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Natural Awakenings Tucson

Follow Your Heart: Fuchsia Designs

Feb 01, 2020 09:50AM ● By Suzie Agrillo
Those searching for the perfect gift this Valentine’s Day may want to skip the banal box of chocolates and opt for one of Lisa Agababian’s colorful and evocative ceramic hearts. Agababian, born and raised in New York City, is a self-taught ceramic artist. She has been honing her craft since she started her journey with clay at the age of seven, at an Armenian summer camp in upstate New York.
   
Initially, Agababian utilized clay studios and attended workshops in Tucson to satisfy her passion for art. The death of her mother in 1993 awakened a desire to create her own low-fire ceramic studio where she had more freedom to curate her skills and techniques. Years later, the loss of her father motivated her once again.
   
After letting go of her career as a mathematician and computer consultant, Agababian decided to make a courageous leap to full-time artist. “I had a wakeup call and I listened, trusted and allowed that light within to guide me. It is in all of us. It was all about tending to my own heart now, which needed my attention, and healing my grief from losses,” she explains. “I’ve changed. I can’t go back and I don’t want to. My hearts have taken on a life of their own, and I’m living my dream.”
   
The gallery is warm and friendly, just like Agababian. In addition to the larger heart sculptures, she offers smaller, more affordable gifts to carry a message of love for all occasions. These whimsical, one-of-a-kind hearts are the perfect gift for birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, new homes, Mother’s and Father’s Days, encouragement and condolences.
   
Agababian’s art is also exhibited and sold at The Blue Willow, It’s a Blast, Moonlight Creations, Petroglyphs and the Tucson Museum of Art. Notably, she has been invited to showcase her hearts at the Tucson Sculpture Festival in April 2020.
   
An ardent outdoorswoman, Agababian loves participating in outdoor sports, such as skiing, surfing, hiking, kayaking and biking. She recently started volunteering for the Mt. Lemmon ski patrol. She appreciates wilderness and untouched places one can’t reach with a car. Nature is an inspiration for her hearts. “Clay comes from the Earth. When you work with clay, you are connecting with the Earth. I am inspired by everything I see and experience. I feel connected to nature, the sun, the moon and the stars,” she remarks.
   
Her clay hearts are also her way of bringing attention to concerns affecting the greater whole, as well as a means to inspire, uplift and awaken others to the magnificence within and all around us. As Agababian finds both relief and inspiration in creating her art, it also brings her joy in connecting with others.
   
She feels an intense, deep connection with people. Her intention is to spread “peace, beauty and love”—a mantra she inscribes on the back of each of her unique hearts. “We are all connected,” Agababian notes. “My visions and ideas for my art are personal expressions and come from my life experiences, through my outdoor activities, travel adventures and daily relationship with myself and others,” she says.
   
Initially, Agababian’s pieces start out with a specific vision, but can easily evolve in another direction. She has learned from experience to go with the flow. “I will re-glaze a piece and change its colors until the end result moves me,” she states.
   
Speaking as a successful entrepreneur and a seasoned artist, she advises, “Follow your bliss. Listen to your heart and your own inner voice because heart (LOVE) matters. You matter.” One of her favorite quotes is a twist on John Lennon’s “Imagine” lyrics: “You may say that I’m a dreamer, but THANKFULLY I’m not the only one.”

Lisa Agababian can be reached at Fuchsia Designs Home Studio and Gallery (by appointment) at 226 E. 5th St., Tucson. Connect at 520-603-1374, [email protected] or
FuchsiaDesigns.com.

Suzie Agrillo is a freelance writer in Tucson and a frequent contributor to Natural Awakenings Magazine. She focuses on writing about the arts, inspirational people and the human connection. Connect at [email protected].
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