Monday, September 21, 2009

Time on Rugg Pond

When the weather is too nice to stay inside and work, there are a number of local spots where I can go to soak up some nature.
One of my favorites is a Natural Area called Rugg Pond. Located where the two branches of the Rapid River converge on their way to Torch Lake, it was dammed and harnessed for a power plant in the early 20th century, turning what was once a pond into a small lake.
The plant is long gone, with only a concrete and steel outflow channel remaining, concentrating a rainbow-tinged torrent of water from the lake above to the Rapid River below.
Peaceful despite the remains of the derelict plant, it is home to a wide variety of fish and waterfowl.
There is a family of swans there that I've been watching all summer. The chicks have grown now; I can no longer distinguish them from their parents.
I often see bald eagles skimming the water or flying above, though I have yet to get a picture.
Known locally as a prime fishing hole, it is widely stated (though unproven) that Ernest Hemingway enjoyed a night of angling from the Rugg Pond Dam powerhouse.
Summer didn't really make much of an appearance in northern Michigan this year and is nearly gone. Leaves are beginning their Autumn change. Soon it will be time to think about snow tires and shoveling - knowing that makes an afternoon on Rugg Pond a treasure, indeed!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Custom Regalia Belt

It's always an honor to be asked to make a piece for a dancer's powwow regalia. These outfits are worn in sacred circles; they represent much of what the dancer brings to that circle.
One of the things I love the most about the internet is the ability to connect with dancers outside of my area.
I recently finished a belt for Barbara Hartzell, who dances in the desert
southwest, far from my Great Lakes powwows.
She sent me pictures of her beadwork and asked what I could make that would match or compliment her colors and design. (Her name and her picture are used here with permission.)
The beadwork is lovely, in vibrant colors of turquoise blue and bright pink, all done in cut beads which shimmer like faceted gemstones.
After an exchange of ideas via email we decided on a carved pattern of roses inside hearts.
First the design is drawn on, then cut and pear-shaded for dimension enhancement.
Next the design is beveled; both the roses, petal by petal and the insides of each heart.
Then I matted the heart to recess it from both the rose and the surface of the belt.

The colors were matched to her beadwork; I used a pearlescent pink to compliment the sparkle of the cut beads.

The belt is three inches wide and overlaps in front, where it buckles with attached billets.
Barbara is pleased. I am honored knowing she will be dancing my belt into her circle. It makes me feel that a part of me is also dancing in the desert.
I'm always glad to discuss custom work; please visit my website for further information. (there is a link on the top of the left sidebar)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Words Worth Contemplating

The following quote was attached to an email I received from a customer.

It is a quote that should be shared.

"I do not see a delegation for the Four Footed. I see no seat for the Eagles. We forget and we consider ourselves superior. But we are after all a mere part of Creation. And we must consider to understand where we are. And we stand somewhere between the mountain and the Ant. Somewhere and only there as part and parcel of the Creation."

Chief Oren Lyons, Oneida
in an address to the Non-Governmental Organizations of the United Nations, Geneva, Switzerland, 1977