When nature speaks through jewelry (and teaches us about empowerment)

2 min read 6 Comments

As you probably know if you've been following my art and nature journey, last year I hid out from the pandemic in the mountains for 5 months with my boyfriend on the Appalachian Trail. 

I learned many things on the adventure - about myself, relationships, empowerment, and self acceptance to name a few.

The thing that stuck with me the most were the rocks and all they stood for. 

challenging rock path on the appalachian trail marked with white blaze

As I mentioned here, the rocks started out as my nemesis, seemingly unbearable and panic inducing. 

But as I continued, I began to see them as a symbol of empowerment.

How do we grow and evolve and become stronger people without challenge? 

carving wax into shape of rock inspired by backpacking trip and overcoming rock climbing fears

I couldn't shake this idea - I had to turn the rocks into jewelry. So... that's what I'm in the process of doing!

I've been busy carving wax into rock shapes by hand, turning a hard block into soft organic forms.

hand carved wax into organic rock shape made by Seattle artist Catherine Grisez

I love the idea of a rock to remind us of our inner strength and ability to overcome challenge. 

But I also thought a lot about what happens when you turn over a rock... There is an entire secret bountiful world underneath. 

wax carving of rock and flower secret treasure insert made in Seattle by artist Catherine Grisez

While the rock is a great reminder of our strength, remembering that we are full of unexpected treasure is also important. 

Catherine Grisez carving little flowers in wax by hand to later be cast in silver

hand carved wax into flower shape for secret rock treasure necklace made in Seattle by CG Sculpture and Jewelry

I'm carving a little bloom of flowers to go inside the rock, this way, the necklace represents both your powerhouse strength and your hidden inner talents and beauty. 

Here's a little compilation video showing the wax carving process (plus my silly bug eyes through the optivisor)...


I can't wait for you to see the finished pieces! I've been ruminating on this concept since last August so I've had a lot of time to work out the details in my mind, and now, finally, I get to make them in metal.  

Find out how these turned out here!

I feel so lucky that I had the time and freedom for that extended hike. The opportunity to clear my head so I could truly listen to what nature wanted to teach me, was an amazing gift. 

How has nature been speaking to you lately?

Has nature kept you distracted and/or sane during the pandemic?

I'd love to know! Please comment below. 



Catherine Grisez

6 Responses

Catherine Grisez

May 11, 2021

Oh Carol! I’m sorry to hear about your allergies – spring is so pretty, it’s a bummer it makes you suffer!

Catherine Grisez

May 06, 2021

Thank you Don and Ken!

Carol Nye

May 06, 2021

Catherine, your work is exquisite! I am looking forward to the finished pieces and thank you for sharing the video of your process. Very interesting.
Oh, and NATURE has been speaking LOUD and CLEAR to me recently…while Spring brings promise of better weather, blooms, growth, etc. it also brings a lot of POLLEN…hence, I enjoy Spring mostly from indoors due to allergies and Asthma. I like Spring, but it doesn’t like me. :)

Carol Clifford

May 05, 2021

These carvings alone are wonderful. I look forward to seeing them cast. I love how you translate your experiences from nature to metal.

Don Doman

May 05, 2021

What a WONDERFUL insperational transition from, fear to beauty, from giant rough stone to delicate tactile intimacy.


May 05, 2021

Great story!

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