Last summer, I decided to spend a few months exploring California and logged almost 20,000 miles in my VW. Searching for deeper natural inspiration, I journeyed the length of the California coast, discovering true gems along the way. As an east coast transplant, I'm often mesmerized by the vast landscape of coastal California: the sheer cliffs, the crashing waves, the Redwood trees. Along the route, I experienced an overwhelming and genuine awe at the colossal scale of it all. The experience reminded me that a number of years ago, in these same redwoods, I was inspired to make AETAS an all tree-textured line. However, it wasn't until this summer that I realized why: it's the redwoods. It's their massive size, color, texture, and scent, and the elaborate surface of their twigs that offers such effortless elegance. And there was something else about them that I didn't quite grasp until I stumbled upon it in Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park on my drive down the Redwood Highway.
As I drove into a particular grove, I noticed an immediate silence. I saw some beautiful dappled light pooling along the trail and pulled over to capture it with my camera. I continued into the forest, off the beaten path. I took some more photos and then sat down in the middle of a cathedral of old growth redwoods. As I looked up at these serene giants glowing in the morning light, I simply listened. I inhaled. It was possible to take all the silence in, and it was overwhelming. It was more than silent: these giant, ancient beings were absorbing all ambient sound from the highway and beyond with their immense walls of fleshy bark. They were soaking up the sound and pumping out oxygen, providing all life in their vicinity with a peaceful, nurturing bubble...a refuge from noise...a place to feel safe and calm...a place to feel connected and inspired.
After leaving that magical spot and reflecting on it, I realized that THIS is what I want to share with you through my work: the exhilaration of of being in that very spot. When I wear my redwood cuff, I carry that place with me. I see the glimmer and feel the deep textures and can transport myself back into that silence, no matter where I am. The silent giants still speak loudly.