All items appearing on this web site are made either by Jan or by Rochelle, and often times by both. In order to maintain historical accuracy, most items have been copied from original 18th or 19th century art; however, those pieces that are not actual copies have been created in that same spirit.
Our art is not a product or an end, but a way of life. We live in the forests of northern Michigan along the Yellow Dog River, in the high hills overlooking Lake Superior, in an octagonal log home that we built ourselves. We have no electricity, except for what the solar panels provide, nor do we have running water or indoor facilities. We do have a cell phone and slow internet service these days. Our house is three miles from a plowed road, so in winter we must ski or snowmobile the three miles to our truck.
In this environment, it is still possible to gather, first hand, the materials and supplies we need to create our art. Together with friends and family, we collect birch bark from trees that will soon be logged. Through a network of fall hunters, we collect and tan the unwanted deer hides. We find wood for bowls, spoons and carvings amidst the leftovers from logging sites and often from our own firewood. And from the surrounding lakes and waters, we acquire the fish eggs needed to paint the Naskapi coats or Great Lakes pipe bags.
We have lived here, in this way, for over twenty years and feel privileged to have raised our two children in this setting. We enjoy living and working as we do and will continue to do so for as long as time permits. We hope you enjoy looking through the few selected pieces provided by this web site.
Rochelle Dale and Jan Zender