Hello Beautiful Human Beans!!!
My name is Emily Kuchenbecker! If you have made it this far, you've likely heard of me and this Waxing Gibbous Studio project I started. But who am I- and why are you coming to me...an herb loving, Ayruvedic lifestyle living glassblower... for herbal/holistic living and wellness advice!?
To answer this I want to tell you my story, how I built my relationship with spirituality, herbs and glass, and how I concluded this project and business as a part of my dharma (the eternal and inherent nature of reality, regarded in Hinduism as a cosmic law underlying right behavior and social order).
I am a wounded healer- I am compelled to share this knowledge with you because I have used to heal myself, and I continue to use it to heal the more I learn. I KNOW that these methods work... that this lost knowledge and these rituals and practices will heal ourselves and in turn, heal the planet.
Born and raised in Wisconsin, having a relationship to nature (the woods specifically) defined my childhood. We will save my child story for another article, but plants have been my best friend for as long as I can remember. This relationship with nature allowed me to see her order unfold, becoming an inspiration for both my artwork-, body movement, and my love of herbalism.
In 2011 (age 17) I got a job at a place called Felly's Flowers, where I worked as a cashier and flower designer. I loved this job... I spent my as much of my "greenhouse" shift learning directly about herbs form the horticulturist Abdullah. He would take me up and down the isle of plants, teach me what they were, how to grow and use them in the home. My research began during the winter season working at Felly's. I started my first online course on herbalism and aromatherapy.
For a short bit (before getting deep into art school) I started a business called "Emma-leaves Herbal Body Care.".. (like Emily.. hehehe get it?) I made holistic candles, herbal bath bombs, body salts, lotions and salves. It really made feel whole <3 I sold some product in my community and really felt like I was providing something for myself, and others. I stopped this project in 2014 to attend art school.
When I got into art school, the relationship with plants and energy didn't stop, however my practice of herbalism became a practice just for myself. I discovered glass in 2014 and have been practicing ever since. Both artistically and holistically, my research has really taken off in Eastern Philosophy, Alchemy and Mysticism. Through receiving my MFA in Craft and Material Studies (in glass), I dove deep into creating installation art that invoked the feeling of being present. We all deal with time as one of our biggest bullies. My portfolio- and residencies that came after, have shaped the foundation of Waxing Gibbous Studio! You can check out this research in the portfolio section of www.emilykuchenbecker.com
So here is the part where it gets a little dark...
On Valentines day 2020, I got into a bad car accident. I lost consciousness while driving my car, hit two parked cars and flipped my vehicle. I was stuck inside my car for a little over 30 minutes. While people gathered, took photos and chattered around me.. everything felt slow and silent. I realized that this all happened as a result of my bad health and wellness practices. I just wanted to improve and succeed and provide for others so much that I wasn't doing it for myself....
I lived a life where I constantly pushed to be bigger, better, faster, stronger.. I worked myself into a state of exhaustion. my parasympathetic nervous system was working against me, and my body stopped absorbing nutrients. I constantly felt guilty about how much I did in a day and was completely consumed by the patriarchal, capitalistic system thattells me I am not rich enough, I don't work hard enough, I need to buy X, Y, Z I will fail...
Well.. we all know how much humans hate to fail. Have you ever felt any of these ways?
Well I crossed my T's and dotted my I's and do you know what it got me...? A NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCE I had no self care or spiritual practice despite that ALL my artwork and research was 100% around herbalism, both eastern and western cultures of spirituality, Ayruveda specifically. We can't heal the world unless we heal ourselves and that's just a fact.
SO my dharma is calling and I am vibrating a higher frequency just typing about my goals and visions for Waxing Gibbous Studio.
-To provide functional glassware for sale to the community to use in their homes. WHY? Well, simply put... we don't need plastic! When you buy herbal products in my glassware you not only start a personal collection, but you can also send them back to me for refills! Or clean them and use them again for whatever you need in your home!
- To provide the community with knowledge and information to start their own herbal practices. I get it.. we can't all be herbalists! But I sincerely believe that as a collective conscious we NEED to reconnect to our planet as a main priority for our collective healing. That's right I am going to help you become your OWN green spiritual goddess (or god). This blog will be used to help you tap into ancient wisdom. With recipes for the home, topics on ancient philosophy, Ayruveda, spirituality and just generally being a human bean with a soul!
- To simply connect! I am no expert in all the things! My main knowledge and skill sets reside in glassmaking, installation, and herbs/flowers. But I am a young human who is trying to expand and if I have learned anything so far, we're in this together. But I want to share my resources- as well as learn from yours!
-To keep things whimsical. I truly believe that magic is a natural phenomena. My glassware and glass decor is inspired by plants the celestial bodies and the atmosphere/sky for you bring a little light into your home.
So thank you for coming by and checking out my work.
If you would like to support this project- check out my etsy site to purchase artwork, herbal remedies, and candles. Join the newsletter subscription (for free) and get monthly news from the studio!