Kate Rutter is many things: artist, designer, educator, entrepreneur, lovely human being - I’m probably missing a few other things but this is a good list to start from. I met Kate earlier this month at creative workshop retreat, The Full Moon Gathering (I’ve written about it here and here). As a co-host, Kate led a fascinating and informative class on essential oils and her knowledge, openness, and vulnerability made an impact on me that weekend. Already a fan of her brand, Heartcave, a purposeful collection of jewelry and scents inspired by nature and symbolism, I decided to connect with Kate to learn more about how she ended up in Portland, how Heartcave came to be and what it means to her, and of course, where she goes for a great burger -
K: I’m from Cleveland, Ohio. About four years ago I found myself in a state of discontent. I was feeling stagnant so I decided it was time to uproot and start anew. I chose Portland because I had friends that had slowly been migrating here over the years and there was comfort in that network of people. Honestly, I thought it would be this sort of transition phase, the first leg of the journey. I didn’t know THIS PLACE was the journey. Portland’s mellow energy, climate, and the dynamic landscape set the perfect tone for my being. My body feels at home and that has allowed for lots of growth and healing.
VGS: Where did the name Heartcave come from and what does it mean to you?
K: HEARTCAVE was inspired by the book Be Here Now by Ram Dass.
HEARTCAVE was birthed from my former jewelry line Tied Up and Tousled. It was essentially a rename and rebrand but it was really a giant leap of faith. I was in the process of leaving my day job to commit to life as a full time artist/creative. Deciding on a name felt like a heavy task. I had been toying around with a few things but ultimately they didn’t have enough depth while maintaining a sense of timelessness.
In late July last year, my boyfriend and I set off for a weekend of camping at the beach. I told him I was surrendering to the task of thinking of a new name and I granted it would effortlessly surface on this trip. We hiked to this special place we were gifted to know by a friend. They call it Secret Beach. The next day, it was 70 degrees with mild winds. Portlanders know, that is a magical day at the coast. As I read Be Here Now on the sand beside the ocean, I became more and more transcended by the hypnotic rhythm of the words. Everything went quiet and I read ::
ALL THE ENERGY
PASSES THRU YOU
YOU ARE ALL THE ENERGY
& IT RESIDES IN YOUR HEART
IF YOU GO WITHIN YOUR SPIRITUAL HEART
YOU WILL THEN KNOW THAT
YOU ARE HE
& IT IS FROM THIS PLACE IN OUR HEART CAVE
WHERE WE ARE NOW
WE WATCH THE ENTIRE DRAMA
THAT IS OUR LIVES
WE WATCH THE ILLUSION
Ultimately, we all hold the key. We are all the same. We are all one. We are all love. Love is all there is. In our heart space, or heart cave, we can find peace. Peace is love. Love is all. It’s so simple, but ego and drama muck it up. I invite you to let it all go. Go into your heart, ask for love, feel love, be love and give love. Now tell me, what else matters?
VGS: You have stated that you have not mastered any one craft but are an explorer of the arts, I assume this is tied to your philosophy of interconnectedness, or ‘All That Is’. Can you tell me more about that?
K: I am constantly seeking new insight, understanding, knowledge, and connection. I love philosophy and art because they infinitely provide all those things.
All That Is refers to everything and nothing, the seen and unseen, the known and unknown. It is our interconnectedness, our oneness, the collective consciousness.
VGS: If you had to limit yourself to one medium for expression, which do you think you would choose and why?
K: This might be the hardest question I’ve ever been asked. I would choose plants and flowers because you can treat them as objects for installation, make pigments for paint and dyes, you can turn them into fibers or you could do some weird scent-sensory experiment. I don’t know, I guess it’d be endless expression. I choose plants and flowers, for sure.
VGS: Your work has dealt with the female figure recently, in what ways does it inspire you?
K: My latest work, Age Of Aquarius, more so represents a shift of humanity – a time when mankind seeks higher truths and we expand our consciousness.
I created pieces that evoke that inner expansion and connection through symbolism. One example of this symbolism is the Sun Ring. It also reflects a woman’s breast which represents source, energy, and life force. It’s not my intention to make a statement about gender, but more so Mother Nature.
VGS: How did you get into working with oils and how do they compliment Heartcave?
K: I started working with pure essential oils from DoTerra a couple years ago while I was doing a work/trade at a local flower shop. The owner, Jill Mason, introduced me not only to the oils but to a whole new world of plants and flowers. There were lots a mini-moments that really defined my relationship with plant allies but I began to understand them on a much deeper level after reading a book called Plant Spirit Healing by Pam Montgomery.
I learned that everything has a vibration. I like to think of it as a pulse. Oils are no exception. Many of them operate at a very high vibration and have the ability to raise our frequency. Joy, creativity, love and intuition are high vibration feelings. Sadness, grief, despair, and fear are a low vibration feelings and cannot exist in or around a higher vibrational energy field.
In terms of HEARTCAVE, I suppose I am HEARTCAVE. I’ve chosen a path in tune with my authentic self that allows me to connect with others from a place of love through passion. The oils give me the physical, emotional, and spiritual support to stay aligned with that path. They quiet the mind/ego so I can hear that faint inner voice inside. This is our intuition and its guided by spirit. We all have it. It’s not something we have to find because it’s already there, but I do believe it’s strengthened by nature. I use plant medicine, or essential oils, daily as an easily accessible way to keep that connection alive.
VGS: What are your general thoughts on Portland’s Maker scene?
K: It’s bursting with talent, peer-support, and creative voice. It’s authentic and inspiring.
VGS: What can we expect from Heartcave in the future?
K: I have just moved into a beautiful studio space on NE Alberta and it’s properly called The HEARTCAVE. It’s not a public space, as it’s in a locked building, but my intention is to call in like-minded creatives who want to cultivate new work that aligns with a movement of love and co-creation. I’d love to host workshops and other visionary work. The space currently hosts evening ceremonies of tarot, crystal wisdom, essential oil balancing, and honoring full/new moons and other cosmic occurrences with Caroline Marie Griffin of Atelier Cornelia and Suzy Olsen of Psychic Siamese Terror.
VGS: Finally, where is your favorite spot in town to grab a burger?
K: Bonfire on 28th and Stark because they chop their lettuce and mix in some mayo before they dress the bun. Shredded lettuce is really underrated. [Ed: So true!]
Huge thanks to Kate for hosting me in her beautiful and inspiring studio!
You can shop Heartcave here and follow @heartcave on Instagram for beautiful photos and upcoming Heartcave news.