I grew up as the daughter of an artist.
I grew up accustomed to harvesting birch bark when it seasonally peels. A cauldron-like black, speckled pot was a normal fixture on our stove top where my mom boiled her collected spruce roots. It's hard for me to fathom the absence of the sweet pine aroma filling my lungs every time I walked through the front door, while steam seeped from the sides of the crinkled tinfoil covered water bath. My father reconstructed our attic to suit my mother's weaving needs: lights in each dormer, an operating sink, oh-so-many outlets, a quiet place atop our maple canopy. I believe all of us have a more intimate relationship with sweet grass, basswood, white birch, willow, and spruce. My mother garnishes her work with porcupine quills and beach glass, all of which we must gather in nature as well. The community my mother enriches herself in is full of like-talented women who are all oh so earthy, outdoorsy, and wicked knowledgeable. There's an ambient spirituality that resonates from the basket weaver's core. I have yet to meet one that doesn't intrigue me and make me want to know more. With a strong sense of community, I'm gleeful to share these images of willow harvest in Ishpeming at my mother's friend's house. My sister, Abigail, and I were both invited along to help. The day was drizzly, and it very well could've been snowing instead, but cold wetness wouldn't ever deter these women on a Halloween Day.
- all photos taken via iPhone 5s -