Monday, August 24, 2009

Grey Might Be My New Favorite Color

Mendenhall Glacier, just outside of Juneau, Alaska

Michigan is beautiful. I will be the first to admit that sometimes when I drive into town all along Lake Michigan, I am blown away. The lake can be ragged pewter, eerily calm, strikingly fragile and I'm quite in awe of it. How I don't drive off the side of the road or into a tree is rather a mystery.

But we just returned from Alaska on a 7 day cruise through part, like about an inch, of the Inside Passage. I was sorely disappointed to read the weather report before embarking that the whole week would be rainy and 50 - 60 degrees. We've had a whole summer of that in Northern Michigan. Except while we were away, of course.

And guess what. It rained. Oh, not every day, but on glacier day it rained and it was freezing cold. And the lack of color was misty and mystical and had a depth of soul that isn't apparent in the bright neon of Caribbean color. Not that it was better. It was different. And just as inspiring.

If I could capture this color in glass, I would be quite impressed with myself. And I will brag about it. This glacier ice, part of Dawes Glacier way up the Endicott Arm, is like looking into a beautiful, airy, airless abyss. Ice and glass have much the same look. I'm going to play with blues and clear and texture. Along with the ivory that inspired me and walrus bone that was used by some jewelers whose work I admired.

But I wrestle with being inspired by Alaska versus being inspired by Michigan. Living in a tourist town I know, especially after being a tourist for 10 days, the importance of finding the exact souvenir that will remind me forever of this trip. I'd like to provide that for someone else...does that mean Petoskey stones mixed with glass? Or glass that represents Petoskey stones, the state stone of Michigan? Or does it matter?

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