Meaning Of My Spire Sculptures

Having spent my life in awe of Nature, I am fascinated with plants, animals and micro-biota. The stories and science behind each family, species and individual.

Despite my love for nature, I grew up in Kennewick playing in the industrial realm of steel and fire. Forming hard iron into sculptures since I was 14 years old using welders, plasma cutters and angle grinders.

This represents my interest in dichotomies. Masculine and Feminine. Night and Day. Birth and Death. Reception and Transmission. Light and Shadow. But it is where polarities meet where there is most power – between past and future is Now.

Now I split my time between Kennewick and White Salmon. This move brought me into contact with a new and softer art medium … trees.

Trees are a powerful sculptural forms. They are perfect. Sometimes when I look at trees, flowers, mushrooms and the landscapes they exist … I wonder why I’m an artist when nature has such beauty and meaning.

But through art, I can illustrate the parallels between trees and humans.

Humanity often perceives nature as competitive, but we are learning that nature also cooperates in nuanced ways.

When wolves were introduced to Yellowstone, they reduced the elk population, this allowed trees to grow near stream banks again, which provided food and materials for beavers to use, beaver dams flooded to create riparian zones, and these riparian zones aided the overall biodiversity and resilience of the ecosystem.

Trees are known to signal other trees of danger through scents. When other trees “smell” this, they start producing bitter compounds to dissuade the pest.

Many plants, especially legumes, host bacteria that pull nitrogen from the air into the soil thereby increasing fertility.

Tree roots create symbiotic relationships with the fungal network in the soil. Where trees provide sugars and the fungi provide minerals and water. This fungal web also transmits electrical signals at a speed of a third-of-an-inch per minute.

Through this fungal matrix, trees give excess sugar to their cousins who aren’t getting enough; because the health of the forest determines the health of the individual trees. Loosing your neighbors allows sun to parch the forest floor and creates a hole for wind to topple other trees. You never know when the tables turn where the once little trees may help the once big trees. Some old tree stumps remain alive for hundreds of years despite no leaves. This is because it’s children are pumping sugar and life support to the mother’s stump.

The chain is only as strong as the weakest link.

Perhaps humans in societies can learn from trees in forests.

My spires series sculptures speak to this. Each spire represents a tree in the forest and a human in society. The physical form of carved wood shows how the choices of carving are influenced by the circumstances of wood grain. This is the union of freewill and determinism. And provides the foundation where stories and personality are layered over time. The clothes we wear, the things we say, the dwellings we create, the movement we dance are akin to the paint and objects on the spires.

I salvage fallen trees or ones destined for cutting. I then use a chainsaw to form the rough shape on-site and take them back to where I can carve and sand them into their final shape. Over several months, I apply layers of paint and objects or stain and linseed oil. During this time, I also expose them to dance and music. Exposure to experience is what gives them life. I feel objects retain a memory of where they’ve been and thereby come to life.

Please sit with the individual spires, ask them questions, touch them or dance when no one is watching.


Listen to the wind in the tree canopies and the mountain streams over beaver dams.

Words are whispered just as the faces appear on the rocky cliffs of the gorge.

Look at the textures bark of old trees, can you see the symbols the trees are trying communicate just as our own signs.

Feel the sand on the beach. Perhaps it is braille. But do we have patience?

The electromagnetic waves of the variable heart beat transmits a frequency modulated radio transmission. But are our instruments attuned?

Third Space

As soon as there is one thing. There becomes the opposite – or not that thing.

And as soon as there is such dichotomy, there is the infinitely small space between the two. Therefore one becomes two becomes everything.

A past means future. And the two meet at present. Yet presence is the only one to actually exist. It is our skin separating our insides from our outsides that allow us to feel.

The soil like breath on an apple which allows life to exist.

Flip the coin, but perhaps it is the edge of the coin that matters.

Left and right hemisphere and the corpus collusum.

Zeros and ones but let’s look in between.

In breath and out breath, the pendulum swings but where it changes direction for a moment it is still.

Like the equinoxes and solstices. No wonder the ancients paid attention.

Where masculine meets feminine.

Where the ocean meets land.

Where sun rays meet leaves on trees.

Where rain drops on lichen.

Open the door to peer at the space between.



They say know thyself. So I go sit on a rock with the ravens and moss. It is here that I connect with my foundation, my base. It is here that I know freedom, self-responsibility and sovereignty cultivates the greatest self-expression. The epiphanies that result are like a horse that recognizes itself in a mirror.

Like a horse with no name in a sun-drenched desert. Expansive is human consciousness. The magnetic field of infinite potential collapses into real experiences. And from experience comes empathy.

When we are still and silent we develop empathy for the stones. When we know interconnection we have empathy for the forest. Footsteps of time venture ever deeper in search for nourishment deep within the Earth. Going through layers of sediment and rocks from different eras. Pulling upward the wisdom from that time. So that everytime we eat from the Earth from beets to cauliflowers, teaches to stay centered as the prayer wheel cylindrically turns.