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In July 2020, in the heat of the coronavirus pandemic, my boyfriend and I decided to escape to the mountains. For 5 months.
The goal: walk the entire 2200 miles of the Appalachian Trail.
Spoiler alert: I didn't walk 2200 miles. But...
I did backpack from Maine to New York and then sporadically from Virginia to Georgia.
(scroll down or go here if you just want to watch the video!)
We started in Maine with a brief glimpse at Acadia National Park. The coastline was stunning and definitely an area I hope to explore more in depth some day.
As a side note, If you know me at all, you know I love water and feel most alive near coastlines. I am fascinated by the underwater plants and creatures and included abstract glimpses of a few in this series for good measure.
I experienced my first panic attack near the top of Mt Katahdin. I hike and camp and backpack a lot in general so this was a big surprise.
Hiking near the top of this mountain (which is more rock climbing than hiking) set a tone I didn't expect for a lot of the trip. ROCKS!
But as we continued southbound on the Appalachian Trail through insane terrain (which you can read more about here), I started to make peace with the rocks.
I began to see the constant rock challenges as fun, changing my mental approach from one of fear to one of curiosity and excitement.
I also began seeing the landscape in a new way. The broad rolling horizon line was often replicated in the intricate patterns in the rocks and plants.
You have a lot of time to think when you walk all day every day.
The idea of macro and micro being the same in content but different in context took over my mind.
I began thinking of the microcosms (plant and rock intricacies) as representation of our complex inner world and the macrocosm (rolling horizon line), a symbol of the bigger outer world.
If we think of our inner world on infinite repeat in the outer world, every thought and action has an impact.
If we want to make a difference in the world, no matter how large or small, it starts with our own thoughts. Those thoughts unfurl into the world, growing like a snowball builds to an avalanche.
The perpetually repeating patterns of line and curve represent the massive impact of everyday minutiae as it expands. In this way, the universe provides immeasurable possibility when we are open to it.
To me, rocks began to symbolize empowerment. And I could take that voice of confidence through the tiny details and expansive lines to my art, creating emblems of strength and inner peace.
Oh, and did I mention the sunrises?? I'm not typically a morning person so it was a treat to see many glorious sunrises (and sunsets of course).
The colors coupled with the infinite patterns I mentioned earlier were a regular source of joy that filled me with awe and gratitude.
I hammer each bowl from copper, fuse it with layers of acid resistant lead-free glass enamel in the hot hot kiln, draw, paint, and illuminate to make each one truly unique and meaningful. Finally the bowl is fused with additional layers of clear glass, sealing in the drawing and making the vessel perfect for a special place of honor in your home.
See the process (and more!) in this video:
My hope is for you to enjoy these bowls as visual reminders of how your thoughts and actions can have an impact for good. These bowls filled with drawings and paintings of a balance of macro and micro versions of nature represent confidence and empowerment to remind you of your own courageous inner voice.
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