Growing up in the woods around our cabin in Alaska, 100 miles from the edge of Denali Park, there were adventures everywhere and my parents encouraged us to be creative, to explore and respect the world around us, and never fear making mistakes. I remember often digging through a box of beads in my dad's workshop and combining them with driftwood, shells and leather. I smile when I think of the time we spent at the forge, pumping the bellows and turning metal to a cherry red. I can still smell the wood shavings on the floor as we turned creations on the lathe and carved delicate ivory tuning pieces for flutes. Growing up in that environment created a space in my heart for compassion, community, and seeing the best in the world. The work I do now tries to embody that original magic from our remote home at Milepost 275.
I use natural materials, recycled metals and reclaimed items to tell a story through art with character. This is all done in our backyard studio located in Portland, Oregon. The Milepost 275 of today is a collection of old memories and new friendships. As I sit at the workbench, I see children from the neighborhood play in the mud kitchen or build art projects from bins of odds and ends. Great conversations and collaboration around community building happen here, and creativity is still encouraged to run around barefoot.