The May Elemental Essentials Box brings us an opportunity to look at the energy we share with the world and those around us. To examine ourselves closely and consider the Impressions we leave behind with the places and people we touch. With our communities opening back up and many of us returning to social activities after so many months of social distancing and spending more time then ever home and away from our family, friends, and neighbors. It's really given me pause to think about the actions and choices I make and how they affect those around me. If carefully moving about for the last year has taught me anything it's that our actions do leave behind an Impression.
I love the spring and summer seasons in Tucson and the wild, unusual plants that grow here. I find myself drawn to gardening, houseplants, and the flora around me more and more each year. While thinking on the theme of Impressions I was reminded of a technique that I enjoyed many years ago when I was first learning to metalsmith of the process of taking a dried natural elements and using my rolling mill to make an impression into my metals. It's been YEARS since I've really put this technique to use and visiting the process after all this time stirred up a lot of joy and inspiration for me, making me slow down and look at the world around me.
Each pair of earrings from the May Elemental Essentials Box Impressions has been individually textured using natural elements I gathered and dried from around the grounds of my homestead. The textures were then pressed in-between annealed Copper or Brass discs and sent through my rolling mill in order to transfer the textures. From there a patina was applied to the metals in order to bring out the details in the textures- which honestly feels a little like magick appearing right before your eyes.
My artist of the month is a dear friend and talented local photographer Chelsea Whitaker. Known for her vibrant and authentic photos of people, places, and environments, we find there's a whole other layer of creativity to Chelsea Whitaker Photography with her contribution to the Impressions Collection- Cyanotype prints.
Chelsea created this collection of Cyanotypes especially for the Impressions Collection with each image being totally unique and one of a kind. She used a variety of local desert flora that she sustainably foraged, like prickly pear blooms, oleander, wildflowers, and a desert favorite- creosote!
It was these striking, botanical Impressions that really added the special thread that brought it all together for me. Without knowing it, we each used many of the same local flora in our work.
I asked Chelsea to share a little bit of her process with us since I didn't know much about Cyanotypes and she told me that they are essentially a photographic blueprint! She begins by carefully mixing a potion of photographic chemicals to coat the surface of her paper and allowing it to dry in a fairly dark space. Once dried, she lays out her materials (the wild desert flora she foraged) and exposes it to sunlight, keeping an eye on the paper waiting for it to turn blue- once that happens it's time to develop! To develop she agitates the paper in a warm water and peroxide solution for a few seconds and then rinses in warm water for another 10-15 minutes for each print!
I am so honored that Chelsea created these prints for the May Elemental Essentials Box. Her keen eye and creative energy has left such a sweet Impression behind in this labor of love and expression.
The Elemental Essentials box wouldn't be complete without the Impressions Ritual lovingly crafted by The Ninth House. Each month these intention setting rituals give us an opportunity to slow down, reset, recharge- and move forward with intention and more awareness within ourselves and the spaces around us.
"We leave an energetic vibration on everyone and everything we touch..."
Within the Impressions Ritual you'll find:
One Stromatolite pocket stone. This fascinating stone is composed of the layered imprints left behind of mineral deposits and ancient life forms, a reminder of how the impressions we make far outlast us.
One Impressions Rituals Scroll + One white chime candle to help guide your intentions.
To compliment this beautiful ritual I created a bright and uplifting herbal blend, to be used as an offering on your window sills, altars, or any place that could you a little joy. With intentions of Friendship, Happiness, Peace + Harmony, I blended notes of Citrus, Catnip, Lavender, Rose, Mexican Saffron, Scullcap, Vervain, Bergamot, & Creosote.
All herbs have been locally sourced from The Ninth House shop or harvested and dried from my gardens and personal property; and the Rose petals in this blend were a contribution from Chelsea Whitaker.
**Please do not ingest! If you enjoy burning your herbal blends, please do so in a fire safe container and in a well ventilated space or outdoors. Be safe friends!
I'll have just TWO Bonus Boxes from the Elemental Essentials Impressions Collection available without a subscription on Thursday, May 27th at 10am Tucson time.
Take a look at the full collection below:
Each month I select a different organization to donate 10% of my monthly profits.
For May I have chosen: India Covid-19 Relief Fund
Profits from the Elemental Essentials Box are included in that donation.