Working Hands – Where Are They Now?

It was nearly fifteen years ago that photographer Summer Moon Scriver  and I decided to tell the stories of people who work with their hands. In 2009, we released Hands at Work: Portraits and Profiles of People Who Work with Their Hands, a hard cover coffee-table book filled with timeless profiles and images of people passionate about their work.

Hands at Work is still available here

For most of the people included in the collection, much has changed in the intervening years. Some have moved on to other work or retired; others have remained dedicated and become even more accomplished. 

Today, storytelling about work continues to be of interest, and avenues to do so have only gotten easier, thanks to social media. Recently, the current work of two of the subjects in Hands at Work was featured in a unique format:  Gardens of Artists. These two also happen to be closely connected to Summer—her mom, gardener (and author) Irene Skyriver, and her brother, glass artist Raven Skyriver. Short video stories of Irene and Raven, and their respective partners (Gregg Blomberg and Kelly O’Dell), highlighted their work and their gardens for the Lopez Island Garden Club virtual tour of artists’ gardens. 

When they were courting, Irene told Gregg that one of her ambitions in life was to have “a really good garden.”  When Summer and I interviewed and photographed Irene for Hands at Work, she’d already accomplished that.

Entrance to Irene’s “really good garden.” Summer Moon Scriver photo.

In this video, it’s apparent Irene’s passion continues.

Raven was twenty-five when I interviewed him for our collection. He’d just returned from an apprenticeship with a glass artist in Brazil and had been up all night cleaning the “Hot Shop” at the prestigious Pilchuck Glass School created by master glass blower Dale Chihuly. 

Summer Moon Scriver photo from Hands at Work.

Now, Raven and Kelly (who he met at Pilchuck), have their own glass studio (and garden) on Lopez.

Stories of people like Irene, Gregg, Raven, and Kelly continue to inspire me. I hope you can spend some time with them in print (you can order Hands at Work here) or virtually on the garden tour.

Want to share some inspiration from hands at work? Contact me about these frame-quality note cards with images and quotes from Hands at Work.


    1. Thanks, Gretchen. Yes, it was so fun to see these images of Irene and Raven and remember what they had to say nearly 15 years ago! I love the way video captures their work in a different way, too.

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