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RON ULRICH

When Ron first visited this area that he now calls home, he fell madly in love with the natural and incredibly diverse beauty of the Inland Northwest.  From the mountains of Montana to the scab-lands of central Washington Ron felt there was enough here to explore and love for the rest of his lifetime. 

 

Gifted by his creative grandfathers Ron uses his ability to frame up a good photo while often catching the little things many would overlook; finding beauty in raw nature as well as the dilapidated history of long forgotten buildings.  Ron shared his adventures on line and gained a following of office bound folks who lived vicariously through his photographic offerings.  Lacking confidence Ron found it difficult to offer up his photos for sale, with additional concerns that he would turn a fun hobby into a daunting job.  

In 2011, having conceived an idea to combine his interests in photography and back-country adventures into what many considered performance art, Ron, inserting the unexpected, decided to photograph wedding gowns in nature. A project which lasted more than a year, until he actually backpacked the entire 2,650 mile Pacific Crest Trail for 26 weeks wearing only wedding gowns - 26 of them collected from women nationwide.  An unforgettable adventure which yielded the most interesting of photographs. Some of Ron’s photographs from the hike were published in a Portland magazine.  


Back to 2005, just before leaving the area and returning to Missouri to prepare to move his life to the Northwest, Ron saw and purchased his first Pendleton Wool Blanket.  In time Ron had collected more than a dozen of these natural, warm beauties.  In 2015, while celebrating his ten year anniversary in the NW at Glacier National Park with his ‘GNP’ Pendleton wool blanket to photograph in the park, a close friend accompanying him offered up a handful of needle felted acorns which he went nuts for.  The simplicity of this natural craft, the natural and sustainable medium used to create, and the symbolism of the acorn plucked from the earth itself, spoke volumes to Ron.  The rest is history – Ron has since spent many hours with wool and needle in hand while watching tutorials and teaching himself to sculpt via needle felting, as well as seeking the advice of a mentor and published, needle felting artist.  

A tactile person, wanting to touch and feel, Ron is also incredibly inspired by color, texture and design.  While learning and collecting wool from different sheep species, he finds he is inspired by the random styles of locks, from wavy to long and curly.  Reigning in his ideas and creativity is quite possibly his most difficult and often impossible thing to accomplish. So each piece Ron makes is far from the original concept but through the time consuming process new and exciting figures emerge from what began as a handful of raw wool.  Ron’s work also includes wet felting, creating felt and other styles of wool material which can be seen in some pieces such as dreadlocks or clothing.

 

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