The easel faces the light, a canvas bearing evolving fragments of a Danish castle...an unfinished hand carved frame leans against it-tools scattered on the work bench. The artist is Hans Claudius Michelsen, my grandfather and muse. That studio-the smell of linseed oil, the creak of the latch of the door-was a magical sacred space that seeped into my soul like butter on toast.
Born and raised in Copenhagen, Denmark; Hans was a multi talented renaissance man: painter, tailor, woodworker, and writer. His life sang with intention and creativity. And so the lineage bears its fruit of artistic proliferation. His daughter, my mother Alice, discovered and flourished in her gift as a sculptor and a seamstress. Most of my artistic training occurred next to my mother, whether it be hands in the clay or at the sewing machine. Alice was a skilled seamstress and tailor. Since girlhood she stitched next to her mother and father in their cottage outside of Copenhagen. She learned, with meticulous detail, the craftsmanship of dressmaking and tailoring; that would take her all the way to the Garment District in New York City. It wasn't just sewing skills she learned. It was the gift of 'envisioning' that was developed in her. The appreciation for beauty within all peoples and for the natural world surrounding them. And in that appreciation, the seeds of ideas and visions of things to make. In 1943 my grandfather had an idea to make a 'straw cap'. Alice, 15 at the time, had the job of fashioning the brim; weaving the hand harvested straw around a custom metal frame. As the story goes, a famous actor sported one in a Copenhagen Broadway play, and from that they received an order of 1000 pieces from the local department store, “Illum”. Michelsen milleners were born.
I grew up in the studio, learning the craft of the seamtress , and the eye of an artist. Pieces of old garments, bits of trim, fanciful buttons became new dresses, coats, skirts, costumes galore.
I live the continuity of my heritage. Constantly driven by a fiery inner vision I have passed through creative forays of many mediums and genres. I began in the garment industry in New York in the 80's, working in wholesale, and wardrobe/styling for television and video. After straddling both coasts, I decided to move westward in the 90's; with a job offer at a record label. Although I loved being around and supporting the business of recording artists; my desire was to get back to a hands-on artistic endeavor. I became a wardrobe designer/stylist for photo shoots and video. From sourcing and re-making vintage clothing, designing and handcrafting garments to styling the shoot; I was involved in a full spectrum of developing and creating 'image' for artists.
Now, in 2011; I am happily settled in the beautiful Flathead Valley in northwest Montana. I have a beautiful daughter, Elsa who is ten.
When I was 10 I wanted to be an archeologist.The intrigue and exoticism of foreign and ancient cultures captivated me then, and continues to inspire and remain at the core of all that I do. These headresses are a harkening to that voice, or voices; of the connection to 'all peoples, languages, tribes and nations'.

Armed with my heritage and experience, and inspired by the intriguingly beautiful tribes of the world, I am embarking on this new enterprise of “Curried Myrrh”.