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Better Late Than Never!

April 15, 2018

black hills 1


I actually finished this wheel weeks ago but then came down with a very long and unpleasant cold and sinus infection.  Work slowed down to a crawl.  Even these blog posts got shuffled off into the “do later” file.  But this was a very fun wheel and the people that commissioned it were able to come and pick it up.  It is always rewarding to meet the spinner in person and help her get to know her new wheel.

Dee wanted a wheel with natural wood forms and art that would go with her wedding ring, which is a Black Hills gold design.  I knew nothing about this style but learned that it originated with a lost gold miner who was so thirsty and exhausted that he eventually fell into a deep sleep. He had a dream about a stream and grapes growing nearby.  When he awakened he walked over a hill and sure enough, there was the stream and wonderful wild grapes! He devoted the rest of his life making jewelry using these motifs that had become so precious to him.  I suspect he made more money from jewelry than from mining!

Dee and her family raise sheep and she sent me photos of many of them. I chose the ones I felt would fit in the design of the wheel.  I also crafted quite a number of Black Hills gold inspired pieces to embellish the wheel. They are made from epoxy and then finished with the three colors of Black Hills gold.

black hills 2

Here is the other side with some young sheep wandering around together.  I used quite a bit of my madrona stash to give Dee her natural wood.  What is fun is that after we had met and delivered the wheel, Maxine and I, with our new friends, took a walk with our dog on our favorite wooded loop at Fort Worden.  Dee was able to see the exact tree where her wood had come from – after it had fallen during a wind storm.  I think she and her husband Brian enjoyed the walk.  We really enjoyed them.  Thanks for looking!






  1. Whitney Lard permalink

    Another beautiful wheel! You are such a gift, Gary.

  2. Amanda Gravette permalink

    I got to see this wheel after Dee brought it home and it is very beautiful. I know Dee loves it.

  3. Ellen Bader permalink

    Beautiful,so beautiful. It is easy for one to see how you put your heart and soul into each and every wheel. Gary you make the most beautiful wheels. I always look forward to seeing your newly completed wheels.

  4. Dee Wilbur permalink

    I Love this wheel I have other wheels but this is the only one I want to use
    It spins so nice I think my yarn looks better, and the wheel is beautiful Thanks Gary we really enjoyed our visit with you and your wife it was a real treat Thanks Dee

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