Location: Pike Place Market, Seattle, Washington, USA; Material: Argillite
I recently got back from my first trip to the Pacific Northwest, specifically Seattle and Portland. One of my major stops in Seattle was Pike Place Market. For those who have not been to the market, it is a pretty big place, with a vast array of different types of food and goods. There is a particular section of the market that I was very drawn to: the artisan section. It is filled with local vendors selling handmade items from tapestries, to jewelry, to glassware, to soap, and more. Walking around, I noticed a stall in one of the corners of the market that had a number of magnets, pins, necklaces, and tapestries, all of which had what looked like indigenous art on them. I asked the man to confirm this theory, and he did. He told me that most of the symbols he uses originated in British Columbia, Canada (which is a short distance from Seattle), but he had a few that were from Washington state. The above owl symbol is one of them. Deemed a “U-Spedis Owl”, this animal is a very similar copy of a petroglyph rubbing, made from a prehistoric rock carving near The Dalles in Washington’s Lower Columbia River. Many other very similar owl drawings can be found in the area, all of which are thought by archeologists to signify mythical beings. The artist’s name is Daniel Leen (see his website here). He is from Seattle and told me that he used to be a fire-watcher, which is a very key job living in a state that has a lot of forest fires. In addition, he has written several books that note his many travels around the United States and Canada. He was very nice and friendly. It was great talking to him, and even better getting to learn about the wearable art I purchased from him!