Remnants of the Past
As a brand-new tour guide, I was taken through and around the stunning eco system that is Capricorn Caves. I was shown breath taking views and given explanations on the intricacies of how this place came to be, the flora, the fauna and history. Scribbling notes into my notebook as we explored this surprising pocket of beauty within my home region of CQ. Before this new adventure of mine working as a tour guide, I had spent several years as an artist… and I brought my creative brain with me to the Caves. Of the many things I noted in my book that day, one of them was- broken glass bottles behind hut – souvenirs?
You see there is a story to these broken glass bottles, they are not just broken glass bottles. These bottles have been resting in the dry rainforest for over 130 years, having been left there by early explorers of these caves. I sometimes try to imagine the adrenaline felt as they climbed over mossy limestone boulders into the unknown, exploring for hours by candlelight before finding their way back out again, exhausted, hungry and amazed by what they had seen, quenching their thirst before tossing their bottles against the limestone cliff in celebration of this marvel of nature. When I saw these glinting glass bottles scattered in the forest, I saw story, I saw history, I saw place … and I felt connection… I saw an opportunity to share this connection.
Having studied silversmithing, I knew creating beautiful pieces of jewellery featuring the glass was possible, however I had to find someone with the time and talent. So, I put the word out and that’s when Kirra-lea Caynes contacted me, she came with great recommendation from our shared silversmithing teacher here in CQ. I researched Kirra-lea’s work and was blown away by her passion for nature, her skill and unique work. We chatted, we came up with a plan and off she went creating distinctive jewellery pieces with our glass. Part of the collection features glass with the original surface of the bottle remaining present, while other pieces of the glass have been faceted giving a rustic elegance I have not witnessed before. Kirra-lea suggested the glass could also be used as a type of glaze for ceramic work and went ahead creating small bowls of fired earth cradling the melted glass, just as the earth cradled the glass for over 130 years.
Of course, these Remnants of the Past are limited. Once I discover the last piece of glass under the leaves, partially covered by the rich forest soil, there can be no more. The treasure hunting adventures will cease… but the connection to this place will remain.
These unique pieces are for sale in our kiosk, feel free to pop in to see our unique range.
A sample of one of the gloroious pieces
Amber, Capricorn Caves tour guide & Arts & cultural development officer, the driving force behind this unique project.