspiration

by Katy of muchacha K

Every artist is influenced by many factors too minute to name, but all of us have key treasures too, locked in our conscious minds that drive our creative mode.

One of my enduring key treasures is flamenco. Flamenco is not just dance, although the flamenco dancer is the iconic visual symbol. It is also guitar, singing, percussion, each their own art form. If I had to correllate flamenco to an American genre I would say it aches like the blues. It also laughs like the blues, with joy that is so ecstatic it is painful. Like the blues, it is an art form born from oppression--the result of centuries of cultural clash in the South of Spain.

In flamenco, you sing of your home, your family, your lost love. The town you are from is the most amazing you have ever seen and the love that you lost was the most beautiful girl in the world. One of the most astounding flamenco songs anyone ever sang to me roughly translates in English to "I want to lock you up, behind bars of bronze, with one window, so you must see me and ache at the sight of my body...". This is no tame, or polite art is longing and longing and longing, and any human with half a soul can tell you, longing is never polite, whether you share it or not.

My flamenco shoes are one of my few prized possessions (yes, more prized than even my sewing machine). I have three pairs, one, black for practice, a red pair, very loved, for performance, and a shiny new green pair that I ordered in Spain. But what you should really know about flamenco that they are HANDMADE. When you buy a new pair, you have to try many pairs of the same size on because no pair is exactly alike. And each nail in the sole is driven in by hand--the nails, like taps, are the reason that a room of flamenco dancers sounds like an advancing army.

Recently, my love of flamenco has bled into my sewing life, as it does from time to time. Recent clutches are a celebration of the polka dot. Vive la polka dot!


  1. Fantastic post! I never really new anything about Flamenco before reading - well done - and beautiful shoes. It's also neat to see how your passion for Flamenco translates to your fabric choices. :0) Marla

  2. Those shoes are HOT! Another excellent post from Katy B. I think I would love those shoes just as much as my sewing machine too.

  3. Those are AMAZING shoes!!! And they are a lovely color.
    Thanks for the info on flamenco. I never knew anything about it

  4. your flamenco shoes are awesome. let's totally recruit flamenco shoe makers to BH.

  5. HAHAHA we TOTALLY need flamenco shoe makers in the group...oh man, I don't know what I'd do, I'd be so excited :)

    The color, incidentally is "manzana" (Spanish for apple, I love the sound of that word). I barely speak any Spanish so you should have seen my boyfriend translating for me when I ordered those shoes...he knows almost nothing about flamenco though his Spanish is good, but the shop lady was all worried about if he was translating was hilarious...

    Anyhoo, glad to spread a little flamenco knowledge ;)

  6. those shoes are soooooo hot.

  7. WOW! Those shoes are amazing!!! How I'd love to have a pair of those and know how to dance in them! You are mucho-talented, Katy!


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