Mad River Glass
About the artists
David and Melanie Leppla Have both been creating distinctive glass work for more than 30 years. Currently located in northern Vermont, their work has been shown in galleries and museums throughout the US and much of the world. Their pieces can be found in permanent collections of museums including the Renwick Museum (Washington DC), American Craft Museum (NY, NY), New Orleans Museum of Art (New Orleans, LA).
These cairns, born in fire and light, represent accomplishments, knowledge and experience gained, difficulties overcome, sanctuary and guidance for pathways yet to be traveled.
Cairns, man made piles of stones, have an ancient history dating back to the Bronze Age. Important markers in many societies, cairns have served to guide travelers, memorialize the departed and commemorate events, both significant and trivial. Hikers add stones to cairns on mountain tops to mark their conquering the summit. The custom may have originated in Scotland where it is traditional to carry a stone from the bottom of a hill to place on the cairn at the top. Stupas in India and Tibet probably began as simple piles of stones and now mark the resting places of Buddhist saints and Lamas. In Scandinavia, cairns, often painted white for visibility, are used to guide sailors into safe harbors.
Whether commemorating an achievement, hoping to guide someone in the right direction or protecting and sanctifying the remains of what has passed, cairns have held deep significance for millennia.