|My childhood dreams for travelling have never left me. From humble beginnings I am grateful to be able to fulfil this dream as I share my time between my native France and my adopted home of Bali in Indonesia. Between these two homes I continue to travel far and wide to nourish my passion for new discoveries – continuously learning and growing
From being a young child my mother and I would play at creating necklaces and bracelets from the objects that were natural to my hometown of Bassin d'Arcachon near Bordeaux. My mother taught me how to make complex plaits and to these I would add fruit seeds, things found on the beach, leaves from flowers – interesting things for a young child to explore her creativity with. Later we included many kinds of beads and experimented with different styles of braiding the cords. I found great pleasure in immersing myself in this creative process and also great satisfaction from being able to give these creations as gifts.
Later in my teens I was very busy and forgot these skills, focusing instead on work and study. At this time my sister and I would knit our own woolen clothing to help make ends meet in the householdMa vie de Nomade et d’aventures commençait enfin.
In my early twenties I had the opportunity to work at the Museum of African and Oceanic Arts in Paris, where I stayed for 10 years. The Museum was a great source of inspiration - I was exposed to incredible textiles, stonework and architecture from around the world. Working here, with the freedom this brought, gave me the encouragement, the time and the ability to indulge my dream to travel.
During this time I bought a scooter, filled my little bag with hope and left France for distant shores. That is how my nomadic life began.
In Athens I had the good fortune of meeting with other globetrotters who taught me the craft of weaving, as well as leatherworking and silversmithing. We worked on the beaches of the great blue Mediterranean Sea, living from the produce of our own hands, crafting and selling our jewellery. This was a great pleasure and gave us the freedom to keep travelling.
Inspired by this liberty and immersing myself in the flow of life, I continued my journey further and further, discovering other distant lands, civilisations, cultures and teachings. I travelled extensively between Europe, India, North Africa, Thailand and South America.
During this time in Rajasthan, India I discovered the remarkable world of gems and minerals - their magnetic powers, their colours and their beauty. The incredible diversity of precious and semi-precious gems enriched my field of creativity.
This is the place where the name Maharani by Chanty was created. My companion, Wilson and I stayed in the Palace in Pushkar for months at a time over many years – this is where the name Maharani came from. In earlier times the Maharani was the wife of the Maharaja, the ruler of the palace and surrounding lands. The name Chanty comes from a fusion of my name – Chantal – and the Sanskrit 'Shanti'. This means 'peace, love and harmony'. This is Jewelry for a Queen (Maharani) by Chanty… Made with Peace, Love and Harmony - Chanty Shanty Shanty Om.
During this time in India and later in Thailand crowds would gather to watch Wilson play the guitar. At the same time I would be practicing my own craft. I began to slowly and patiently cultivated and refine my own style of Macramé - combining weaving, silverwork and gems - blending textures and materials, colours and shapes...
Threading the pearls one by one through my creations brought me a real feeling of joy and happiness.
In the years since the I have settled on a wonderful island in Southern Indonesia - Bali - heaven on earth - blessed by the gods. I have put together a small workshop with three lovely Balinese girls who help me to create and develop my collections. We craft our works knot by knot, pearl by pearl and stone by stone - trying to create in each piece a harmony of colour and tone. We dye some threads by hand in order to obtain glittering colours we can find nowhere else.
The culmination of long hours of meditation and artistic techniques acquired in the course of many years of travelling throughout the world have inspired my original and individual creations. These are true works of folk art - contemporary, exotic and precious - imbued with secrets from the ages.
I left my scooter a long time ago now. Six months of the year I live in Bali. I also spend many months a year in Europe in my van, as well as at my home close to Bordeaux. My year also always includes trips to India and Thailand as I relentlessly exploring new roads and discoveries, both internal and external.
In the years since I left Paris my love for the world and the people who inhabit it has continuously driven me to search for new cultures and new horizons. Today I am happy and proud - proud to be able to live from my own craft and happy to be able to keep travelling. My next project is to go to Mali, in Africa, with the Ok pour Farako organisation in order to help women artisans in the marketing and trading of their pottery art.