Clay Portraits


Taken at Firemaker 2019 during The Elemental Spa

“Firemaker is a bridge between worlds, a thread that connects present and past, that weaves us back to our ancestors. It is a place where we scrape away the layers of machine made paint society coats us in, dip our hands into warm clay and paint ourselves in the flesh of Mother Earth. As our wild selves we gather, painted in her skin, One with all living things; we are kin.” Jade Cobain, Herbalist



“Elemental spa is a great way to feel physically connected to nature and the elements around you.  Free from shoes and clothes we instead cover our bodies with the Earth.  A layer of warm detoxifying clay, some splatters of charcoal and mud, wrappings of ferns and a sprinkle of pine needles we blend into the land (except when parading throughout the Firemaker property wolf-calling with instruments sounding off).  After arriving at the river for a cold plunge to wash off the clay we gather around a warm fire heating a pot of fresh seaweed and massage stones.  The warm fresh water bursts the cells of the seaweed producing a nourishing gel.  We wrap ourselves and others in the warm fronds and soak up the benefits of our coastal seaweed.  A hot stone and oil massage, songs and more dips in the river continue to raise the bliss.  It’s an experience not to be missed at Firemaker.” Taylor Mar, Primitive Skills mentor and co-owner of Ragnarok Studios


“A long time ago, when kayaking the coast, I shipwrecked on Wolf Island. Badly injured, and my whereabouts completely unknown, I utilized the only things I had available to heal my bashed up body: fire, sun, seaweed, rocks and clay. It worked, applying the warmed up seaweed and sloshy clay to my body, then the hot rocks, I healed my wounds well enough to fix my boat and journey home. Thus the Elemental Spa was born.
I have brought the Elemental Spa to Firemaker to help bring out the Wild Thang in each of us, and modified it to incorporate primal chanting, wild adornment and river re-birth. I can’t imagine doing Firemaker without bringing the Spa there every year now.
The Elements provide deep healing and nourishment for body, mind and soul. 🔥🌲💦💨. Breathe deeply and conjoin these powers into the marrow of your being. Aho.” Dante Chicano, Rewilding Mentor at the Elemental Academy and Member of The Shire at The Elemental Collective

Thank you to Dante and Tom for offering The Elemental Spa at Firemaker Traditional Skills Gathering.  I am ever grateful for your generous, playful, beautiful offerings.  I am grateful as well to the community we weave together and the safety of the container we all hold as a village.  Thanks, finally to the land, The Brown River, and the glorious Salish Sea, the unceded territories of the K’omocks, Coast Salish, Nuu-chah-nulth, and Kwakwaka’wakw peoples. 


Belinda White

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