Sunday, January 10, 2016

It's lovely seeing a delightful exhibit of Ihana Jewelry from Baraga in Lake Linden, @PureMichigan.

I met the woman who makes Ihana Jewelry out of her home in Baraga, Michigan at the Poor Artists Sale in Calumet Michigan. Hosted by the Copper Country Art Center, it is one of the few fine art shows in the Keweenaw. I went Googling for the definition of the Finnish word Ihana. Better, a woman named Maija Vilkkumaa wrote a song called Pitk√§ ihana leikki, that translates to "long sweet game". Who can improve upon the definition by context? Here at Northern Exposure Coffee House in Lake Linden, the women on the wait staff know the rack of earrings, all priced modestly at forty dollars, all of them in admiration. One of the staff makes jewelry herself by wrapping Keweenaw stones, such as the Carnelian agate. I regaled two of the staff with stories of how the jeweler at Ihana shapes her work with a simple coping saw and a few hammers. If anything, I like her feathers. When she excels, she's mimicking that patterns of trees and bushes. Her twigs in silver tempt one to germinate them, placing an end in potting soil. Her birches in silver send one to the forest outside, forests of beavers and birches.

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