Laura Lobdell is an artist. She lives in New York City, where she makes paintings, drawings and designs jewelry in sterling silver and 22K gold. Laura's travels throughout Asia, including Nepal, Cambodia, India and the TransSiberian Railroad, have informed much of her work. Laura is an enthusiastic collector of vintage textiles. Her work has been exhibited at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, The National Arts Club of Washington, D.C., Louis Stern Gallery in West Hollywood and the Art Institute of Chicago.
One Small Step, One Big Difference
Armicitia (Latin) - to bind by friendship
It would be on her way home from a party, that Laura would, in a strange twist of fate, find a sense of urgency about her life purpose to spread peace through promoting friendship.
Laura was on her way home from a party given by her friends. She was alone. All of a sudden she began to feel sick and suspected that she was having an allergic reaction to something that she had eaten at the party. Still calm, she decided to go to a corner pharmacy and pick up an antihistamine which she was sure would counter her sudden allergic attack. But the attack intensified and as she approached her building she realized that she was feeling too weak to even open the door.
Armicitia (Latin) - to bind by friendship.
This peace bracelet is inspired by a promise of peace, protection and devotion.
Each Armicitia contains protective sage gathered on Arizona's soil, is made of recycled old blue jeans and is hand stitched by Native American women. Armicitias are made with mindful respect of the earth and its people.
Wear yours with the promise of friendship and devotion to peace. Your Armicitia is a reminder that we are bound to choose peace and to pass it on.
Fortunately, yet unbelievably, she spotted an ambulance, just steps away and she stumbled over to them. She was barely able to whisper to them that she was in trouble and that she needed help.
Later the doctors would explain to her that she had suffered a severe and unusual allergic reaction to whatever food that she had eaten at the party and that she had nearly lost her life.
This would be a life changing revelation for Laura.
"I remember the paramedic saying 'Stay with me. Stay with me.' I remember making a conscious effort to 'stay with her'. After that, I experienced time differently." Laura explains.
Laura experienced a profound shift that night, having "nearly died" as she describes what she went through. As a result of her experience that night she found herself unwilling to put off making a difference. She was ready to take a stand to promote good stewardship for our earthly resources, for friendship and for peace.
Out of that stand and out of her commitment, Armicitia was born._________________________________________
Distinguished NYC artist Laura Lobdell has created Armicitia with the intent to "keep us mindful of friendship's power and Gandhi's advice to 'be the change you wish to see in the world'".
Made by women in Nepal, the Armicitia bracelets are made entirely from natural materials, including sacred sage gathered by Native American women in Arizona. The packaging for the bracelets, are made from Lokta paper, derived from a shrub grown in the Himalayan foothills.
Engaging indigenous women around the world in a new collaborative to help support their families by promoting peace, is a big part of Laura's Armicitia project. Every element involved is a reflection of Laura's commitment to the families and communities who sew each Armicitia.
"This project provides them with good pay for good work, and celebrates the common humanity we all share, no matter where we live on this earth," says Laura.
"It's about treating people well. It's about empowering women to earn a good living while they are looking after their families. It's about good work for good pay and it's about peace."
Laura's commitment is no doubt unique and her work is beautiful. So is her message:
"If we are mindful of peace then peace is manifested. By passing peace on at a personal level, that can make a difference in the world.
That's how it starts for me."
Armicitia are currently available in New York City at Handmade 150A West 10th Street, New York, 251 Smith street, Brooklyn and Butterfly Studio, 149 Fifth Avenue, Skin Care Lab, 568 Broadway, Suite 403, in San Diego at Orange Blossom, 952 Orange Avenue, Coronado, in Toronto through Heartstrings and a growing number of other fine stores.