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Tag Archives: Fort Casey

Here are a few pieces from a series I just finished on War Memories. I made the original images at Fort Casey, on Whidbey Island. It is part of a circle of forts around the entrance to Puget Sound, originally built for defensive purposes but mainly used for housing and training soldiers in preparation for war and during wartimes. Most of these forts are now Washington State Parks and open for viewing.

I used the images to create photo encaustics, printing the photos on tissue paper and embedding them in a mixture of beeswax and damar resin, a tree sap. They are mounted on cradled boards and have many layers of wax giving them a three-dimensional feel. These pieces will be for sale at the Winthrop Gallery and the Confluence Gallery during the holiday shows.

According to wickipedia, Admiralty Inlet was considered so strategic to the defense of Puget Sound in the 1890s that three forts, Fort Casey on Whidbey Island, Fort Flagler on Marrowstone Island, and Fort Worden at Port Townsend, were built at the entrance with huge guns creating a “triangle of fire.” This military strategy was built on the theory that the three fortresses would thwart any invasion attempt by sea.

Apparently that strategy worked.

Fort Casey is now a state park offering camping, day use and a chance to explore the ruins of the old fort. I spent a couple of hours in dark, water-stained concrete catacombs, going up and down stairs and wondering if I’d find a way out of dark passageways in search of interesting abstract images.

I think the colors are surprisingly vivid and bright for such a stark concrete and metal structure.

Last week Ken and I and the dogs got away from home for a few days. Whidbey Island was our destination. Whidbey is over 50 miles long and lies at the north end of Puget Sound, otherwise known as the Salish Sea. You get there by taking a ferry or by bridge across Deception Pass at the island’s north end. We took the bridge. It’s a good place for beach walking, exploring small towns and history and eating good food. We did all that and I got to take my kayak out in Penn Cove (where they grow the wonderful mussels) with Ken’s brother.

We camped at Fort Ebey State Park in a beautiful forested setting. It was a short walk to a bluff trail that provided wonderful views of the strait and good birding opportunities. It’s part of a large system of trails for walkers and mountain bikers. Fort Ebey is one of a series of forts that were constructed for coastal defense beginning in the 1900’s. Several of these installations were converted to state parks in the 1960’s.

The dogs had a great time on the beaches and the sunsets were marvelous. Driving across the pass we enjoyed the first dusting of snow in the North Cascades and a walk in the big cedar trees along the Skagit River at Newhalem.

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