Sunday, October 3, 2010

A lazy River, Spawning Salmon and an Indian Summer in the Shuswap

We live in the North Okanagan Valley of B.C. right on the Little Shuswap Lake where the South Thompson River flows.  It is a beautiful and peaceful spot with so much nature that surrounds us each day.  Our town is mainly know for the herds of mountain sheep that come down in the winter-time in search of patches of grass to feed on.

There is a four year cycle where large amounts of sockeye salmon return to the same spot on the Adams River to spawn.  The trip in from the Pacific ocean is very grueling and difficult and by the time they reach their spawning grounds they have changed from their silvery color to a bright red and green.  The male and female will guard their eggs until they eventually die.  It is sad and yet very awe-inspiring at the same time as out of that comes new life where the young hatched salmon will make their way down the rivers and back into the ocean.

This year is quite special as their are more salmon than there has been in over 100 years.  The Salmon Society together with the local Shuswap Indian Band celebrate this event at the local Provincial park on the Adams river for over a three week period.  There is a log cabin there which is turned into a gift shop where local artisans work is sold and we have the privilege to be included this year which is very exciting for us.

Here are some of the pieces we made for this event.  The "totem inspired" pins are a spin on the "lizard tail" technique I learned from Julie Picarello where each fish is created individually yet there are no two that come out alike.

If you click on the salmon pin below,  you will see how they were put together and then sculpted on our blog.


I will also be doing some demos here and there throughout the next 3 weeks in a special tent they have set up for the artists.  I will also be giving more up to date reports of this event on our blog.