As with all paths yet undiscovered . . .
. . . it's only lately that I've found the direction I need to walk, yet, in the back of my mind, it has always been there. To quote Sam Hamil (Fish Bird Stone) on the mystery of journey, there's "something I can't know, but know just the same." It's a long journey.
For many years I've been traveling and searching, trying to understand life and my work of metalsmithing and jewelry design. Throughout the journey, I've felt a special affinity for the powerful places of nature. They offer something undefinable to the spirit, and provide inspiration to the creative soul.
But wherever I have traveled, the same voice echoes in my ear -- North . . . home . . . North . . . on the shores of Lake Superior, the shores that stretch out to the horizon and calm my soul. My present work, and quite possibly my life's work, comes from these shores, this lake, the mysteries and truths they offer up to me.
From the beginning of my time here, this lake and my Creator have blessed me with an eye for discovering stones of great beauty, colors, shapes, and textures. At this same time, something else was there from my past, my family roots, the people of my ancestry back before clear recorded history.
They were Northern European people. People who had a deep, earth-based spiritual connection with their surroundings. People who held a reverence for the gifts the earth and its Creator had given them. People who were moved to carve and sculpt stone, metal, bone, and wood. People who erected stones of monumental size. People who were moved to create art from common materials -- for no other reason than to create beauty in reverence for their Creator.
This is my task. This is my discovery of a connection with an ancient Scandinavian ancestry, persecuted, condemned, seemingly lost. But this connection cannot be removed from one's blood. It will always be there. And if nurtured by fate, it rises to continue and live
in that bloodline forged so long ago
In my work I use beach stones and gems unique to the Lake Superior basin. I feel that they are given to me as if by ancient and present gods. They say to me, "Here, take these gifts that lie so gently on the altar of Superior's beaches; use them to tell its story! Tell of its greatness and purity. Tell of the need to protect it, the need to respect this great and vulnerable lake and the fragile ecosystems of our world. This is your calling in exchange for these gifts."