Shamsy Roomiani ('07) is intrigued by nature, particularly stones.
"You have gemstones, you have the Arkenstone, you have the Sorcerer's Stone -- all these myths and tales of ancient stones," the Dallas-based artist says.
And now she's created Shamstones -- a "magical soup" of resins, pigments and pressed botanicals that glow in the dark. Like the stones from The Lord of the Rings and the Harry Potter books, people are seeking out these Shamstones, along with her nature-inspired tapestries and herbal bundles, since they've been forced to stay at home during the pandemic.
"I am often told it is like a bit of a ritual in itself to choose the right Shamstone, kind of like a treasure hunt for the right one to call to you," she says. "I get a lot of repeat collectors and they tell me how each Shamstone has a particular meaning and fond associations for them."
Roomiani always collected rocks and crystals, and she has incorporated the crystals into jewelry, earning the title of 2019's Best Jeweler from the Dallas Observer.
Her herbal line products include smudge sticks that users can burn in their home. They're sold at West Elm's Texas locations, The Joule hotel and the Forty Five Ten boutique, as well as her online shop. She also teaches smudging workshops, offers space purification bookings and takes custom order requests for special blends and combinations.
Nature is the theme in her other work -- the botanicals captured in cyanotype tapestries, a photographic process on linen or cotton that features a cyan-blue print; the roots and its flower featured in banners that hung in Dallas' Deep Ellum neighborhood for Black History Month; and a garden scene in an installation running at the Contemporary Art Dealers of Dallas until June 11.
Roomiani, who majored in printmaking and marketing, loves experimenting with color and textures -- and adding elements of nature that people have been seeking.
"There's really been this movement toward wellness and connecting to nature," she says. "I think mentally we've kind of needed it."