The LH is a registered brand here in Wallowa County.
“L hanging H” would be the correct terminology, referring to character placement of the actual iron. Jakob brought the brand with him from Colorado, where his parents started a cattle ranch in the North Western part of the state. They ended up having to sell the ranch and move to Denver when he was just a kid, but kept the brand in their ownership. Little did they know that he would name this Project in honor of that brand!
The Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, MT, Anderson Ranch in Aspen, CO and Watershed Center, in Newcastle, ME were inspirations for the LH Project. During stints there as workshop participant and further invited studio assistantships, Jakob fell in love with the sense of community and commitment to ceramic art “that opened up the door to the continuing world of ceramics”. These experiences were significant in forming an early familiarity with ceramic residency programs and the importance of their existence for artists who, for whatever reason, have the chance, need or desire to work in clay somewhere other than their usual setting.
The Natural physical beauty of the area – the mountains, climate changes, forests, rivers, canyons and rolling grassland prairie - speaks to the hearts of all who enter Her majesty. Ranchers, farmers, skiers, shopkeepers, birdwatchers, blacksmiths, photographers and loggers all lovingly declare this unique Valley home. Musicians, chefs, bronze artisans, brewers, woodcarvers, writers, carpenters, hockey players, outdoorsmen, outdoorswimyn and designer craftspeople of all varieties share the passing of each season with equal delight and admiration; the good fortune to live and work in Wallowa County is indeed Grande.
Long before white man dumped his trash on the shores of Wallowa Lake, the the Nez Pierce, or Niimiipu, "The People" acknowledged this glacial masterpiece as Sacred. Tribes would gather to celebrate the bounty of their land and waters upon its shore and along the creeks, streams and riverbeds of the lush alpine plateau. Chief Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt Joseph’s awesome legacy and spirit is ever apparent in the daily unfolding of life here in the region and the Nez Perce continue to maintain a strong presence, celebrating their tribal history and traditions throughout the year. Chief Joseph Days Rodeo "happens Every Last Full Weekend in July” and is an event not to be missed!
The LH Project sits tucked back along the edge of the timber on the East Moraine, Wallowa Lake lies a splendid forty minute hike or ski over the top. The town of Joseph is eight miles away and the County seat of Enterprise ten more minutes distant. This is ranching country: locally grown hay and the beef it feeds are prized all across the nation. “Field rats” a.k.a. whitetail deer are abundant; elk, wild turkeys, foxes, skunks, and ‘ol man Coyote make routine sightings. Occasionally one hears rumors of Cougar or Bear nearby. The ferocious Wolves of the Imnaha Pack roam their territory, feasting on anyone and anything in their path, (Dirtbags had better take heed). Salmon and native trout can be found sucking down the latest hatch in the many streams and rivers flowing out of the county. Don’t be surprised to find a timber Rattler sunning itself on a glacial erratic up yonder way… To the North lies Zumwalt Prairie, America’s largest remaining grassland ecosystem of its type and international breeding ground for a fantastic variety of raptor species. To the East stretches Hell’s Canyon; carved out by the Snake River it is deeper in certain sections than the Grand Canyon. The LH is bordered on two sides by a tree farm and beyond their fence line sits the National Forest and Eaglecap Wilderness Preserve. Skiers will find Ferguson Ridge’s neat T-bar operation a nearby delight and have endless backcountry opportunities right out our gate.
But let us not forget the residency program! – the majestic environment of Wallowa County is sure to provide inspiration for our resident artists and we hope they take the time to get out and explore the natural wonder of the area.