Mad River Glass Gallery

Mad River Glass Gallery

David and Melanie Leppla have both been creating distinctive glasswork for more than 30 years. They are known for creating glass cairns. Cairns 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 a place 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. 

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