I was born in the spring of 1998 into the tradition of strong Alaskan women. The idea for me sprang full-blown from bird feeder yard art featured in a craft magazine. My life size body is fashioned from a solid core dorm door from the University of Alaska Fairbanks that was sold at auction many years ago and stored in a shed just waiting to become me. My legs are pipe and my hair is wire rod. I never need a perm as my hair is naturally curly. My arms and hands are adjustable so I can assume multiple poses for my extensive wardrobe. I love to hold gold pans, because they were in my hands first and bring me closest to my ancestral roots a la bird feeder. And Fairbanks, is, after all my home and a city founded with gold in mind; it is a city with a Golden Heart. During the sittings for my original painting, I listened to Samuel Beckett read aloud in the workshop, so I’m quite literate. I can turn a phrase if given a chance but you need to listen carefully because I’m a little on the quiet side! My eyes are made from bottle-caps. Of course, in order to get the caps one needs to open a few bottles, so every time I have my eyes made over, a trek is made out to Silver Gulch Brewery in Fox for reinforcements. You can’t waste good beer, so two serve as a toast to my new eyes and the rest are shared with friends.
One part of my anatomy draws a fair amount of attention. During my early days, the store owners scouted summer yard sales looking for Hawaiian hula outfits- you know the kind- grass skirt bottom and coconuts for the top. Given that Alaskans love their Hawaiian holidays, Fairbanks yard sales yielded an endless supply of these tourist trinkets, most often appearing in their original cellophane bags with price tags affixed. These coconuts gave me a rather perky look but they didn’t take too well to being outside in the -40 winter temperatures. Every summer I needed a new set. This proved stressful for both me and the artist who makes my appearance presentable; seeking a more permanent solution to my dilemma, research led us to commission work in Birch. Our friends at the Great Alaskan Bowl Company were happy to assist in the production of finely turned birch that has never cracked under the most severe Fairbanks temperatures. I am greatly indebted to birch turner extraordinaire John Debbaut for helping me become the woman I am today.
In 2016 I was completely refurbished by craftsman Gene Tolle of Fairbanks. I look forward to welcoming you to the store!