Jewelers Joe and Gudi Pach travel to South America


Many artists travel to find inspiration for their work. And I love sharing about their trips! Maybe because I can live vicariously through them from my living room... and I love to see how new inspiration breathes new life into work. I've shared a few in the past, potter Tim Isaac's trip to India, photographer Jason Nugent's trip to Scotland, and photographer and sculptor Jorgen Klausen' trip to Italy among them.

Joe and Gudi Pach are two very talented jewelers who like to go on trips every couple years to see the world and gather inspiration for their jewelry lines. Here is an example of a piece that was inspired by some of their travels years ago - Gudi brought the seeds back from a trip to Arizona and made what has become an iconic Terrabijou design. You may have seen them, as a pendant or as earrings!

Joe and Gudi Pach

Joe and Gudi Pach

This year Joe and Gudi went to South America for eight weeks, hitting Columbia, Ecuador, the Galapagos and Peru, where they ate delicious food, met interesting people and used the Spanish they've been working on. Here are is what they had to share! Read to the bottom to see what new inspiration they've come up with already since the trip!


Words and photos by Joe and Gudi Pach

Two years ago we went to South America without knowing much Spanish at all. This year we studied Spanish so we could go back and communicate better with the people we met there. We traveled all over, sampled local food, and even got to stay in a hut in the Amazonas. We were just tucked away, no internet, and got to experience the normal duties of life in the area such as baking Yucca root bread, talking to a Shaman, using plants for different purposes etc. It was a 4 day tour through the Amazon and we stayed in a very primitive “lodge”, a wooden structure with a very versatile group of 10 people, ages ranging from 20 – 64, from Canada, the USA, Australia and Scandinavia. Such a cool experience!


Shaman - medicine man in jungle village


We enjoyed trying new foods. Wherever we were, we would just walk into a neighbourhood “restaurant” and choose a soup, main, desert. Very inexpensive and delicious. Their staples are corn, potatoes, beans, quinoa, all very starchy. I (Gudi) enjoyed the cerviche, a seafood dish, and we found some German pastries like "pig ears".


Another unexpected adventure was a 3 days hike down into a canyon. The highest peak we had to pass with a bus was 4910 m high! ( 16 109 feet)


Unexpected adventures for this trip included getting a good hostel with a hot shower as advertised, staying in Colca Canyon in an adobe hut and staying on one island in Lake Titicaca with a local guest family. This was a community project that allowed participating families to host tourists twice a year. In this way the money goes directly to families and not to travel agencies.


We wer able to visit several museums which showed exhibitions of very early artwork and craftsmanship from hundreds of years ago up to today.

It is extremely inspiring to see what kind of jewelry, fashion, accessories for special occasions were created with very primitive tools. Back to instinctual living, very simple and primitive, close to nature. It takes a while for everything to sink in and to digest. From the past travel experiences I know that it takes sometimes months or years that I can start to incorporate elements in my work. It was amazing to see museums etc. How bracelet jewelry was done with very simple casting techniques. Maybe this is a lesson to learn: Keep it simple.

Thanks for sharing with us, Joe and Gudi! Can't wait to see where you go next. Here is a sneak preview of new work inspired by their recent travels!


New earrings with Huayruro seeds from the Amazon.