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.

Soul Code

Every woman is all woman.

And for every action, word and intention towards one affects all.

What if every word we said could be heard by all?

Every compliment and criticism was to all?

To empower, support and inspire one person is a life well done.

That starts with oneself.

Gentleness and compassion and forgiveness. These are our rights with being alive.

Gifts of listening.

Be permeable and others will join.

Solid as stone but ungraspable as water.

We share the same ephemeral air of which births Clouds.

Clouds as dream like symbols.

This is why I Love the Mountains. So I can breath the Clouds of the Sky and Rainbows.


Origin stories from the woman who rode the back of a turtle on a completely oceanic planet and created land.

Origin of the stork delivering babies.

Of Adam and Eve in the garden of eden.

Only stories can come close to answering the question.

But the pointing finger is not that which it is pointing to.

Children know the right question.

“Why?” and then they ask “why” until “why?” can no longer be answered.

When I ask why as to the essence of all things, I arrive at Love.

Love is the answer. Love is essence. Love is source. Love is the center of the onion layers of consciousness. Seen how an untouched baby will die.

Seen as the plum tree gives fruit.

Felt when watching the rising sun.

Sensed as we wonder how the unity of two cells sets forth a chain reaction to create new life.

The family tree with all the stories seems infinite.

But from the perspective of the moon , Earth is preciously contained.


What is the birthday for a seedling?

Is it when the warming temperatures and spring rains collide to coax a hard seed to venture forth with its little white tongue?

Is it when the first green parts push through the soil?

How about for the mushroom?

Is its birthday when the spore first sets our mycelium?

Or when mycelium create primordia nodules?

Or when the fruiting body first sees the light of day?

Or when the cap opens leaving a veil remnant?

Is a caterpillar born once it becomes a butterfly?

Can we be reborn?

Maybe light at the end of a dark tunnel is the process of being born.

Maybe what lies beyond blackholes is the birth of a new universe.


Of waking, tea and tying shoes.

Of driving to another and knowing landmarks.

Of journaling at night.

Of writing dreams.

Of walking step by step.

Of decocting elderberries.

Of fermenting cabbage.

Of welding steel and sanding wood.

Of dancing and drumming.

Of lighting sage.

Of drawing circles and spinning circles.

Of sitting near a stream.

Of lighting a candle.

Of opening a window.

Of holding a butterfly.

Of painting a color.

Of holding a baby.

Of watching the moon.

Of celebrating solstice and equinox.

Of marking importance.

Of deep work.

Of reconnection with old friends.

Of present communication.

Of healing.

Of touch.

Of breath and rhythm.

Of stillness.

Of reverence.

Of specialness.

Ritual is not like other time.

Ritual to solidify memory and embodiment and knowing.

Of being here now.


I awake not to singing birds but to the rumbling and clunking iron tracks of bulldozers and rock crushers. With a combination of anger, sadness and loss, I run with moccasined feet toward the machines of “progress”.

What was once open land and home to coyotes, rabbits, birds, butterflies and ancient wild flowers.

Is in dust.

I come back to the now desolate landscape soon to be paved, lawned and streetlighted in the evening to hear the the sorrowful song of mother birds missing their home and children. Trauma to the land never to be the same. Migrating birds must pass this former respit as they have with other fallen land.

One by one the vacant fields go. Most people pass by.

But the children who live nearby, the field is their place of wildness, of not structure. Where they can find themselves.

The greatest national parks are important. But the vacant fields next door are equally so.

Deep Work

Sometimes I admire the street person with few belongings and no job. They have time to observe and think. They are unbeholden. Perhaps they are as the wild animals. Fighting for survival but free.

Then there is the pull of the aescetic monk living in the proverbial cave, his work is mastering himself.

Oh the stories, inventions, books, songs, poems that were never expressed and die with the physical body in the grave.

Let me have the focus, clarity and time to express what is inside. Give me space to explore the inside. Staring at a wall or closing my eyes is the deep work which often goes unrewarded.

The greatest things take time. Music takes time. Dance takes time. Writing takes time. Thought takes time. Adventure is time. Nature takes time.

And so how shall I spend my seconds which leads to years and spell the life story?

Lock the door and close the windows. I will emerge when I do.