A land of road trips and off-road excursions, the Americas capture the spirit of discovery like nowhere else. Whether you’re trekking to the ornate monuments of South America, exploring lost corners of Central America or wandering the bustling streets of North America, there are adventures waiting to be experienced around every corner.
Nestled in the sweeping Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Taos—meaning “place of red willows”—is a town steeped in history, alive with artistry and blooming with organic beauty. My journey to Taos initially was sparked by my learning and love of traditional Southwestern style silversmithing and use of natural turquoise stones from the nearby turquoise mines, but the deep creative connection I experienced there was more than I could have imagined.
Artists, creators and craftsmen of all types have gravitated towards Taos’ powerful energy since as far back as 1300 AD. While many of these early creations stemmed from necessity—the need for pottery to cook and eat, the need for warm clothes to survive the desolate desert nights—every piece was also infused with personal intention and innate aesthetic value.
First came Micaceous pottery, made from the raw materials found in the valley. Next, nomadic Navajo Indians migrated into the area and quickly began spinning and weaving, learning their skills from the Pueblo Indians to create intricate blankets, which remain an enduring icon of the area to this day.
In 1898, artists—drawn to Taos for its golden, glimmering light, awe-inspiring landscape and vibrant spirit—began to settle, ultimately forming the Taos Society of Artists in 1915. Painting with rich pigments and expressive strokes to capture the essence of the community on canvas, their legacy is preserved to this day in many of the town’s museums and historic monuments.
Another legacy that lives on in Taos—and my initial reason for visiting—is the craft of American Indian jewelry. Like many ancient cultures, this jewelry carries a deep meaning that values people over the final product. Every piece holds the history of the person who made it, where it came from and the people it has touched since. The vintage silver pieces I saw had developed a patina and luster that told the story of the many hands it had touched over the years. Likewise, the natural turquoise stones handled for decades had only become greener and more opaque as time traveled on.
Coming to Taos initially focused on jewelry, I found myself immersed in so much community warmth, cultural appreciation, and creative energy! I also discovered more about the much deeper meaning and sentiments behind American Indian artistry, a beautiful intention that I hope to bring to my future collections.
With a rich legacy as Charles Darwin’s evolutionary study ground, the Galapagos Islands are one of nature’s true marvels. Surrounded by crystal clear waters, brimming with vibrant reefs and abundant marine life, the islands themselves feel almost untouched by human footprints.
I originally ventured to the islands in search of the stunning Blue Footed Booby, but ended up experiencing a world of flora and fauna that went beyond my wildest dreams. Covered in rich rainforest, tranquil beaches and volcanic ascents, the environment itself felt alive, brimming with natural energy that was at once exhilarating and immensely calming. Stepping into this new domain, the 150-year-old tortoises, majestic cormorants and miniature penguins I encountered barely flinched at my presence. This was truly their world and I was thrilled to be a welcome visitor.
Beneath the pristine surface of the Pacific Ocean, a whole new wonderland unfolded before my eyes. I dove and snorkeled amongst Galapagos sharks, seals and a myriad of fluorescent fish. It was here that, despite having traveled far and wide, I truly realized just how many different “worlds” our planet contains, and the beautiful miracle that, somehow, these disparate realms can coexist and work together in harmony.
Likewise, each individual island—from Baltra to Bartolomé, Ferdinanda to Floreana—had its own distinctive personality, largely dictated by the wildlife that called it home. Just I have always ingrained in my psyche to remain respectful and deferential towards the different people, cultures and religions that I encounter on my travels, I became aware that the same is true of the plants and animals. I was merely a transient in their world and the pure artistry that I witnessed was to be preserved, protected and respected.
In working with natural materials, this mentality has become somewhat of a touchstone, guiding me to ensure that everything I use does not disrupt the organic processes from its origin. Beyond that, I strive to allow the raw beauty of these materials to be amplified in my final creations, whether that means leaving them in an untouched state or allowing an expressive contrast with carefully selected gemstones, precious metals and cultural iconography to emerge.
In this way, I hope to share these unseen worlds that I feel so blessed to have experienced, to share their stories and to, hopefully, encourage others to see our planet as the truly awe-inspiring utopia that it is.