What do a volcano and silver necklace have in common?

3 min read 2 Comments

Inspiration can often come from unusual places, but for my sculpture and jewelry, the lightening most often strikes when I’m active in nature.

For many years I’ve flushed out ideas when on solo hikes - there’s nothing like being in a beautiful place with time to think. In recent years I’ve joined a trio of wonderful ladies - Wendy, Shannon, and Susan - for an annual backpacking trip, feats that have led to even greater inspiration.

It’s not just the visuals - seeing natural beauty is of course lovely, but there’s always some deeper mental aspect. Capturing a feeling or emotion worked through while pushing my limits is the greater draw.

Below you’ll find the inspiration behind my Resilient Jewelry Collection

backpacking Mt St Helens Loowit Trail shadows on the mountain

Resilient silver flame necklace

This summer’s excursion was to Mt St Helen’s. We backpacked around the mountain and on the last day summited the peak.

There was a bonus day of hiking our poor heat stroke affected friend out to safety then hiking back in to restart our journey. Hiking over hot lava fields with a 35+ lb pack on your back in 90+ degree heat is no joke!

lava field backpacking Mt St Helens jewelry inspiration

5 little leaves silver necklace inspired by Mt St Helens backpacking hike

Loowit Trail backpacking hike that inspired silver jewelry collection

The Loowit Trail around Mt St Helens covered many kinds of terrain - a lot of sparse rolling or jagged landscape, but also rivers, a tiny oasis, lava fields, steep gullies, and a little lush forest.

Resilient silver leaf ring inspired by hike around  and up Mt St Helens

I will admit, there were moments of this hike that made me question why I was doing it.

Dripping with sweat in the extreme heat magnified by lava fields and the open barren terrain was not actually that fun. Scrambling up and down some pretty steep gullies was scary at times and unnerving at others. Carrying excessive amounts of water up a long incline at the end of 10+ mile day (because there wasn’t another water source for the next day) actually made me cry a little bit at one point.

daunting log stair climb Mt St Helens backpack- nature jewelry inspiration

single leaf nature jewelry, necklace inspired by Mt St Helens backpacking trip

But the upside made it worth it…

view from hike to top of Mt St Helens - inspiration for art and jewelry

Epic view on the way up to the peak of Mt St Helens

resilient silver earrings inspired by nature on Mt St Helens adventure

Pushing my limits beyond what I thought possible, though often scary to be that far outside my comfort zone, reminds me that anything is possible.

Climbing in and out of gullies so steep they require rope assists, hiking miles and hours further than what I thought I was capable of, and pushing through physical fatigue lead to an unimaginable sense of accomplishment.

rope assist backpacking around Mt St Helens, inspiration for Resilient nature jewelry, thrive despite adversity

leaf bar necklace from Resilient Collection inspired by backpacking trip around Mt St Helens

The best example of the entire experience can be summed up in this image…

little mountain plant in rocks thriving despite adversity, inspiration for CG Resilient jewelry collection

This tiny plant, happily growing among rocks more than 6000 feet high up on the side of an unforgiving volcano sums up the feeling I experienced on this trip.

IT’S POSSIBLE TO THRIVE DESPITE ADVERSITY - sometimes even because of it.

Asymmetrical leaf silver necklace from Resilient Collection inspired by backpack around and up Mt St Helens

This hike, barren and hot and one that I thought wouldn’t inspire me the way lush green environments usually do, turned out to make a distinct imprint I will never forget.

I found beauty and awe in the subtle light and color changes, angles of the landscape, the devastation and subsequent slow paced recovery of the mountain environment, and of course the camaraderie of my hiking partners.

dirty boots at the top of Mt St Helens overlooking crater, hike that inspired Resilient nature jewelry collection

Our weary dusty feet at the top of the volcano, looking into the crater.

blackened silver and yellow gold modern necklace inspired by backpacking trip, thrive despite adversity

In the end I was unexpectedly very inspired when designing the Resilient Collection - pieces that capture the minimalist landscape combined with small treasures, reminders of our ability to persevere and grow in unlikely ways.

silver necklace and earrings inspired by nature found on Mt St Helens backpacking trip that taught we can thrive despite adversity

I am so thankful for Shannon, Susan, and Wendy - the wonderkrew that keep nature and hiking more interesting and powerful than I ever thought possible. Each brings something unique and helpful to our backpacking experiences. So curious to see what next year brings!

You too can own a little piece of this inspiration and be regularly reminded that YOU CAN DO IT!

Shop more pieces from this collection

When you wear this jewelry you will always be connected to it’s empowered source and know in your heart that you can and will THRIVE.


2 Responses


March 07, 2021

Wow! I’m inspired by you every day. Such a beautiful story! oxoxo


March 07, 2021

I love that the trip inspired you. And I love the pieces you created because of it. I definitely see the themes of starkness, resiliency and beauty. Well done.

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