Five Elements GalleryBY JAY SULLIVAN
"Breathe peace, live fully, laugh often." These words appear, in pink chalk on a small chalkboard on the wall of the Five Elements Gallery in downtown Bucksport, and reflect the peaceful atmosphere crafted by the gallery's owner Alison Thibault.
Approximately ten years ago, Alison Thibault was a commercial banker in Washington. She, like many, was working for the weekend and dreaming about something more.
One day she received a gift that would change her life, a book on tape entitled "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron.
A year and a half later, when she finally got around to listening to the tapes, Thibault was so moved by what she heard that she took a leap of faith and promptly quit her job.
Without any real plan to speak of, Thibault started working as a self-employed consultant. However, she found herself doing work that was very similar to her previous job and the result, once again, was discontent. However, this discontent would not last for long.
One day she received an exquisite pair of earrings from her mother. Some time later, Thibault lost one of those precious earrings. And since "necessity is the mother of invention," Thibault began to look into what it would take to make a replacement.
The first step would be to determine the material the earring was made from. This unique earring actually was made of glass, but not just any glass. It was made of fused glass with a layer of Dichroic glass. It is this Dichroic glass that gave the earring its distinctive appearance.
Dichroic glass, invented as part of the space program, primarily is used in cameras as a light filter. It begins as a regular pane of glass, then metallic vapors are used to coat one side, and depending on the type of metals used, and the order in which they are applied, one can end up with a variety of colors.
It's also been said "a picture is worth a thousand words", and this proved true in this case, too. To fully appreciate the iridescent beauty of this special glass it must be viewed first hand.
Thibault was successful in recreating her lost earring, and once she had the process down she started to make her own earrings at her house. Soon, she was selling her own line of jewelry-"WindHorse" - to shops.
WindHorse comes from the Tibetan term "lungta"meaning the "self existing energy of basic goodness."
Finally, thanks to friends and family, Thibault landed in Bucksport. She has opened her own gallery downtown, where the Delano's Pool Hall and Taxi Service was located a number of years ago.
The shop features WindHorse Jewelry, as well as the works of other local artisans. These works include Karola Bryant's oil paintings and Philip Rosen's pottery and marine photography.
Since Thibault opened her Five Elements gallery (which refers to the five elements of Chinese acupuncture: metal, earth, wood, water and fire) she has found still waters run deep. The 'town has several artists looking for a common forum. And it is these local artisans that Thibault plans on featuring with changing exhibits and openings with wine and cheese.
Thibault's gallery is tucked discreetly between The Alamo Theatre and the Bittersweet gift shop in downtown Bucksport. She can be reached at (207) 863-2262.