“Do you want fries with that?”
It’s a familiar question for anyone ordering a fast-food burger, and as a statement it accurately represents the iconic “American” way of life. Fast food, hectic schedule, overworked, overanxious, stressed out, and, most lately, pumped with fear.
For this reason, it’s time to change that question to one that is more meaningful, and well, essential:
“Do you want some peace today? Or calm? Tranquility? Serenity?
“Maybe even a little happiness?”
And while politicians, techno-magnates and mega-corporations eschew concern for this question, everyday people are looking for the answer. Sierra Faflik understands this deep, driving need to find peace, having embarked on that journey long ago. The Dayton, WA, artist focuses on using natural ingredients, herbs and botanicals, crystals, and scents that don’t overpower the senses when she creates her candles, personal care products, and jewelry.
Getting in Touch with the Natural World
“My artwork is about relaxation, self love, and getting in touch with ourselves and the world around us,” Faflik says.
“With the constant bombardment of distractions and stressors associated with modern life, it’s easy to forget the natural beauty that surrounds us. My hope is that by lighting a unique candle, drawing a bath with salts and flowers, or wearing a calming crystal in some form, we can have a second to slow down and be reminded of that beauty.”
As a dispatcher with Columbia County, Faflik is aware of what stress looks like. And with a background in personal training, she knows the importance of de-stressing, eating real food, and seeking out natural, non-chemical-laden products for consumption and use. For her candles, she uses a blend of apricot and coconut wax, or beeswax.
“When I first began making candles in 2015, I would get any candle wax I could find and use it.
“As I began researching different ingredients, I discovered that most of what is available at stores (whether raw ingredients or finished products) is full of lots of harmful chemicals and is not something you want burning in your home.
Organic Herbs and Botanicals
“To most of my container candles and my plain pillar molds, I add various organic herbs and flowers as an embellishment, as well as specific crystals.
“I do this so that when paired with a particular color or scent, the candles will be for a specific purpose or intention.”
As an example, she says, her self-love and relaxation candles are lightly scented with floral overtones. She chooses soft, calming colors such as white, light pink, or lavender and adds rose petals and lavender botanicals. The crystals she chooses are traditionally associated with certain properties, such as amethyst to remove negativity, or emerald and rose quartz for love.
When Faflik first started creating, she did so out of necessity. As a teenager she experimented with jewelry when she couldn’t find styles that fit who she was and what she liked. Bath salts she embarked upon several years ago because she couldn’t stand the overpowering scents of commercial products.
“My baseline mixture is Epsom salts, pink Himalayan sea salt, various essential oils, and a small amount of baking soda to counteract the oils.
“When I was pregnant, I was researching how much is absorbed into our bodies through our skin. I began adding various herbs and flowers to the salts to help further the detoxification and relaxation that come with a calming bath.”
Researching is Natural to Her
When Faflik talks about her art, the word “research” comes up a lot. An avid reader who is not afraid of questioning the status quo or media-approved narrative, she appreciates independent sites and maverick writers and thinkers. These provide perspective in a world where only certain voices, generally associated with industry and big business, are promoted.
“I use natural products for several reasons. I first began going ‘back to the basics’ with food, when I realized that our bodies don’t know how to recognize artificial ingredients and overly processed foods. That research sent me down a rabbit hole of how our bodies respond to so many of the chemically derived artifacts we use every day.
“Basically, I try to use ingredients for all my projects that someone could eat and not have any discomfort from. I want to add joy to people’s lives, not more stress.”
Contact the gallery, located at 219 East Main Street, Dayton, WA, by phone at 509.382.2124 or e-mail email@example.com. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday through Friday, and by appointment. Visit the Wenaha Gallery website online at www.wenaha.com.