That got me to thinking. What does empowerment mean to me? I think there are two parts to it: the empowerment you give to yourself, and the empowerment you receive from someone/something else.
You empower yourself by learning about something, knowing as much as you can about it, becoming a master at it. Then you are empowered to do that thing in an intelligent, creative, beautiful way. And you can empower yourself to do something that you truly like (like a piece of art), regardless of whether someone else accepts it or likes it.
I take various art classes, then I come home and practice what I've learned. I have empowered myself to be a more skilled and creative jewelry artist. Then I can make something bold, like this fish necklace here.
Now, who in their right mind would like to wear this big, honking, fish necklace? I would. I'm quite proud of its creation. I used a gyotaku rubber stamp of an actual fish. I soaked it in an etching solution, so now the copper has a raised, fish-scaly surface. I carefully cut around the fish and smoothed the edges. I used glass beads that look sort of like sea (or river) glass for the upper strand. The back of the necklace is recycled sari ribbon. The chain holding the fish is aged and wrapped with a strand of various seed beads. The shell hanging from the fish was found here in Florida.
I was able to put all those elements together because I am empowered by my knowledge of jewelry techniques; I am empowered by my ability to place unlike components and colors together to make an interesting look; and I am empowered by my confidence in my design to wear such a stunning necklace.
The other kind of empowerment is that which is provided by another. Yes, others can make us feel empowered. But isn't it much better to have faith in yourself, and develop your empowerment from within?