Tag Archives: Tokeland Hotel

Made in Tokeland 2014

3made in tokeland

Mark your calendars now for the second annual Made In Tokeland art happening, Saturday December 6th at the historic Tokeland Hotel, from 11:00-6:00 PM.

Featuring photography, wood carving, sculpture, miniatures, painting and jewelry by five Tokeland based artists; Jeffro Uitto, Earl Davis, Marcy Merrill,  Judith Altruda, Paul Havas and Mark Murphy of Astoria, OR.  A special treat will be live music by acoustic trio All In, with special guest Dinah Urell.

The Artists:

Though based on the tiny peninsula of Tokeland, Jeffro Uitto’s (Knock on Wood)  reclaimed wood furniture and sculptures have gained worldwide recognition. His US shows include the prestigious SOFA show in New York and Chicago. His work is always evolving and there will be new pieces on display.



Earl Davis, of the Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe, is a carver who works in the style historically known to the Lower Columbia River, Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor. Earl was the recipient of the 2014 Governor’s Art and Heritage award for Young Arts Leadership. He will be showing carvings and silkscreens.

earl davis

Judith Altruda traveled to Ireland this summer to take a class in Celtic chasing with master Brain Clarke. Known for her jewelry featuring sea glass, Judith visited the beaches on the NE coast of England to hunt for sea glass and marbles. She will be debuting new jewelry that is inspired by her journey.

labyrinth log marcy

Marcy Merrill, photographer and beach cleanup crusader, has been documenting the random beach finds that wash up (or are left behind) on Washaway Beach. The images range from the sublime to the visceral (literally dead animals with their eyes popped out.) Working in alternative processes, including pinhole photography, she will most likely have her hand beaded vintage cameras on view as well.


Mark Murphy, is a master craftsman/maker of miniature furniture, specializing in 18th/19th century pieces with a special focus on arts and crafts movement and Japanese designs. His work can be seen in museums in the mid-west and private collections worldwide.


Paul Havas, 1940-2012, was a painter of light and landscapes. He taught painting at the UW, Idaho State, and Stanford, and was one of the founders of the NW Figurative Artists Alliance in 1993. He and his wife Margaret lived in Seattle and had a beach home in Tokeland, where he was inspired by to create beautiful and atmospheric paintings of local landmarks. His widow, Margaret, will have some of Paul’s paintings on display and also books about his art.

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The Tokeland Hotel  2964 Kindred Rd. (360)267-7006, is the perfect gathering place, with full restaurant, cozy lobby, and very reasonable rooms available for this event. The live music starts at 5:00, with a jam session following at 6:00. Good art, good friends, good food-Why not book a room now make a night of it?

More about this event on Facebook events, Made in Tokeland  Or call: (360)267-2326

marcy copper spiralscropped

Hope to see lots of friends from near and faraway! 


Five Minutes

ultra violet ring chryspprase earrings

Spring has definitely arrived on the NW coast, and with it, our annual Tokeland Studio Tour. This year it is Saturday April 19th from 10:00-5:00 PM. There will be three art studios open including my friend Jeffro, Knock on Wood. A variety of area artist showing in the lobby of the historic Tokeland Hotel, and the Shoalwater Bay Tribe will have a display of work from their apprentice carvers program.

The Daily Astorian recently published an interview with me about my work, inspriation, and processes-if you care to take a look, click on the link….


Will close this post with a sampling of recent pieces to be debuted at the tour this weekend.


salt water blue diamond

amazonite shi earringsstarburst earrings shi cuff

mer maid rocks

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Made in Tokeland

Made in Tokeland 2

Greetings all~

Since my last blog entry I have been to Los Angeles to display my work in a show that included a roster of highly talented craftspeople, including jewelry makers, fashion designers, mixed media artists and vinyal deejays. I enjoyed the casual, friendly vibe at the show, made some sales and promising  contacts…and had a great time at the after show party.

creative warrior display 5 Yes those are disco ball reflections!

When I returned home, my good friend and neighbor Jeff Uitto stopped by.  Jeffro makes furniture and sculpture from salvaged wood found on local beaches and rivers. I have known him since he was a young kid growing up in Tokeland and  living with his grandmother Jan, a wonderfully feisty lady who rode a pink Harley with ape hangers. Creative to the bone, Jeff forages beaches for redwood, cedar, and maple, seeing the possibilities in grain and shape, later milling the largest pieces into slabs. He can become ecstatic over a “gnarly root ball.” His yard is filled with stacks of drying wood, some pieces he has had for years, waiting for just the right project. His shop is called Knock on Wood.

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Since we’d last seen each other, Jeff and I had both done shows in major cities. As we compared notes, in the best Judy Garland/Mickey Rooney tradition we said  “Let’s put on a show.” We would invite some of our artist friends who live in the area and put the word out via postcards and Facebook. It would be an opportunity to show and sell recent work in a relaxed  non cyber setting. A real place in real time.

The historic Tokeland Hotel and Restaurant, Washington state’s oldest resort hotel agreed to host the event in their rustic lobby and even offered a special rate for guests that weekend.

hotel www.tokelandhotel.com

We invited some of our favorite artists to show with us: photographer Marcy Merrill, miniature furniture maker Mark Murphy, and  photo journalist/writer  Erika Langley. Here are some examples of their work:

Mark Murphy  is a master craftsman/maker of miniature furniture, specializing in 18th/19th century pieces with a special focus on arts and crafts movement and Japanese designs. His work can be seen in museums in the mid-west and private collections world wide. A graduate of the Philadelphia College of the Arts, Mark resides in Astoria, Oregon.

mark desksetchair mark 4chairMark japanese 

(all pieces are one inch in scale)

Marcy Merrill is a photographer who specializes in alternative photo processes, including wet plate collodion photography and pinhole photography. In addition. to offering state of the art digital imagery, she also has a pink- tiled dark room in her North Cove, Washington studio. Besides being our close friend and neighbor, ( and my son Raleigh’s godmother) Marcy is the go-to person for excellent studio work. Many of the artist photos on this page (and my website) were shot by Marcy. Here are two wet plate collodion photographs.



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Marcy will be world premiering pintoid photographs from a recent journey across Canada and the US. “Pintoids” are pinhole cameras made from Altoids containers.


To learn about the wet plate collodion process and see more images, go to Marcy’s website:http://www.merrillphoto.com/index.php?id=50

Erika Langley is an internationally recognized photographer. A native of Arlington Virginia, she attended the Rhode Island School of Design, has worked for newspapers in Virginia and was the recipient of three Virginia Press Awards before moving to Seattle, Washington in 1992. Her book The Lusty Lady, documents the years she spent dancing and photographing behind the scenes at Seattle’s notorious Lusty Lady. Currently Erika divides her time between Seattle and Northcove , Washington, photographing and blogging about the rapid erosion of nearby Washaway Beach.

MLK day by Jenna Steffenson MLK day by Jenna Steffenson

To visit her blog go to: http://www.washawaybeach.com/gallery/index.html

Here is a teaser from Amazon.com about her book, The Lusty Lady:

When Erica Langley approached the female management of Seattle’s Lusty Lady she was told that to photograph the peep show dancers she would have to become one. Through photos and texts that are both candid and affectionate, humanizing and humorous, readers see behind the impenetrable armor of naked dancers, documented by one of their own. Complete with extensive interviews which allow the people to speak for themselves, Langley’s work juxtaposes stage personas with real people, showing the love, humor and boredom behind the scenes, and the humanity behind the stigma and shame.

lusty lady Erika will be signing copies of her collectable book…

There may be one or two other surprise artists and musicians at our event, for updates check our event page on Facebook, Made in Tokeland. (or just show up!)

Before closing this, I want to include some photos of a collaboration between Jeffro and myself. The piece is a cedar burl bowl with etched copper embellishments. It is pretty large, about 28 inches across. It will be part of the exhibit…

cedar copper bowl cedar copper bowl 4


I hope this has piqued your interest in our special part of the world. and the varied art of those who live here. It is our intent to offer a return to the handmade, authentic and one of a kind.

You are cordially invited to attend Made in Tokeland on December 14th-better yet, why not spend the weekend?
Wishing everyone a holiday season to treasure!


Something Old and Something New

herband billphoto by Marcy Merrill

Wedding rings are a great example of jewelry with meaning. Chosen with care to represent both individuals and their union to each other, it is always a great honor for me to work with a couple to custom design the rings that will signify their commitment  and love.

Recently I made the wedding rings for my friends Herb and Bill, from Astoria, Oregon. They have been together for nearly twenty years. On March 4, 2004, they were legally married in the state of Oregon. The rings they used in that ceremony  were made by a  Hopi silver smith, purchased on a previous trip to Sedona,  Arizona.

Eight months after they were married, same sex marriage was repealed in Oregon. It will go back on the ballots in November 2014. Although same sex marriage is now legal in nearby Washington state (yay!) they choose not to get re- married there.They are going to wait for it to pass ( again) in their home state.

Herb and Bill asked me to design some new rings for them, using parts of their original wedding bands. They really liked the organic texture and form of my reticulated silver bands.The idea was to incorporate a piece from each of their rings into the design. Herb’s ring had four bear paw prints across the top, in gold. The bear symbolizes healing, protection, power and strength. Bill’s ring had a four part  wave motif in gold. The wave symbolizes continuous life and love.

I started preparing the metal during a full moon in April. Lots of positive thought and intention went into the process. It was a bit of a challenge to work with elements that were not completely of my own making. I really hoped that the stylized and polished Hopi designs would mesh with my funky free form organic silver bands….

When the rings were finished, I called Bill and Herb.

They planned a trip up to my studio in Tokeland. (Coincidentally, it was during another full moon.)

They were more than delighted with the look and fit of their new wedding bands! We drank a champagne toast to their new rings and continued happiness together…something old and something new.


Making it a romantic weekend, they stayed at the historic Tokeland Hotel. Built in 1885, it is the oldest resort hotel in Washington state. They invited me to be their guest for diner that night. We enjoyed a delicious dinner and great company, in the rustically charming dining room, wood stove blazing brightly as the rain came down outside.




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Here’s to you Herb and Bill, all the best and many thanks!!!