Maine Prairie Studio: Portrait of Two Makers – The Confidence of Labor

Her hand can now confidently grip a Pulaski handle. She remembers learning the power of her body and mind working in concert. Years ago, when the tool was first handed to her, she gripped it less firmly. She learned to clear a trail through the trees; her body absorbed the memory of enduring movement paired with measured force. Each day a new vanishing point would be established and a new horizon would come into view. The forest, pushed back, revealed a unit of measure by which she could quantify progress

He digs beneath the land his family has been riding herd over for generations. He wears his father’s trophy buckle, “1975, North Dakota Rodeo Association, Steer Wrestling, Denver Jorgenson,” with legacy pride. The content of his language and the tools in his hands would appear to set him asunder, but the grit in his heart proves the inherited connection. Wrangling wild clay and rodeo both wear a body down through a series of hard-fought compromises, navigated by respect and labor.

Two journeys resulting in two souls matched in equal and assured stillness of spirit. Two bodies agreeing to one journey with a shared belief in the intelligence of hand work, tools, and sweat equity. One journey with room for the cadence of JD’s speech, punctuated by Megan’s laugh. There is a fluid, conversational assessment embedded in their gaze. An unspoken check-in as they move earth with their hands – to build a house, to build a studio, to grow a garden, to work the clay; they are independent and conjoined. A distinct union of spirits focused on a singular goal with many fronts.