Инстаграм @thenoisyplume Jillian Lukiwski
Thank you @dani_verges for your watercolor interpretation of this photo I took of Resero and I out on our local wintering grounds here in Idaho — so many of your paintings help me fall deeper in love with this beautiful, hardworking, honest life I’m carving out for myself in the American West. @slowartworks
Thank you to everyone who stopped by to banter and claim a piece of jewelry yesterday at my pop up show at @filson1897 in Seattle — it was a blast! Some of you traveled from as far as California for my show! THANK YOU!!! I wish I could have had so much more time to connect with each and every one of you wonderful ladies and fine gentlemen. Thank you again to @filson1897 for hosting me in such a beautiful venue and to my friend @longhairsdontcare for organizing the event and running my square on my phone and to my other dear friend @ashleelangholz for sticking around to assist me AND to my dear @boomerang_blooms for helping me pack up and for running me to the airport. I needed you girls badly, thank you for seeing my needs and heeding the call. I haven’t done a show in years and it was good to blow the rust and dust off these big wings of mine. I can’t wait to do it again. I sold through much of my inventory but I have plenty of beautiful pieces leftover that I will be listing in my online shop at the start of June — sorry for the delay, I’m traveling for work over the next few weeks and am departing for ❤️South Dakota❤️ within the hour. Wish me deep sleeps at night for the next while, I need to be bright and healthy as a hummingbird for the rest of this month so I can flit around. As always, appreciate you all so much. It’s my great honor to serve your souls, and you do such a beautiful job of tending to my own. Thank you. ➕Of The West➕
I’m about to mule 30lbs of jewelry through airports — we all know I’m a lovely beast of burden but I’d be delighted if you would help me lighten my load! Come see me at my pop up show on May 11th (TOMORROW) at the @filson1897 flagship store in Seattle from 10-2. Sip some drinks, do some shopping, try on some jewelry, let me hug you to death! ➕Of The West➕
Sometimes I find myself thinking about how this might be our home for the rest of our lives. We may never move again. Then I look out the kitchen windows at the canyon walls rising up black and righteous against the sunset, I hear the wind wiggling in the sage, I see the rapids on the river and that great blue sky rolling away in every direction and I think there could never be a better place to do our living, our loving, our growing, our dying. Scatter my ashes here. Let my next lives be sage, indian paintbrush, wapiti and wolf.
I’ve loved chrysoprase from the very beginning! This stone is the color of hope, the color of kept promises, the color of growth and joy — one of my very favorites to work with. These necklaces are coming with me to my show at the @filson1897 flagship store in Seattle on May 11th from 10am-2pm. I’ve been working so hard for you, Seattle. I lost about two weeks of studio time to a health issue that I’m still working on resolving but I’ve managed to make you some beautiful things anyway and you can bet I’ll be working up until the moment I depart for this show. ➕Of The West➕
Thank you all so much for your wonderful comments on these Idaho sheep ranching posts — it’s been a ton of fun to share what has become a personal project for me over the past nine years. I’ll continue to photograph sheep outfits as they wander and bleat their way past my farm every spring and fall. In the meanwhile, support Idaho sheep ranching and sheep ranching in the USA. Wear wool, eat lamb, take the time to talk to shepherds and appreciate the skills of herding and guardian dogs. Buenas noches, one and all. EDIT: Robbie actually corrected me last night over dinner. I have been photographing Basque ranchers, sheep and shepherds for over 13 years. This personal project actually began when we lived on the CRIT Reservation in Arizona. A few Basque ranchers hauled their sheep down every winter for winter pasture on the alfalfa fields that surrounded the U.S.Fish and Wildlife station Robert managed as a fish biologist. The shepherds there were Peruvian, small and agile men with skin almost as black as lava rock and they wore wonderful traditional Peruvian hats. I used to sit out in the evenings on the edges of fields and watch and photograph those sheep. I don’t know why I forgot about those times but I did until Robbie reminded me. The Basque and I go way back.
I was out running last week when I was set upon by a storm. Lightning struck the ground all around me, my skin felt fizzy and my hair on end and I increased my tempo, put my head down and charged home as quickly as I could. I ran fast out of fear. I was the tallest thing in the sage for as far as I could see. On the driveway, the clouds opened up and rain came down like hammers from eerie violet clouds. When I stepped inside the house I was soaked through. While running from the storm, I passed a shepherd and his sheep about two miles out from his camp above my farm and I worried for him out there on an exposed side slope. He couldn’t stop what he was doing and get out of the weather, he had to push on through it. I thought that was a beautiful, terrible thing but I also knew he could take care of himself. Doing his work no matter the weather is his job. Occasionally it’s stormy but shepherds also move their animals through warm sunsets and meadowlark song this time of year and there’s no place more beautiful than here when the weather is gentle, the birds singing, and the canyon lit by evening light. Hey shepherd, I’m grateful I shared this beautiful evening with you.
Every shepherd I’ve watched or photographed is in underwhelming attire. These guys aren’t wrapped in technical, high-end gear. They’re usually wearing pants and a shirt and a simple hat. Basic. They hike or ride a horse from dawn until dusk every day, generating body heat as they move animals cross country. They’re weather hardened and acclimated. They work hard and they make do. I always wonder if they stop to build little warming fires when the weather is nasty, like I do. A shepherd I photographed by Swan Valley about eight years ago had made himself a pair of duct-tape chaps to keep the rain, wind and snow off his lower half. The day I photographed him and his sheep the wind was ripping at 40mph over ice and snow and I could barely grip my camera my hands were so cold and I was shivering so badly but he looked fairly comfortable with a light shirt on over his tape-chaps. He was Chilean and though I actually speak French and not Spanish we managed to communicate with broken pieces of language. These shepherds fascinate me to no end. I have a thousand questions for them. I’m going to have to learn Spanish. I took this photo right after I called out BUENAS NOCHES last night. Look at that smile. Joy! There’s something to be said for a hardworking, simple life. Support Chilean, Peruvian, Bolivian and Mexican shepherds working hard in Idaho — eat more lamb!
Alpha! Shepherds roll with 6-8 Great Pyrenees dogs that serve as guardians for a flock of sheep. These dogs are all business. When they see me, they run to me as a pack to check me out — it can be very intimidating. I don’t believe in interfering with working dogs (it’s against my religion) so I do not reach out to them or beckon them to me in friendship, I believe this is extremely disrespectful to both dog and handler. I want these dogs to get back to work and ignore me. I speak to them calmly in a low, strong voice, and I say, “Go on boys. Good boys. Get back to work.” And I cast them off with a hand gesture like I do my birddogs in the field and they usually all turn and go, except for one. One will linger to keep an eye on me, assuming a casual stance that lets me know I am tolerated but not necessecarily welcome. This dog will always position itself between me and the flock because the truth is these dogs trust their shepherd and few others. These are working dogs. They do their job night and day with elegance and grit. They are an instinctive marvel. Support the working Great Pyrenees dogs of Idaho — eat more lamb!!! #greatpyrenees
I make a point of photographing shepherds every spring and fall, it’s become a seasonal rite of passage for me! It’s also kinda easy since every ranch outfit that passes through parks a sheep wagon on the BLM land adjacent to the farm. I hear the flock or see it streaming through the sage and I grab my camera, hop in a truck and blitz down the driveway to see what I can catch. Sheep ranching is an institution in Idaho though most of the shepherds tending these flocks come up from Central and South America on work visas. Not many Americans want to do this work which doesn’t surprise me, it’s a demanding job and half the people in North America can’t even walk their grocery carts back to the grocery cart rack. These shepherds work long days no matter the weather and I always imagine they are lonesome out there with just their horses and dogs and flock. I would be. I always call out BUENAS NOCHES when they’re close enough to hear me. They always give me enormous smiles, bright white teeth shining in their dark brown faces, and they call back to me, BUENAS NOCHES! Tonight I’ll fall asleep to the sound of 400 sheep milling around outside my bedroom window and I’ll think of this shepherd and hope he’s warm with a full belly in his cozy wagon. #iatelambforlunch #itwassuperb #anditwasbasque
I am beyond delighted to announce I will be joining @juanitavero @beccaskinner and @havstadhatco for a live podcast hosted by @mtnprairie on August 30th at the Ellen Theatre in Bozeman, Montana. This will be one of the highlights of my summer! If you don’t already follow @mtnprairie please track him down and begin listening to his podcasts. He’s an amazing host and he interviews some really fascinating people who are doing things, making things and shaking things here in the West. Tickets are on sale now so get yours before they’re all gone! I speak on behalf of this awesome posse when I say we can’t wait to chit chat with each other and with you, meet you, hug you, shake your hands and answer your questions on this special evening. Thanks for organizing this event @mtnprairie — you are such an amazing guy and your dedication to bringing people together to define the new West is visionary. We all adore you! Please swipe through the images on this post for full details. We hope to see you there.