other children may have been raiding their older brothers’
magazine collections of a very different nature, it was his oldest
brother’s subscription to 'Mother Earth News' that Rusty was
helping himself to and hiding under the bed."
up on a family-owned sheep ranch, it was not unusaul to camp for
weeks at a time, or entire summers, in the remote deserts and mountains
of Idaho. Home on the range was a floorless tipi or if lucky, a
traditional sheep camp. Luxuries were a Coleman camp stove, stack
of books, and a kerosene lamp. We drank from creeks like wild animals
and bathed in beaver ponds. Books were read by firelight and days
were spent exploring, looking for artifacts, and lying on stream
banks trying to land brookies barehanded. Despite having few modern
conveniences and limited access to conventional adolescent pastimes,
I was in sheer bliss, or as my dad would say, "in the height
of my glory". These childhood years fostered a passion
for nature and not only set the stage for all my interests today,
they are, as outlined below, the roots to every branch of Earthen
health waning in the late 80’s, I was faced with a monumental
choice: Take over the farm and ranch or continue on with college.
Vowing to return to my roots one day, the ranch land remained
in the family while the sheep and farm were sold. With eclectic
interests ranging from psychology and art to archeology, architectural
design became my pursuit. Midway through school, I began working
as an intern which led to six years in construction, engineering,
and architectural firms. In 1993, I started a residential
design practice and worked the spectrum from rustic to contemporaries.
With increasing interest in approaching design from a more
holistic viewpoint, I began focusing on permaculture in 2001,
unifying my extensive background in agriculture, construction,
and architectural design.
before starting my design practice, I learned to kayak. Despite
a nearly fatal first outing, I learned that kayaking meshed
perfectly with my love for the outdoors. I was wildly hooked.
With a new appreciation for life and a fresh obsession to
feed, I immediately began experimenting with loading my boat
for multi-day excursions. Not only did camping in remote river
canyons provide a nostalgic and comforting familiarity, my
self-support kit and techniques served as a great parallelism
to my philosophy on life, and how it is possible to be light
and simple without sacrificing comfort or overly impacting
the land and its inhabitants....how ever indirect it may be.
In the early
90’s, I rediscovered whittling, a childhood pastime
I picked up on the range. Within a few years, this hobby had
progressed to tribal inspired wood sculptures that were finding
their way across the western US and Europe. A couple years
later, I met an unusually talented and multifaceted artist
who replicated prehistoric implements. They were beautiful
and inspired me to take my interest in primitive technology
to the level of being a near daily practitioner...acquiring
skills that not only fit within my personal code of ethics
but those of which help keep ancient traditions alive through
a primitive skills group targeted towards the youth.
Earthen Exposure is the culmination of these backgrounds along
with complementary interests, and my devotion to leading a
healthy and simple lifestyle...a lifestyle based not upon
fashion but rather a set of genuine convictions set forth
long before "green" became the buzzword du jour.
|I often reflect on my childhood
years and consider just how lucky I was. Being raised out of
mainstream taught me a great deal while advancing my independence,
resourcefulness, and reading habits. Perhaps the greatest lesson
came from the lack of artificial distractions allowing me to
develop a keen sense for my surroundings and in return, a profound
appreciation for the natural world, a world that I find sustenance
in and a grounding that counters the centrifugal forces of modern-day
Words can not convey how much gratitude
I have for these two. They raised me in environments inherent
to daily discoveries and adventures money can not buy. Even
the associated adversities were beyond price. Having served
as inlets to a reservoir of valuable life lessons to be drawn
from, I cherish each and every experience. From the core of
my being, thank you, mom and dad!
Mom 1924-2016, Dad