Outdoor Clothing, Bison and Painting, O My!

Patagucci (Patagonia), the premium outdoor clothing manufacturing company, recently sent me their catalog. I love their products in spite of their jackets costing as much as it cost me to get my back yard cleaned up. BUT, I have two winter jackets — one I bought used the other on sale. I call the jackets my “minks.” They are all I need here even when it’s -20 F.

Patagucci’s annual catalog is less catalog than it is incredibly gorgeous marketing tool with stories and pictures interspersed here and there of their products. Patagucci makes most of their stuff with recycled materials. It’s wonderful, but pricey, to make things this way. I wish it weren’t. I wish the technology were so cheap and available that every clothing manufacturer did it.

One of the stories is about a South Dakota rancher — Dan O’Brien of Cheyenne River Buffalo Ranch — who raises American buffalo (bison) and the reasons for it. One of the reasons is that buffalo don’t destroy grass the way cattle do since they don’t chew it down to the roots. This rancher raises his bison on a prairie of native grass that the buffalo have helped restore. The bison is harvested for meat and pelts. OK normally, the skin of an animal as large as a buffalo isn’t called a pelt, but that IS the word this morning and I’m going with it.

This rancher salts down the hides there in the field and they’re shipped off to be cured and prepared for Patagucci (and others) to make shoes with.

I think this is pretty cool.

In other news, I started a painting yesterday. I have an immense stretched canvas that was given to me as a present. I started a painting on it a few years ago but the painting didn’t go anywhere. Recently at the Refuge I remembered something I saw this past March when I was walking with Bear one cloudy day. I saw it as a painting. Yesterday I got the big canvas and began setting up the new painting. The weird thing is when I’d finished, I wondered if I should just stop. I don’t see myself as suddenly turning into a painter who does abstract art, but this is kind of captivating.


16 thoughts on “Outdoor Clothing, Bison and Painting, O My!

  1. It is a lovely start for the painting and there are minimalists who would declare that it is done. I however want more – I want to see the land and sky differentiated to reveal the expansive nature of both. I want to see your heart interjected in the colors and shadows of the mountains and clouds… Maybe I’m just selfish but I like the colors you see in the world!
    p.s. I didn’t know that Patagonia used recycled materials. I’ve never been tempted to purchase anything from them. Instead I keep my eyes open at Goodwill!

  2. I can totally see a few Buffalo marching across your canvass, chewing sustainable grasses with majesty and reverence for nature. It is entirely possible I need to update my glasses prescription though.

  3. The canvas is beautiful as is, but could have room for more. Love the colors. Mmm. I also wonder how it would look turned a different way – upside down or sideways. It – maybe – seems like that kind of painting (but then again, I’m no artist!). πŸ™‚

  4. You might also want to look at Empire Wool and Canvas Company in Duluth. Kevin Kinney used to work for a company making adaptive cold weather clothing for people who use wheelchairs. He now is out on his own, making cold weather clothing (of wool and canvas) that costs a bundle but lasts a long time. My mittens have wool felt liners, deerskin palms, waxed canvas gauntlets, and kept me warm on a bike at -26 degrees last winter. His stuff doesn’t look as elegant as Patagucci, and there are no recycled water bottles in it, but cotton, wool, and deerskin don’t start as petroleum products. And most people don’t care about elegance at far subzero temperatures. (And there are a lot of deer around here since we decimated their only non-human predators – though they are coming back.)

Comments are closed.