Igizia Poloni

Igizia is an Italian artist who has lived in Nigeria for over 40 years. I first heard of her work when her bead creations were on display during last year’s fall bazaar organized by the PTO. At that time I marveled at her originality in putting together garlands of African beads as candle ornaments. Then last month a Filipina-Italian colleague invited us to her home to view her work. My friends and I ooooh’d and aaaah’d at her artistry, not just in combining African beads with semi-precious stones like turquoise, moonstone, and coral into making exquisite functional art, but also at her dedication to quality. She orders her beads from a supplier in Malawi, for example, because the beads in Nigeria come from Ghana and suffer cracks and chips as they are transported through bad roads. She makes her own ceramic jars, right in her own home, using materials from Europe. Even the metal used in her necklaces and trinkets are silver from Italy. Obviously we could not afford her bigger artworks, but we could not resist buying a few items as gifts. Of course she has necklaces and bracelets, but she also makes table cloth clips, soap necklaces (great gifts), keychains, earrings, table mats, leather jewelry cases, tea sets, bowls, and jars. I got my favorite model Bernadine to pose again with some bracelets for my friends in the Philippines to check out.

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