Rawhide is more than it seems. This stiff, preserved hide has been through some stages…
I am an islander on the west coast. I live off-grid in an alder grove in my self built cedar cabin. I am a hunter, wildcrafter, hide tanner, and herbalist.
The Crow’s Nest has a twofold meaning: it is a region and trail system, and it is a lookout on the mast of a boat. For years, I migrated seasonally between this region and my sailboat: between Sinixt and Salish territories, respectively.
I learned to live on land and water, by trail and by boat. The skills needed to live remotely brought sustenance on many levels. More than simply survival, they were deeply healing.
I created Crow’s Nest to share these skills: connecting people to the wild and cultivating an embodied sense of belonging.
This work is artisanal – not traditional. I do not operate within an intact lineage of my own to call it traditional. I am a mixed settler who has learned from a variety of teachers and am self-taught. And so, I refrain from using methods and aesthetics that carry cultural appropriation or theft of Indigenous teachings. I am always learning.
Wild skills are intrinsic to human culture, but as mediums of community connection, they carry specific sanctity within specific cultures. I look to my own ancestry for guidance and meaning. I strive to use this project as a tool towards decolonizing all my relationships: to people, to culture, and to place.
Crow’s Nest Wildcraft
Workshops take place around the Pacific Northwest. I have taken up the Wandering Tanner style of pre-industrial Europe, an epoch in which tanners were freelance artisans who travelled from farm to farm, town to town and set up shop for brief periods of time, before moving on.
To request a workshop in your area, contact me here.
My workshop space in Whaletown on Cortes Island is where my apothecary and tannery reside. Workshops here are multi-day events, with camping or lodging available for off-island travellers.
Fraser Common Farm Cooperative
Fraser Common Farm Coop is a longstanding intergenerational farming collective outside of Vancouver, BC. They grow produce, raise sheep, and steer a local seed-saving project. I am honoured to be a part of the larger farm membership network, and I host workshops here in the Lower Mainland at the crossroads of many communities.