Prairie Mosaic 302

Prairie Mosaic 302

(woman) “Prairie Mosaic” is funded by– the Minnesota Arts
and Cultural Heritage Fund, with money from the vote
of the people of Minnesota on Nov. 4th, 2008; the North Dakota Council
on the Arts; and by the members
of Prairie Public. [bass, drums, and acoustic
guitar play in bright rhythm] Hi, I’m Bob Dambach,
and welcome to “Prairie Mosaic,” a patchwork of stories
about the people and places that contribute
to the arts, culture, and history in our region. On this edition, we’ll hear
a traditional story from a world-renowned
Dakota-Hidatsa story teller, visit a working mill, and hear
the thought-provoking music of a local performer. Artist Cathy Sutton’s work
strongly reflects the nature that surrounds her home
and studio on Winnipeg Beach. [string quartet
plays classical music] (Cathy)
I do one-of-a-kind jewelry. I have
a very short attention span; I don’t want to do
more than one. Earrings are tough;
I make one then I’ve
got to make another one! Alright, I’m going to light
this dangerous torch. It’s just really
a plumber’s torch, but I find it works really well,
and it’s good and hot. So now, I’m going to gently heat up this copper. I like to use precious metals, so I use silver
and copper and gold, and my designs are generally
organic in nature, so I have rounded edges
for the most part; there are
some squares and so on. I like to make sure that they
are very unique looking, and really high quality in the
construction. So I’m pretty careful
with how they’re made, but the look is always unique
and always different, and just a lot of fun. It’s exciting, eh? It started
about 3, 3-1/2 years ago, I took a lampwork
glassmaking class. And I really enjoyed it;
it was a lot of fun. And I like the idea of the beads being small; they didn’t take up a lot of
space, and they were useful, you could
make things out of them. Unlike some of the other art
that I’ve done in the past, where they’re big things. The beads are nice and small and I enjoyed making them, then, once I had
a bunch of these beads, I started thinking, well I’ve
got to do something with them. So I started making beaded
bracelets and necklaces and earrings using silver and
using brass and using copper, and that led to getting
a little more involved, starting soldering
my rings together so they were more secure
and not going to come apart. And then I started
working with sheet metal, so sheet sterling, sheet copper,
and after that, it just transposed into gold and
the sky is kind of the limit. I would say nature
is a big influence. I find alot of the pieces Io
are earthy colors, because I use
copper and silver and gold. So they’re very earthy colors. My designs tend to be
natural shapes. I used my lampwork glass
that I make that tends to be
really organic as well. I like to use
amber colors, and I like to use gemstones such as agates and jaspers
and labradorite. It’s a beautiful stone; it makes
me think of the northern lights, it’s just gorgeous stone and you turn it and it gives beautiful lines and shimmers. They’re all from the earth,
so my designs kind of fit with those kind of stones. There’s other things
that influence too. I once made a piece of jewelry
based on a chair, the lines of a chair,
the back of a chair. I loved the way the lines moved,
so I built a piece of jewelry that, in my mind,
represented those lines. So you never know
where your inspiration
is going to come from, it’s just all around you
all the time. And I’m piling up
little bits of sterling silver. Often I’ll be just
lying in bed, being lazy, not wanting to get up
in the morning, and I’ll think of
a million different things about what I could make
for jewelry, different designs. Then I will draw them out,
pretty quickly, I’ll just put them down on paper,
basically what I want to do. You can see it’s
starting to get really hot. I’m torturing that copper! Then I’ll refine them, and I may
draw one sketch 15 times, refining the different lines
and so on. Once I’ve done that,
then I come out here, and I start
to make the piece of jewelry. There it goes, silver is melting
and becoming a puddle. I let myself play with it, so it kind of takes a life
of its own on at that point. Oh, burned through,
and that’s okay too, ’cause I’ll do
the other one the same way. The next step for this is, it’s got to go
into what we call pickle. I’m pretty particular with it,
so it’s got to really feel good. I like the feel of my jewelry, ’cause that’s
a big part of jewelry, it’s got to feel really good. Alright, so I’m just going to
hammer this a little bit to give it a convex surface. I found I would come out here
and start working, and before I knew it,
it was getting dark. So it was 6, 7 hours
that I hadn’t moved, just sitting at my bench
making jewelry and just loving every moment
of it; it’s just so addictive. My studio is at Winnipeg Beach. It was formerly a bunkhouse and my dad had built it
when I was 12. It’s got a lot of stories
if these walls could talk. This is a polishing wheel
that I’m using. As time went on,
and we inherited the cottage, we decided that it would be a really nice community
to live in, so we rebuilt the cottage
into a house and moved down here
five years ago. And we haven’t looked back;
it’s wonderful! Mary Louise Defender-Wilson grew up in a family of
Dakotah/Hidatsa storytellers on the Standing Rock
Reservation in North Dakota. Today she’ll tell us
a story about “The Woman
Who Turned Herself Into Stone.” [wooden flute plays] (Mary Louise)
I live in a rural area from a village
called Porcupine, which is 30 miles west
of Fort Yates, North Dakota. I’ve lived
a long time; I was born
in 1930, and I think
during that time I should have learned something, and I should be able
to use that. I guess some of my recollections go back to sitting
on top of this hill, which is to south
of where our house was. My grandfather
was born in 1845 and he lived till I was 7, and I can remember
sitting up there on that hill because we herded
our sheep every day. It wasn’t like now
where you turned them loose and you didn’t
pay attention to them. We herded them every day and brought them back
to the corral every night, and of course,
we had dogs that helped us. And some of the things
I remember is him talking about something,
something in the environment that maybe to me could have been
insignificant at the time, but he would tell about it
and would sometimes do things and build little structures
with sticks and the earth. Because of my grandfather’s age, older people
always came to visit. I was really into
really telling stories, but I always thought all my
life, these people are so wise and they have
such profound thinking. And they would tell, we have two kinds of stories,
the ohunkankan , which are more
like what in English you would say mystical events, and the others then
were wicooyake, accounts of the people,
which would be like our history. Usually the men would tell kind
of like the historical things, and the women told the more
mysterious kind of things that they used to teach us with. And at the time
you hear the stories, you don’t think about
the valuable lessons, or maybe you don’t even
understand it or think about it. But after you get older,
then you realize that there’s a wealth of wisdom,
knowledge, you know, like philosophy
that you’ll have for your life. “The Woman Who Turned Herself
To Stone,” she went through all of her
years, she got to be a teenager. And then her family began
to think that she should have her own family and live in her own lodge. And they begin to talk
to her about that, but, [speaks Dakotah] “I’m going to live in a
different way,” she said. But they insisted and they
arranged a marriage for her because she was a very desirable
person, a hard worker, kind, all the
things we value. So she
married this man and went to live
in her own lodge. Then she came back and Grandma
said, [speaks Dakotah] “Goodness,” she said,
“isn’t he good to you?” [speaks Dakotah] “Grandmother,” she said, “he’s
a fine man, treats me very well, “but I told you, I’m not meant
to live like everybody else.” And she left the lodge. It got to be toward evening,
she didn’t return, and Grandma got concerned. [speaks Dakotah] She said, “She’s not back, kind
of bad, she’s not like that, “she should come back.”
She never came back. The next morning then
Grandma said, “We have to go search for her.” [speaks Dakotah] So she gathered all their
relatives and friends and they went off in the four
directions to search for her. Getting toward evening
and there’s this little hill and Grandma said,
[speaks Dakotah] “That’s my grandchild.”
She was so happy; “I can tell because she is
sitting properly.” So she ran up the hill and she
embraced her granddaughter. She could feel
that her hip felt like stone. [speaks Dakotah] “Grandchild, what’s wrong with
you, what’s happening to you? “We’ll take you back
to the village “and maybe
somebody can help you. “You feel like you’re stone.” “Grandmother,” she said,
“I told you, “I am supposed to live
in a different way, “and I’m turning myself
to stone, “so I can stay out here forever, “and all of these creatures
that I think a lot of, “will all come by me. “The coyote will come by
and maybe rub up against me. “And the birds will come
and sit around me.” She named
all the creatures and “Because I think that they
really are powerful “and they’re so good,
so I’m going to become stone. “But before I come stone, I’m
going to tell you something. “If you ever have troubles,
problems, “bring me something that has
a root and put it beside me. “Tell me what it is that
you’re having difficulty with, “and if I can, I will help you.” She said that
and she turned to stone, and that’s the end of the story. Pickwick Mills houses the
largest flour mill in Minnesota. It’s style
and rich history captures the fascination of people
from all over the world. We’re on the sixth floor
of the Pickwick Mill, which is a restored
flour grinding mill. This is the largest one
in the state of Minnesota that has been restored, and it
was also one of the first commercial businesses
in the state of Minnesota. They actually got the mill
running in ’58 and they had five employees
and their annual payroll was $3,000 a year for the five. They used to grind flour for the Union Army and they ground 100 barrels a day, 24 hours a day. It was constructed with
local timber and local stone. It was put together with no
nails; a lot of the big beams are all notched and put together
with wooden pegs. And down on the fourth floor and fifth floor, there’s an iron tie bar
that runs through from one side of the building
to the other, and that tie bar has got a turnbuckle in the middle
to tighten it up, and that’s what held the building together
when they were building it. Down on
the third floor there’s a scale
and a hopper, and they unloaded their grain
into that hopper and it was weighed.
Once they weighed it, they opened a door
on the bottom of that hopper. Everything went
to the bottom floor here, and there’s bucket conveyers that carried everything
all the way up to the top floor and then it goes
across a wooden auger over here and then it starts
its journey back down. It depended on which way they
wanted to go with it, and it had to make the trip
back and forth more than once. When they used grinding stones it actually had to make
the trip about four times. When they used the roller mill,
it just had to come up and go down to whichever mill
they wanted, then it got sifted out
and then they had their flour. Back during the war years,
a lot of that equipment out of some of these mills got scrapped
out for metal for the war. We were fortunate this one
did not get that death, mainly because they were still
grinding livestock feed here. The equipment was here. If we didn’t have that,
we wouldn’t have anyplace to start,
because you can’t get it. This building was in really bad
shape and they were going to tear it down,
but some of the local families go way back to when
this building was built, so they had a desire to save it. That’s why they formed
Pickwick Mill Incorporated and we’ve worked on it since
1980, getting it restored. We’ve got it to the point now that when we have groups
and bus tours, we do run all the machinery on all six
floors with the waterwheel. The waterwheel itself,
we built that in ’96, that is 4 feet wide,
it’s 20 feet high. When it’s loaded
and working heavy, each one of those steps will
hold 240 pounds of water. They had dragged
the old wheel out about the turn of the century, and they put a water turbine
out there, because that wouldn’t freeze up as bad
in the wintertime as the wheel. But when we started to restore,
they took the water turbine out because people
don’t want to see that, they want to see
a wheel going around. So we got the plans from the
National Organization of Mills on how to build a waterwheel,
and we built it right back here, and that’s where we get
all of the leverage to run all the machinery
on all six floors. We just run everything
for display purposes. We do not grind; if we did,
every mouse in the country would probably know
about it! [laughs] We get a lot of
schoolkids in here and we do get people in here
from all over the world. But if you speak slowly
and use your hands, we usually get by pretty good. A little over
a month ago, we had an international group here
from six different countries. That’s all they do is
go around and tour mills. The best part was when they
sent us a thank-you note, they sent it in six
different languages! [laughs] It’s done with volunteers
and donations. We’ve got 240 members; I try to keep
volunteers lined up because we’re open six days a week here
during the summer. We do have several local people that do volunteer
to help us out. The names
on all the steps and risers are people that have donated $100 towards the mill. It’s just a way of saying thanks for doing it. Brenda Weiler
from Fargo, North Dakota chose the open road
over college. This path has lead to 5
critically acclaimed albums. This is a song off
of my first album; it’s called “Trickle Down.” There was this
girl that I knew She stood when straight
about five foot two She had big bones but a body
that could knock ’em dead And she’d reel them in Then change her mind
and reel ’em back again Yeah I knew this girl
a long time ago And she’d sit you down
to talk around All the things she
wanted you to know She’d trickle down you
all around you So you couldn’t
let her go You couldn’t let her go And I’d fire away
and she’d listen As I’d ramble in her ear And I found strength
in her reason Oh I found myself
in her dear And everyone will look
everyone will judge Don’t look away
don’t let them see you judge And I’ll trickle down you
all around you So you can
let them go You can
let them go And I’d fire away And she’d listen As I’d ramble in her ear And I found strength
in her reason Oh I found myself
in her dear And I won’t look
and I won’t judge If you don’t break
if you don’t budge And they’ll trickle down you
all around you So you can
let them go You can let them go You can
let them go You can let them go Let them go
let them go Let them go let them go Let them go
let them go Let them go let them go Let them go
let them go yeah Let them go no no no Let them go
let them go Let them go no
oh yeah Oh no yeah No no no no Yeah yeah My name is Brenda Weiler, and I was born and raised
in Fargo, North Dakota. I grew up here,
I went to school here and really became involved with
music from a fairly young age. Both of my parents
are very musical. My d has a doctorate in music
and choral performance, and my mom is a singer, so we grew up just surrounded
by music. I had 7 siblings, and
we all played instruments, some of us multiple instruments,
and we all sang, so really grew up saturated
with music and the arts. I really didn’t start
actually playing guitar until I think, my senior year
in high school. I ended up kind of forming
a band with my boyfriend and other friends,
and we ended up opening for Richie Havens
at the Fargo Theatre, and it was just sort of
a weird way that it happened, but that really kind of gave me
the bug I guess, of performing. I can’t really– I definitely
remember that moment. It was pretty, kind of
monumental at that age to be able to play to a
sold-out crowd at the theater and then be able to
talk to Richie Havens. That was just sort of
a big deal. I moved to the Twin Cities,
I started recording albums– it just sort of
snowballed really. It was kind of
a dream of mine, but I never thought it would
actually happen in the sense that I could
make a living off of it and travel and tour
and record. [playing a fast syncopated beat] I want to exchange
all of my clothing And all of my jewelry
and all that I own somehow I want to erase
all of my memories And all of the moments And all of the noise
and sound I wanna fake I’m blind I wanna walk lame I wanna
be a star All of these things
I’d be I wanna rearrange
all of the furniture And all of the silverware And all of the art
on the walls And I wanna leave out all of the stories and all of the buildings and all of the trees
in the ground I wanna fake I’m blind I wanna walk lame I wanna be a star All of these things
I’ll be I wanna fake I’m blind I wanna walk away I wanna be as far From all of these things I see I wanna exchange
all of my clothing And all of my jewelry
and all that I own somehow Somehow Somehow Somehow Thank you for joining us for this edition
of “Prairie Mosaic.” If you know of an artist, a topic, or an organization
in our region that you think might make an
interesting segment, please contact us at… For “Prairie Mosaic,”
I’m Bob Dambach. (woman) “Prairie Mosaic”
is funded by: the Minnesota Arts
and Cultural Heritage Fund, with money from the vote
of the people of Minnesota on Nov. 4th, 2008; the North Dakota
Council on the Arts; and by the members
of Prairie Public.

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