Oldham Dianne Archer

Oldham’s Archer has
unique eye for nature

Her love of the outdoors enables
others to experience nature.

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

SKYLIGHT, Ky.(April 2003) – Dianne Archer has always been an outdoors person. Her artwork incorporates this love and enables others to experience nature in a unique way.
Born in Michigan, Archer has lived in Kentucky for the past 26 years. After a lucrative career as a representative in the graphic art industry, she said she felt she needed to leave the corporate world behind.
She wanted to get “closer in touch with the Earth,” she said.
She believes every person has hidden artistic capabilities “just waiting to come out.” So to prove this, Archer went out on a limb and moved to the 800-acre Ashbourne Farms in Skylight, Ky., to pursue her calling.

Dianne Archer

Photo by Helen E. McKinney

Dianne Archer at work.

After taking up residence in a tenant house on the farm, Archer set about crafting her naturally organic, culturally influenced bone and stone necklaces.
Archer collects animal bones as she walks the farm, seeking to continue the life cycle of the once living creature through her creations. She describes each finished piece of jewelry as “a personal creation for each individual who wears it.”
Betsy Jones is a longtime friend of Archer who owns a piece of her one-of-a-kind jewelry. She said the two have always shared a common love of the metaphysical.
“She’s very talented.” Jones said the piece she owns is “made with animal bones and significant in itself.”
Her artwork is an extension of the Mother Earth and its children. Archer loves and respects Native Americans but chooses not to classify her style as Native American.
She sees all cultures as containing the same basic concepts or needs which she draws upon for inspiration. She does produce items such as drums and clothing that may appear Native American in style, but these are primitive items used by all cultures.
“We’re all from the same realm or heritage,” she said. This idea of combining mankind’s beginnings with the Earth comes together in her work.
Archer has also crafted many dream catchers for children using organic materials. She sees them as a way of recognizing the maturity process from childhood to adulthood.
In today’s culture, there are no ceremonies to mark this transition, she said. “It is a way of honoring the stages of life.”
Theresa Bohr, a longtime acquaintance of Archer’s, said she was first captivated by Archer’s dream catchers and then her jewelry. Whenever she wears the jewelry Archer crafted, she said most people comment on its distinctive quality.
“Dianne’s work is just exquisite. There’s so much depth in it. A piece of her soul gets put into her work,” Bohr said.
Archer was juried into the state’s Kentucky Crafted program in 1999. She has been involved with this premier art outlet but usually sells her work by word of mouth. She never duplicates any of her patterns, choosing instead to create pieces that speak directly to a buyer’s personality.
Archer’s love of nature is so strong that she has taken various wilderness courses, and this love has led her to complete a master gardener’s program through the county extension office. She said she wanted to expand her knowledge, so she took a course to learn the more technical aspects of gardening.
From this experience she “creates sacred spaces for people in their yards.” An example might be a certain niche of a yard that she transforms and embellishes with things the owner can relate to and experience a sense of peace when there.
Archer said gardening is “like painting or creating anything else.” After surveying the area, she listens to her client to get a feel for how the area should be designed.

• To contact Archer, call (502) 222-4465.

Back to April 2003 Articles.



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