"In nature I discover ideas for Prayer Wheel designs. My wife and I kayak and hike every chance we can get. My son North and daughter Yarrow are also avid climbers, campers, hikers and trail runners with an appreciative eye for small wonders like alpine blueberries that melt on your tongue. I feel completely blessed and wish to give something back. My work and life are extensions of my belief all things are intimately linked."
Chris Moench was raised in the Colorado Rockies at 8,600 feet with a pair of hiking boots on. His field geologist dad, poet mom, and siblings embarked on perennial romps amid ponderosa pine forests and snow-swept crags. Early memories of that wild country inspired his interest in art, land preservation, and wilderness travel. He founded Dancing Dog Clayworks and produced garden sculptures, tiles, and functional housewares.
In 2000, Chris's claywork took an unexpected, but wondrous new direction. It was coping with the terrible gas pipeline explosion in his hometown of Bellingham that moved him to sculpt a memorial "story" on the outside of a three-foot-tall clay cylinder. Later, mounted on a revolving stand at an outdoor gallery, the wheel became a vessel for people to place thoughts and prayers inside on pieces of paper.
His prayer wheels have been revolving and evolving at public exhibits across the west: American Craft Council Exhibition of Fine Craft in San Francisco; Sun Valley Center Idaho Arts and Crafts Festival; Best of the Northwest Shows in Portland and Seattle; and "Ashes to Art: Funerary Art" in San Francisco and Philadelphia. Chris also volunteers as a board member of Whatcom Land Trust, a non-profit dedicated to preserving farmland, forests, beaches, and salmon streams.
View Artwork by Chris Moench in Person
Come see these pieces first hand. We are just a short walk from the ferry and an excellent destination for your visit to San Juan Island.
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