Många vill ändra sin livsstil: är Grekland ett ”rätt” land för att ändra sitt eget sätt att leva? Det finns så klart inga ”ja-nej” svar på frågan men de flesta av Elias och mina nya vänner/bekanta tillhör till de som gjorde ett aktivt val. Och många gjorde det innan de uppnådde pensionärsålder. Och varför Grekland?
Det finns olika anledningar varför man bestämmer sig att flytta till Grekland: många faller för den vackra naturen, soliga dagarna och drömmen om ett friare liv. Den grekiska ”carpe diem” drömmen.
En del planerar flytten i etapper och år och en del väljer snabba beslut. Och det är absolut inget ”lätt” liv som väntar på dig i Grekland men det är definitivt ”enklare” liv. (Intervju publicerades för första gången på Husigrekland.se)
Flytta till Grekland: våga följa dina drömmar
Jag träffade smyckedesignern Jackie Luton för första gången på den lokala marknaden i Stoupa i november 2018. Jackie hade arbetat som chef på kundtjänsten för ett verktygsföretag i England fram till 2002. Samma år flyttade hon till Grekland och några år senare började hon göra smycken och måla.
Hon har satt upp egen studio i hennes hem nära Kalamata där hon tillverkar smycken från kopparrörsrör som hon sedan behandlar med en speciell emaljfärg. Hon säljer dem på sommaren runt lokala marknader och på Etsy. Varje örhänge och halsband är unika och gjord med kärlek till den vackra naturen. Jag förälskade mig i de intensiva färgerna där blått och smaragd kombineras: som små bitar och havet och himlen.
Jackie: från kundtjänstchef i England till smyckesdesigner i Grekland
EK: Kalimera Jackie. You have been working with handcrafted copper jewelry for many years. Tell us a bit about why you use copper in your jewelry.
JL: Kalimera Elwira. I have always been creative and love making things and I am always on the lookout for things to upcycle. I started out using copper as I had some old plumbing pipe available which I was sure could be made into something. I found that I really enjoyed making something beautiful out of virtually nothing.
I have painted for many years using a variety of different mediums have now started to incorporate colour into many of my hand crafted copper earrings and copper pendant designs using special enamel paints that give a hard glassy like finish on the copper with fabulous iridescent colours.
I also love the natural colours of the copper itself and enjoy experimenting with different methods of getting texture onto the copper (and have ruined many of my kitchen implements!), I also like to incorporate sea glass and various semi-precious stones.
EK: What is so special with cooper?
JL: Did you know that the average home contains 400 pounds of copper that is used for electrical wiring, pipes and appliances – I could certainly make a lot of pairs of earrings from all of that! Copper is a very eco-friendly metal – it is 100% recyclable and nearly 80% of the copper that has been produced is still in use today and it can continue to be recycled without any changes to its properties. In fact, it retains 95% of its original value.
I have come to love the versatility of using copper and find the hammering process quite therapeutic. Several people have since donated old copper pipes to me so I have lots of raw material available.
EK: How about copper and Greece: can you tell us a bit about the history of this material?
JL: In Greece, copper was known by the name chalkos (χαλκός). It was an important resource for the Romans, Greeks and other ancient people. In Roman times, it was known as aes Cyprium, aes being the generic Latin term for copper alloys and Cyprium from Cyprus, where much of the copper was mined. The phrase was simplified to cuprum, hence the English copper. Jewellery made from copper featured heavily in early civilizations and the earliest known piece of copper jewellery dates to the eighth millennium BC. Copper was associated with gods and goddesses and became so valuable that it was used as money – first as natural lumps and then as coins.
EK: I know it’s a very general question but: why did you decide to move to Greece?
JL: Both my husband and I are sun worshippers and have always dreamed of living somewhere sunny. Whilst on holiday in the Mani we stumbled across an old house that was for sale and the owner showed us around. This got us thinking about moving seriously and we started doing some sums to work out if we could manage financially without working. Within 6 months we had sold our house in UK and bought a house in the mountains near Kalamata.
EK: What was most the difficult when you decided to stay in Greece permanently?
JL: I really thought that I would be a fluent Greek speaker within a few years but I am still struggling with the language. Every so often I start to try again to learn more but I find it very difficult. The Greek bureaucracy also takes a bit of getting used to, you need to be prepared for everything to take a long time and have lots of paperwork stamped and signed many times over.
EK: A lot of people are very creative. Do you think the beauty around us helps us to develop our creativity?
JL: You are right, there are so many talented and creative people in the area. I think perhaps it is because the pace of life is slower and people have more time to do things they enjoy. I certainly get a lot of my inspiration from living here in Greece. For example I have my sunset collection which is inspired by the many fabulous sunsets over the Messinian bay that I am lucky enough to see from my home.