What do a volcano and silver necklace have in common?

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

Mt-St-Helens-hike-CG-Grisez_1375.jpg
Asymmetrical_Bar-Necklace-CG_Grisez-7632.jpg

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-mt-st-helens-hike-CG-Grisez_1244.jpg
5-droplet-necklace+earring-CG_Grisez-7285.jpg
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.

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.

Bar-leaf-ring-CG-Grisez-7076-2.jpg

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.

stair-climb-mt-st-helens-hike-CG-Grisez_1350.jpg
1_Bar-Necklace-CG_Grisez-7674.jpg

But the upside made it worth it…

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

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

Bar-leaf-earring-CG-Grisez-7762.jpg

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-mt-st-helens-hike-CG-Grisez_1542.jpg
Strut_Bar-Necklace-CG_Grisez-7679.jpg

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

mt-st-helens-hike-CG-Grisez-lone-plant_1697.jpg

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_Bar-Necklace-CG_Grisez-7241.jpg

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.

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

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

3_Bar-Necklace-CG_Grisez-7719.jpg
crater-view-mt-st-helens-hike-CG-Grisez_1686.jpg

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.

Split_Bar-Necklace-CG_Grisez-7106.jpg

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! Find more pieces from this collection here

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.