Summer 2021 seems to have gone by in a blur, but for me, it was nice to get back out in the mountains for some guiding work and renewed inspiration!
For those that don't know, I am an ACMG (Association of Canadian Mountain Guides) certified Hiking Guide. Since the summers in Invermere are super warm, I shut off the glass furnace for the summer months and go and work as guide in the mountains. For me, this helps create a bit of balance between the difficult asymmetrical and repetitive physicality of glassblowing, and creating some mental space for creativity and inspiration while working away from the studio in the mountains. Working as a guide can be quite an intense endeavour both physically and mentally, but I enjoy the polarity of spending the summer outside, which is quite different than the time spent in the studio.
Much of the inspiration for my glass work comes from nature and being outdoors. In a typical summer I'll spend 40 to 50 days guiding in some of the most remote wilderness of southern British Columbia. Spending this amount of time in remote mountain environments is an educational experience. Awareness is a very important sense to develop, for safety obviously, but also for curiosity.
I know that being aware of your natural surroundings really helps you be safer in the mountains. If you're paying attention, your senses will let you know when there might be a bear in the area before you stumble into it, possibly provoking an attack. Being aware in nature also opens up so many interesting insights into the natural world and how it functions and changes from day to day throughout the seasons. There are many relationships in the natural world that are interdependent on each other, some that we are just beginning to fully understand. They also vary in scale from microscopic environments to worldwide phenomenon, there is much to be inspired from in nature.
So, once again the summer is gradually coming to a close. The days are getting shorter, the nights are getting colder, and that means it's time to fire up the glass furnace and get back in the studio. I find it so refreshing to get back into the studio after a summer away in the mountains! I also know that late next Spring I'll be excited to once again head out for some mountain time and renewed inspiration.
All the best,