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There`s a land…

…there`s also a lot of poetry out there. Much of it I hate. A little of it I love, love, love.

I love Bren Simmers. I love Jim Carroll. I love Al Purdy. I love Lizzie Derksen. I love C.R. Avery and I love Tanya Davis.

belt and bag 003 (Medium)

I love Robert Service. My first encounter with him was in elementary school. There was an assembly in the gym one day. There may have a few other activities and orders of business as part of the event but all I remember is this – a grizzled old man with a white ZZ Top beard reciting The Cremation of Sam McGee while pacing back and forth at the front of the gym, hands behind his bent-over back, eyes narrowing and bulging as he spoke.

Belt and bag 036 (Large)

At the time I was kinda scared, but in subsequent years I came to realize the experience for what it was – the single most awesome thing to ever have happened to me at that school (or maybe a close second to Scholastic book fairs).

belt and bag 005 (Large)

I think it had some small part in my actually going north in 2006 and falling in love with everything and everybody up there.

I was thinking the other day, while answering interview questions for Halifax Crafters, about why I make the kind of stuff I do and my main intention is that everything act talisman-esque. Kind of a sartorial touchstone that serves to remind people of a certain place that`s loved or missed. A physical wearing of your geographic heart on your sleeve.

That said, this one`s for Yukon. Block-dyed leather. Hand-painted lettering. Tooled with laurel leaves. A big brass buckle. Waiting to be sized for someone who has been under the spell.

belt and bag 013 (Medium)

There’s a land where the mountains are nameless,
   And the rivers all run God knows where;
There are lives that are erring and aimless,
   And deaths that just hang by a hair;
There are hardships that nobody reckons;
   There are valleys unpeopled and still;
There’s a land—oh, it beckons and beckons,
   And I want to go back—and I will.




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Apply yourself

I’m submission-ed out. Between sending in submissions for the Ontario Newspaper Awards and applying for a summer artist residency, I’m so sick of myself haha.

It’s like cover letter writing in the extreme. It’s so awkward writing about yourself. I get to a point where I can’t even bear to re-read my own writing or edit it anymore and I just wish all submission processes (awards, residencies, jobs) consisted of making public displays of desire and/or enthusiasm. That way I could throw myself at the feet of judges/employers and wail and gnash and convince them of my genuine love/suit-itude for the position they have open.

Particularly in the case of this Yukon residency. I feel like everything I do creatively revolves in some way around the north and, I mean…a CHILKOOT TRAIL RESIDENCY? Are they kidding that this exists? Amazing. It’s so up my alley, it should be beside my house.

Let’s moon over the last time I was in Yukon working on this, ok? Ok!

Ivvavik National Park 054 (Custom)

Ivvavik National Park 066 (Large) (Large)

Ivvavik National Park 079 (Large)

Ivvavik National Park 093 (Large)


















Ivvavik National Park 107 (Large)

Ivvavik National Park 112 (Large)
















Ivvavik National Park 130 (Large)

GUYS. My heart is exploding. Maybe I’ll wear my Grayling cuff today and pretend I never left.

Arctic Grayling Cuff














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The cuff I worked on last week – a raven’s feather for the Yukon.

I did the background in a faded shade of purple. This was an experiment in not making everything as though I were going to keep it for myself.

My preference would have been a brown background and brass snaps, but I thought people might prefer black with silver, which doesn’t (according to traditional mixing and matching of hides and hardware) really go with brown.

Sized for an 8.5 inch wrist and heading into the shop in the next couple minutes.

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Yukon Times Two

After hammering out my first cuff of the Canadianarama Collection, designs took a turn for the freeform. I started cutting the bracelets to follow the shape of the flower instead of cutting the leather and then jamming the flower into the window created by the cuff.

Yesterday I started on a new fireweed cuff – one with a less rigid shape and which shows the entire plant. I’ll have better close-up’s once the snow melts -right now, my main squeeze outdoor photography surfaces are buried beneath- but this gives you a pretty good idea of what the cuff looks like off the wrist.

I’m a little unhappy with the snap placement – something that, in my excitement to tool and paint, I didn’t consider until it was too late. However, I’m only down on it when it’s sitting around flat like this. On, it’s no biggie.

Bet you didn’t know I could play the accordion, right? Right. I can’t. But it makes for an interesting prop.

A couple more custom flasks to come!


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