ARTIST INTERVIEW: Salihah Moore
Salihah Moore is an artist and designer of hand beaded jewelry and wall hangings. Gathering inspiration from textiles and contemporary design, Salihah strives to make new the ancient craft of weaving seed beads together. Although she'll have moments of vision in color palette or pattern, most of her creations form naturally from the making process and are not premeditated.
Originally from California, Salihah developed a deep love affair with the ocean, sand, flora and fauna of the Pacific coast. Working with the seed beads reminds her of sifting through sand grains as a child and being in awe of the hues and variations.
When not hunched over her bead mat, Salihah enjoys knitting, sewing, being with her two year old, and painting with watercolor and guache. A music and art collaboration with her husband is in progress called Sun Ships. We spoke to her about her background and creative process.
What is your background and how have your past experiences fed into your art?
I was raised Sufi Muslim by two artists. My dad was aBeat poet and director of ritual theater in 1967 Berkeley and my mom studied fine art at Cal, so my childhood had a whimsical yet fivetimesprayerdisciplined quality. My dad writes every day and I remember struggling to find that level of commitment and passion in my painting. About ten years ago I was hooked on crafting and wanted to learn how to make everything! My friends and I would go to craft fairs with a suitcase full of hand painted wallets, pouches, paper goods and beaded earrings. The beading was just one of many interests at the time but gradually became my true love, especially when I got faster at it! It was liberating to feel the combination of painting colors with my mind while my hands moved through the stitches. I fell in love with the infinite possibilities and combinations that bead work lends itself to. Although I still enjoy water color and gauche, beading has been that art form I can’t live without — and kinda captures that whimsical discipline perfectly.
Do you feel that your environment feeds into work and if so, what makes your work distinctively Californian?
I love playing with how place informs art. I was born in Granada, Spain and my early childhood was spent in Santa Barbara. They have similar color palettes: sun-
drenched creams, pinkysage, vibrant color explosions. Although I’ve lived in many places, I’ve held the impressions of those coastal zones so dearly in my art. There’s nothing like the feeling that I feel when I live on the coast again, or visit. Right now, our family lives in Colorado, which has a great productive energy. I travel to California many times a year to recharge my original coastal spirit, and to fondle a bird of paradise or two.
What are your top 3 studio essentials?
Bead mat, ergonomic chair, Netflix/Audible (comedy/science).