[Feb 2012 - Big Island, Hawaii]
On our trip to the Big Island of Hawaii, one of the highlights was seeing Kilauea and Mauna Loa, the most active volcano in the world and the biggest volcano in the world. They said we were unlucky to be a couple weeks too late to see any active lava flows, but lucky the levels of sulphur dioxide gas was not high enough to pose any health hazards! Luck aside, we were thrilled to see the fragile volcanic samples displayed at our first stop, the Jaggar Museum at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The resemblance of the meteor-like volcanic ‘spatter’ to our ‘Iwa Rock‘ (that we cast in silver from a little granite rock) is superb!
We couldn’t wait to drive out to see if we could find some of our own samples down Chain of Craters Road, a 23 mile winding paved road through the East Rift and coastal area of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. This road descends 3,700 feet in 20 miles and ends where a lava flow crossed the road in 2003. It was simply spectacular, and boy, did we get to see some volcanic rock! We stopped every time we saw something surreal; which is quite often on this road where surreal seems to be the norm. We studied the different types of rock and lava formations with childlike intrigue and delight. Chasing a rainbow added to the fun of things!

We were surrounded by samples upon samples of cinder fragments, smooth ‘Pahoehoe’ and jagged ”A-’a’ lava rock, as well as the harder to find delicate droplet-shaped ‘Pele’s Tears’ and the wispy strands of ‘Pele’s Hair’. And with much respect to the goddess of fire, lightning, wind, and volcanoes, everything we picked up was left just where we found it – in the magical, mystical area around the Halemaumau Crater of the Kilauea Volcano, the present home of the goddess, Madame Pele.
We stayed way into the night exploring (the park stays open 24/7). We must add that driving back up the winding path of destruction in total darkness was equally as thrilling and unforgettable as driving down in daylight.

For rock-lovers and collectors, there was nothing tangible we could bring home from the trip, but we did come back with something wonderful yet undefinable on a spiritual level. We gained a renewed sense of respect and admiration for Mother Earth’s power of destruction/creation, and so much invaluable inspiration for new designs.

Mahalo nui loa Hawai’i. A hui hou! —- Thank you, Hawaii for a lovely time. We’ll see you again soon!


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