My best friend Sylvan did a drawing of a boat. When he gave it to me, he asked if, when he passed, I would make a carved boat for his ashes. He died a month later and I carved a boat as close to Sylvanís. drawings as possible. My mother came to Sylvanís funeral, and she was so moved by the boat, she wanted my fatherís remains, when he passed, put in a similar vessel. Since he was a Norwegian fisherman, we buried the boat at sea, like a Viking funeral.
Since that time I have created several funeral boats for friends, family, and pets. Art school never prepared me to work with human or animal ashes, but I feel honored to have this opportunity. When I work with them, I feel transformed to another place or time where an artist was asked to be both craftsman and mortician.
The Voyager series, carved in wood or painted, is a direct result of these experiences. As humans, death is the one thing we have in common, and the boat in many cultures symbolizes a passage, or voyage, perhaps to the other side.