Sunday, September 15, 1974
THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Page F ive
Sunday, September 15, 1974 THE MICHIGAN DAILY Page Five
George Lake: Making art out
of pine cones and mushrooms,
By HOWARD BRICK his own work, which usually move out.
GEORGE LAKE is a country takes the form of custom-made He lives on a 26-acre piece
I by, and you can't miss it. rings and pendants and other of land in Grass Lake that he
He has a mid-western country pieces, based on abstract de- bought 26 years ago when it
twang and speaks with a kind signs drawn from nature. "I try was mostly swamp. He has fill-
of country honesty. He likes to to keep my shop within the ed in a lot of it, built himself
walk barefoot in the marsh means of the students," he says, a small, comfortable home and,
grass around his pond; he play- and he condemns his fellow jew- a workshop set back in the
fully chases the small flock of elers who overprice their wares. woods, planted a small stand of
mallards he keeps. Hospitable, "Why be a hog? The thrill you pines and a moderately-sized
downright gracious, he pies get from the people is reward- vegetable garden.
fried home-grown potatoes and ing. The money isn't the only As he walked back to his
ers of sweet corn on your plate. thing." workshop on Friday afternaan,
"I like to see people eat,' he he pointed out the muskrat
says with a gravelly voice. A MAN OF slight build, he has holes around the pond and coin-
Lake has almost always liv- retained a lean shape de- plained that the rodents have
ed in the rural surroundings of spite his 53 years. He has a attacked his ducks' eggs. He
Michigan's Jackson County, but grisly look about him, wih his told about the skunk whom he
he is no stranger to town ife tousled black hair, a graying had a conversation with while
either. He has run a 'jewelry stubble growing on his cheeks, he was working late the other,
shop on South State St. in Ann and a Camel cigarette hanging night. "You know, animals
Arbor for the last 18 years and from his mouth. come to you when you're
has gotten to know and -tpprec- He likes to talk. "Boy, I re- alone," he says.
iate the people and culture. Yet member years ago, I used to
he insists on retreating to the sit down in the shop with a "I like to go out and gather
country to exercise his craft - few people and just rap. But some bone, moss, and ivory
making jewelry out of metal, there are so many peonle now- and sit and look at it, and you
stone, wood, and bone. adays, you can't sit down and should see some of the designs;
Lake imports most of the be personable." Ann Arbor is you can get." That's his meth-
jewelry in his shop, but h e growing, he feels, and the pace od: simple and meditative. "You
money he makes from that only is increasing. In ten years' go out and look down in the
pays the overhead. He lives off' time, he says, he will have to water and see the patterns it
makes, and you can get your,
own high off that." As he ap- ;
proached the workshop, he pick-
ed up a small, orange mush-
room head and turned it over,
to show the delicate ribbing un-
derneath. "You dry these things
out and you should see how:
beautifully they cast."
It's so simple. That's the
point. George Lake is not an'
most killed him, he says. All
they talked about in the factory
was sex and the paycheck. '
He set up his first shop in
Jackson in 1954, but only dealt
in imports. Within two years,
he moved to Ann Arbor, rented
a small space at 209 South'
State, and was hammering met-
al on the basement floor. The
rest he learned himself. "If,
eloquent man, but he seems to you can't lay it down as an
know what he wants and way he dividual, what's the sense
wants it, living?"
while he was talking to a cus-
tomer. "Ann Arbor is being tak-
en over by people from De-
troit," he insists. "All the rip-
offs - it's the out-of-towners."
BUT, FOR Lake, the issue of
crime comes d o w n to an
issue of personal hurt more
than anything else. He seems
sincerely pained as he says,
"When you trust somebody and
he takes advantage of you -
well, it takes something out of
an artist, a craftsman." If he
can't pinpoint that something,
he still feels it. When his home
was burglarized and he w a s
forced to install an alarm sys-
tem on both the home and the
workshop, he says, "it kind of
took away a lot of my free-
j TNLIKE MANY of Ann Ar-
bor's craftsmen, Lake is
not a disenchanted academic.
His parents were sharecroppers
in the 1930's before moving to
the city and going on relief. It
was a time of abject pover..y.r
After serving in the Army inI
World War II, he worked a
He believes strongly in t h e
American work ethic, and, not-
withsianding his individualistic
tendencies, there's a streak of
conservatism in him. Despite
his jokes, he really doesn't like
the people who beg on the
streets of Ann Arbor.
"Everything I've got I had to
earn the hard way with my own
.s.i..s. .........e.t:..i:4:'-:::.}":: :..
I ts So
That's the p
The workshIop is tilled with a
r"- --"--"- collection of half-finished sculp-
ture projects, a variety of draw-
Ointf. ings for future work, and all
sorts of natural knickna--xs he
vent has collected from the land.
Lake is not an eloq
man, but he seems to know what
he wants and why he wants it.
factory job for 15 years before
deciding to strike out on his
own. "I just did it; I just had
to," he says as he struggles to
explain himself better.
"Ever worked in a factory?
Don't do it. Beg on the srest
first!" The monotony of it al-
two hands," he says. "I'rn very
conservative on that."
Crime bothers him too, and
he claims that "years ago you
could set things out on the side-
walk and no one would touch
it." Recently, jewelry has been
stolen right out of his shoe
He sits down at a workbench
and cuts a piece of tarnished
silver wire to give a demoistra-
tion of his craft. He rubs ;t with
some steel wool, hammers the
end, wraps it into a simple ab-
stract shape, and in three min-
utes has a shining silver wire
ring. Next, he takes a piece
of bone and carves it with a
dentist's drill, a tool that he has
adopted as his own. "I love
the smell of bone and wool,"
Photo by Howard Brick
Leaning back on his s'ool,
Lake, who has been separted
from his wife for a year' and a
half, talks about the virtues of
solitude. "I think people snould
be alone more to create -- to
get the real feeling of God, the'
spirit, in them." And when Lake
talks about religion in his very
basic and uncomplicated way,
the country boy in him is .speak-
Ladies' and Children's
Hairstyling a Specialty--
Dascola Barber Shops
THE WEEK IN REVIEW
The Windsor blues
As August became September
and thousands of students pour-
ed back into town, the sponsors
of the Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz
Festival wore smiles as wide as
the 20-foot festival promotion
anner .across State St. Unruf-
ed by the GOP-dominated City
ouncil's command to ship out,
promoters John Sinclair and
Pete Andrews caravanned their
operation to Canada for three
days of music "in exile" at St.
Clair College's Griffin Hollow
amphitheatre in Windsor.
By sundown last Sunday, Sin-
clair and Andrews were singing
the greenback blues:
As festival staffer Kelvin Wall
coldly predicted a $60,000 de-
ficit for the affair, Sinclair hung
his head and admitted even that
figure might be too low.
"We'll try to regroup some-
how," said the rotund v i c e
president of Rainbow Multi-
Media (RMM). "We had pro-
jected our budget expecting 8500
ticket buyers a day. As far as
we can tell right now, we sold
between 2,500 and 3,000 a day
for the first two days." And
Sunday's crowd looked smaller
If that wasn't bad enough,
Sintlair himself was refused en-
trance at the Canadian border.
because of a prior drug offense.
About 100 other concert fans'
were arrested at the festival
or at the border in what one,
RMM staffer called a "deliber-
ate effort" to keep young Amer-
icans out of the country.
While Andrews kept silent and
Sinclair spoke of re-grouping,
a friend and former associate of
the pair said there is "no way"
RMM will recover its losses in:
time for another festival next
* * *
End of the world
deadly ultraviolet rays. T h e moderate leaders across t t e
rays, it has been shown, have country. But the rally was littlef
a direct effect on the incidence more than a ventilation of bitter
of skin cancer, and may also, feelings and a chance for some
destroy undersea algae and local Democratic candidates to
plankton forms - breaking a, fish for votes with high-sound-'
vital link in the marine ecolo- ing phrases.
Ciceron and his associates The pardon was a cruel, stup-t
are convinced that enough treon id conclusion to the upheaval of;
has already been produced to nsbytaught us only one lesson, itf
1985orde1ur990ndtn was that the nation moves for-'
1985 or 199O. ward only as soon as the law
The researcher, who works at rises above the men and women
the University's Space Researchr.
Laboratory, has begged his fel- in power. Ford instead took the'
low scientists to offer some evi.
dence that might contradict his Speaking in support of Gover-
awesome findings. But he says nor William Milliken's reelec-
no opposing research has been tion drive Thursday, former At-!
forthcoming. torney General Elliott Richard-f
* * son told an Ann Arbor audience:t
"The public should know what
former President Nixon was
pardoned for." That much, at
Meanwhile, the youthful en-
thusiasts of Student Government
Council were busily imitating
their elders. SGC sued its
former president and treasurer,
Bill Jacobs and David Schaper,
for a total of nearly $42,000 in
unaccounted funds; Council also
voted to press criminal charges
against former President L e e
Gill for failure to answer a
similar suit for about $15,000.
Schaper and Jacobs, who were
repeatedly accused of shuffling
funds and defrauding SGC elec-
tions in 1972-73, both denied the
charges. "I rigged elections; I
screwed people left and right, ,
bantered Schaper, whoam many,
considered SGC's version of H.
R. Haldeman. "But I never,
never took any money."
It was the quote of the week.
If the SGC suit does nothing
else, it will at least delay these
gentlemen from what will ob-
viously be a career in the fed-
IN STOCK NOW
STATE STREET END OF THE DIAG
On the campus and in the na-
tion, it was a lousy week for.,
trust in government. Richard
Nixon, after admitting he bid'
from behind a labyrinth af test the Watergate scandal frim law
tubes to tell us that due to: officials for more than two full
comets or cataclysms, the End years, walked scot-free on the
is near. We naturally dismiss beaches of San Clemente as'
the gloom generators as loon- President Ford granted him an
ies - it would be tough, after unequivocal pardon.
all, to go through college and About 400 students gavhe-ed
e reacar e neson the Diag Friday to protest
convinced that we'll all be" the pardon, following the exam-
cinders by 1980. of scores of liberal and
But Dr. Ralph Cicerone is no ------o -----a
flake. His research has con-
vinced him and other experts
that freon, the inert gas used LOUIS MALLE'S
to power refrigerators and aero-
sol cans, will wreak deadly dam-
age to the earth's protective ZA Z IE I
ozone blanket within the next
15 years. With touches of W.C.
"The effect will be serious MURMUR OF THE HE
and will last for several de-' about a 10 year old cot
cades," says Dr. Cicerone. With' her Uncle Gabriel, a fe
the fate of the world in the / 36 hour affair. "One of
deep furrows of his brow, he films ever made." Cathe
explains that enough industrial-
ly-produced freon has risen into
the upper atmosphere that the NEXT W
resulting damage to the ozone
belt may quadruple the risk of
skin cancer and play havoc with, Tonight at 7:00,
the world's weather conditions. / E A u
The problem, he says, is that:
the ozone will no longer pro-
perly absorb most of the sun's-
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1 1 a.m.-1 a.m. Fri. and Sat.
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the most original, subversive and insolently unusual
EEK: Bizzare, Bizzare, 0 Lucky Man
and 9:00 AUD. A
tickets on sale ANGELL HALL
at 6:00 p.m. adm. $
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