Makers Street upcoming event Pet-tember has me remembering the single luckiest picture I ever took — and it involved pets.
The Great Plains story for National Geographic was taxing my abilities. Lots of territory and a nebulous idea of what the essence of this prairie geography was all about. I’d driven thousands of miles from Texas to Montana (enjoying every mile, actually) when I found myself on an a very traditional farm (they still used horses for plowing) outside Medina, North Dakota.
One of the first things you see when walking into Small World Gallery is the colorful rack of greeting cards featuring my photographs from around the world. It’s been a fixture in Small World since the beginning in 2002. And it is something else in the world of National Geographic photographers: rare!
Time and again I watch as people browse the collection, some drawn to the Flint Hills and Kansas cards, some to exotic locations like the Arctic or the Pyramids, some burrowing into my Scotland collection, and some just finding a personal connection — cats, windmills, sunsets, long roads.
Newcomers to Small World Gallery sometimes get confused when I tell them I’ve been photographing Cuba for 40 years. I can’t blame them; you’d naturally think of someplace like Havana when Cuba is mentioned. And any place worth 40 years of attention must be exotic, you’d think, celebrated and renowned.
When we opened Small World Gallery in April 2002, it would never have occurred to us that we would offer Jim’s prints in 40 inches by 12 feet. Or create our own jewelry designs using ancient Roman Empire glass or rare stone cabochons. Nor did we envision stocking unusual vintage kimono jackets from Japan via a designer in Colorado. Or wool-cashmere jackets sewn by an Eastern European designer.
It’s 2018 and now the gallery is offering... shoes.
Jim and I are happy to be back in the gallery and in Lindsborg after two weeks away on a business trip to Scotland.
After having accompanied Jim over 25 years on some of his storied Scottish journeys, I have become a bit of an aficionado myself. I find that many Kansas qualities also dwell in some parts of Scotland. That is especially true when comparing the far northern Scottish isles of Orkney and our own Lindsborg.
Now, you may ask: What could landlocked Lindsborg possibly have in common with town in sea-locked Orkney in Great Britain? The comparison is positively elegant.
I met an old friend on the Isle of Eigg a couple of weeks ago. Hiking down to the beautiful ribboned beach at Laig Bay on a brilliant sun-washed day (such things do happen in Scotland) I was greeted by the border collie that lives in the beach house.
“I know YOU!” I said,
For me, an exciting part of Instagram is being able to share the thought process behind our designs. We can share sketches, inspirations, musings and insights connected to our small world.
Jim volunteered to start photographing our jewelry for the website and Instagram. I always love getting a chance to watch him work. I don’t think he fully understands what he signed up for; he just does such a great job. I think he will have a permanent position as jewelry photographer, haha.