Thursday, July 19, 2012

"Canyon" and "Forest"

Ever since my family and I started the journey home from the Black Hills of South Dakota and Yellowstone National Park this summer, I've been dreaming and planning a new jewelry collection for the fall. Immediately I knew I wanted to call it "Canyon," inspired by the beautiful colors and textures of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone - my favorite place in the whole of Yellowstone. As it evolved in the creative process, I realized there were two facets of the whole family vacation that I really wanted to capture - Yellowstone AND the Black Hills of South Dakota, specifically the forests. So along with the Canyon Collection I will also be releasing the Forest Collection. Two collections at one time...seriously, I might need to rethink this.

So I wanted to share some of the photos I took while on our trip that inspired my collections. It's difficult for me not to be so literal in my interpretation of the subjects, but I think the pieces are coming along nicely. I can't share pictures of the works in progress yet...just no time to photograph right now. But I hope to release the collections before the end of August.

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
I was completely inspired by the yellows and grays of Yellowstone. Interestingly enough, when perusing my gemstone options, I found Crazy Horse Picture Jasper - a perfect representation of the variety of grays, tans and yellows we discovered around Yellowstone. I can't wait to show the pieces to you!

A pine tree at our campsite in Yellowstone
I can't remember a time I didn't just love to be surrounded by forests of trees. Especially evergreens. Spending more than a week camping among them was somehow like being home (even though I grew up in Missouri around farm land - not a whole lot of trees.) There's something so comforting about all those trees - something strong and lasting. Despite some truly awesome and frightening wildfires in Yellowstone back in the 1980s that wiped out hundreds of acres of trees, the forest is coming back. The pine cones broke open from the heat of the wildfires releasing pine nuts, seeding a new forest. How can you not be inspired by that? Basically, forest = towering strength + resilience.

Forested Area of Custer, South Dakota

I'm still not entirely sure how to create forest-inspired jewelry collection that doesn't involve leaves or green - and maybe that's okay. Sometimes literal interpretation is needed. Otherwise, what's the point of paying homage? If you completely miss the point? 
A View from Beartooth Pass, Montana

On our way home from Yellowstone, we traveled Beartooth highway that winds around the mountain range from Wyoming up into Montana. I witnessed some of the most breathtaking views I've ever seen in those 60 or so miles of road. This photo is my favorite, capturing layers upon layers of sky and terrain, and reflected again in the lake waters. One of my pieces for the Canyon collection will be called Montana Sky, inspired entirely by the views from Beartooth Pass and this photo. I haven't started constructing it yet, but the aqua blue chalcedony beads arrived a couple of days ago. I believe it will be a truly stunning piece.

So that's what I did on my summer vacation.... ;) I plan to photograph some works in progress soon and will share them as I am able. Enjoy your summer - I encourage you to get out and travel. Go camping! And let nature inspire you, too!

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