Welcome to my website, AlaskanForgetMeNots!
I've been making art of some sort all of my life but moving to Alaska really upped the game. Most folks I know spend a lot of the winter doing outdoor sports. I prefer to make things in my cozy studios. Let it snow. Let it blow. Let the sun set at 2:00 in the afternoon. In my always sunny yellow-painted carving studio I am free to get lost in a universe of my own making. Of course in summertime this requires a bit more discipline!
In my early thirties I had the good fortune of meeting renowned master carver, Duane Pasco. He was to become my teacher, mentor and friend. He took me under his wing. Taught me everything I know about carving and the discipline it takes to make a living with your art. He also taught me the importance of following your heart. Through his guidance and my growing relationships with my many friends of the Port Gamble S'Klallam tribe of Little Boston, carving in the Northwest Coast Native style took over my life. I became immersed in the art and the culture, all the while raising my kids and as I look back, myself. It was an amazing time.
In 1995 I was invited to come to Alaska to demonstrate my ivory carving at Inside Passage Arts in Skagway where I had been selling my work for a couple of years. This trip would change my life forever. A month later I had packed up my two teenaged daughters, moved to Haines, Alaska and started my new life.
Since moving to Alaska I feel that my creativity has cut loose. Totally wild and free like the landscape I live in. Haines, the place I call home, is a small and remote coastal town. Not a McDonalds or mall or even a stoplight within 100 miles. Everybody knows your name. In fact that's the title of Haines author, Heather Lende's bestselling book, "If You Lived Here I'd Know Your Name". It's an artist/ writer/ musician Mecca. It's also the home of the Tlingit tribe. And the hosts the largest gathering of Bald Eagles in North America. What a place to land!
After working in fossilized walrus and mammoth ivories for many years I found that I wanted to be able to offer my designs in a way that was affordable for more people. I began carving reflections, in miniature, of some of my sculptures, turning them into jewelry pieces. Working in this manner I can focus my intentions into a wax original without having to repeat myself, potentially losing the heart and spirit of the thing, then have it cast in sterling silver. The sincerity of the process for me is as important as the design.
In addition to making silver jewelry my artistic time includes sculpture, puppetry, writing and sewing. Oh, and occasional clowning. I'm known as Minor Disaster, my husband and partner in crime, Major Dilemma. We are part of the Haines based puppet troupe, Geppetto's Junkyard. I can’t imagine any other life.
I am eternally grateful for the joy I have found here in the North.