These Three Things: The Fiber Artist Behind Zelma Rose Turns a Daily Ritual into a Book

One evening in July of 2016, Lisa Anderson Shaffer, the fiber artist behind Zelma Rose, wrote down three things she learned that day. With everything going on in the world, she found that her grief, surprise or heartache could easily sweep her away. What she held onto at the end of the day was what she learned. She shared it on her Facebook page and a wave of comments came in. It was the beginning of a daily ritual that she calls “These Three Things”, sharing it on Instagram and inviting others to join her: write three things that encourage an appreciation of the present and move us forward. A book chronicling her journey will be out later this year.

Lisa makes luxury fiber jewelry that’s sold in shops and museum stores around the world. Her work is deeply influenced by the wild and natural surroundings of her mountaintop home and studio in Marin County. Her designs are unique for their fresh interpretation of an ancient craft — hand weaving and knot work — while appealing as modern-day wearable art.

“You can ask for what you want in life but you don’t get to decide the how and when. If you are waiting for a door to open, keep your eyes on the windows, the chimney, and the gutters,” read one of the reflections from Lisa’s first entry. Her mindful observations and soft words are relatable: often articulating how many of us feel about politics, raising kids, and the human condition in general. “A friend recently told me that there are really only two emotions; love and fear. I’m going to let that sink in for a few days. What do you think?” She asked in one.

Above: Tomales Hand Woven Necklace in Indigo ((l) and Drake Bracelet in Golden Ochre (r).

“Knowing that despite what might be going on around me, what I choose to celebrate and what I choose to resist, I can always make the choice to learn from both the good and the bad.”

“These Three Things” also presents a unique window to get to know an artist and maker — and a space for other creatives to relate. In one post, Lisa describes her affection for Jay-Z, how he inspired and encouraged her to give attention to what comes easy. In another, one of her things of the day is that “craftsmanship and quality are distinctively different from design. Aim to excel at both.” We see fellow Bay Area Made members reply often.

Above: Yuba Necklace (l) and Indio Necklace (r), part of the Modern Drapery Collection in collaboration with stylist Jillian Knox. Modern Drapery is a discussion about the Diaspora with a worldly point-of-view executed by including models from Africa and/or of African descent, using fabrics of or inspired by the Diaspora, as well as traditional clothing and uniforms from cultures around the world. It is this idea of combining Art + Anthropology to show the importance of the history of diversity, the human experience, and the role it plays in our world today.

After a year, “These Three Things” became so gratifying she decided to continue. “Having ‘These Three Things’ as a daily practice has changed the whole trajectory of my day,” she wrote. “Knowing that despite what might be going on around me, what I choose to celebrate and what I choose to resist, I can always make the choice to learn from both the good and the bad.”

Lisa announced the book after taking 900 photographs, and more than 2,000 things learned. Look for it in December 2018. In the meantime follow the project on Zelma Rose’s Instagram and by tagging your own lessons with #thesethreethings.

Note: To learn more about and purchase These Three Things, click here.

Visit Zelma Rose’s profile.

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