Jello Event

I moved back to North Dakota because I was homesick for Jell-o, Wonder Bread, church pot-lucks, meadowlarks, no traffic, and where a trip to the bank, post office, and grocery store on Main Street lasted a half hour.

In a vision, I saw the real meaning behind Jell-o…  not a food at all….but a medium for creative expression. 

As so, it came to pass that a competition was held and a good time was had by all!   “Poppies” by Bill Reynolds, my Pop, took First Place in the Adult Division. “Wagons West” by a neighbor’s grandchild took the $10.00 prize in the Children’s Division.  A last minute graphic art entry from my sister-in-law, Kathy Ridl, depicts Jell-o in two-dimensional splendor.

Iceland Trip

The North Dakota Council on the Arts sponsors an Artist-in-Residence grant program for schools in the state.  As a rostered artist for the past six years, I was astounded to receive a call to conduct a residency in Iceland. 

It was an epic trip!  I came home fully energized and enormously impressed with what I learned about the nation.  I am so grateful to my Icelandic hosts and the Council for this lifetime opportunity.   

A gorgeous language, Icelandic sounds similar to Finnish, the culture is deeply reverent of the written and spoken word, and the fresh fish and vegetable meals were outstanding.  I could go on and on.

Here are a few pictures from Iceland and a sampling of the clay projects made by the students at their country school, Laugalandskolli, near Selfoss.

Raku Event

A small group of students and friends took my new Raku kiln for a test drive.  We had to hurry up before winter really set in and the temperature that night was about 40 degrees. 

The kiln is a converted electric kiln body tipped on its side.  My student, Ray Klein, who is a natural with metal, machines, motors and wood, built the kiln.  My dear friend, Nance Underdahl-Bower, kindled my venture into Raku with her great enthusiasm and energetic partnering at Dacotah Clayworks.

The other folks are: potter, Brother Llewellyn from Assumption Abbey in Richardton, ND; Rhonda Frojen and her son, James; Joan and Terry Mulvey; Val Wandler, my clay maker; and my good friend and neighbor, Henry Mische, came by to see what was going on….

Raku