Burning Man 2011

This inspired me to reflect back on my first burn, 1996. I was lucky enough to help build the man, camp where I wanted, and just be lost and free. With that in mind, I wanted a pendant to best capture this. I came up with several design concepts, but none felt right. It was not until I reflected on some photos of the 1996 Burn that I found what I was looking for; we must take baby steps, a passage of sorts. Only when we take these steps do we better understand what Burning Man is about. One particular picture showed me wearing shorts, a T-Shirt, and boots, next to several people wearing kilts, skirts, and a naked dude. Here I was, an outsider! Only when I stripped myself of once was I started on my passage… a passage of becoming a Burner; to be simple, lost, free, but to live life to its fullest.

Back in 1996, I knew nothing about Burning Man. Then, on the playa, my Burning Man neighbors explained how it works, what is required and how to participate. I felt so small, lost, but every so intrigued. I wanted to keep the pendant small and simple but have a Burning Man inward and outward motif.

The inner man represents Burning Man and its teachings. The outer parameter represents my Rite of Passage and the basic knowledge to call myself a Burner. I decided not to apply a finish as I wanted it to be pure and in its natural state. Pureness and natural state are fundamental steps of letting the past go and exposing yourself for who you are. Ultimately, my aim was to stir memories of once was to once is and to the future… to grow through A Rites of Passage. This pendant represents both new burners and seasoned burners.

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