Lee’s Stories

Lee’s Stories

Never Wish for a Forest Fire

Never Wish for a Forest Fire

Nobody but a fool would wish for a forest fire if he lived in a forest of fuel.  There was a wildfire near here yesterday.  Because of the fire, I got to do somethi...

The Wind Hoverer

The Wind Hoverer

The Wind Hoverer I was a kestrel, hovering in the North Sea wind, inside the last dike in the Netherlands, looking for voles.  If the wind had been calm or steady t...

Grizzly Lake story

Grizzly Lake story

  Grizzly Lake, where I studied hummingbirds. Frames of a video by Clancy Doheny. Photo by Lee Gass. Choreographer and dancer Gail Lotenberg worked with several be...

Educating for sustainability

Educating for sustainability

Sometime in the late '90s, after a talk I gave at the University of Florida about experiments we were doing with interdisciplinary undergraduate science programs at ...

Think & Eat Green

Think & Eat Green

Elena Orrego and Alejandro Rojas. In summer 2009 my old friend Alejandro Rojas contacted me about an exciting project. Based on a decade of work with UBC students to...

Walking on Water

Walking on Water

A Eureka Experience in my Development as a Teacher In 1968 I accepted a job as Assistant Director of a National Science Foundation Academic Year Institute at the Uni...

The Notion of Creativity

The Notion of Creativity

  In my work as a university professor, questions about where ideas come from were central to everything I did in research and teaching, and now, as a full-time...

Nature’s Little Squeegees

Nature’s Little Squeegees

  If you’ve spent hours sanding rocks or furniture without gloves, you may have noticed something that fascinates me every time it happens.  I knew as a chil...

The deep meaning of creativity

The deep meaning of creativity

Some number of nestling, almost fledgling robins. The exact number is below. This year, for the first time since my studio was complete, robins nested inside my ou...

The Last of the Caran d’Ache

The Last of the Caran d’Ache

At risk of telling you more about sculpting than you ever wanted to know or giving you  too much information about my personal life, I’ll tell you a story.  It’s...

The Case of Gerhard Herzberg

The Case of Gerhard Herzberg

The only way to make new ideas happen, I think, the only method of creation, is to go into our studios and make stuff, as I argued in Methods of Creation? Just do it...

What a relief!

What a relief!

  In making a wooden crate for Looking Up, I noticed the strong contrast between the two sets of growth rings in this 2 x 2 milled from a tree.    A we...

Thank you Twyla Bella

Thank you Twyla Bella

 Hummingbird on handmade felt. Art by Twyla Bella. Photo by Lee Gass Last week I posted five stories in this space, each in some way inspired by Experiments, a d...

Kids, Hummingbirds, and the RCMP

Kids, Hummingbirds, and the RCMP

What I want to tell you here is not as much about humming- birds as about kids learning about hummingbirds, and learning about themselves and other things at the sam...

Brief Reflections on Experiments

Brief Reflections on Experiments

To a scientist like me, Experiments, a dance production that premiered at the Scotiabank Dance Centre at the end of November, was special. It is  rare for a work of ...

Repetition, precision and chaos

Repetition, precision and chaos

Sometime in the late '70s, MSc student Dave Marmorek, now retired president of ESSA Technologies Ltd, an ecological and social systems consulting company in Vancouve...

Lactate Burn

Lactate Burn

Forearm muscles feel lactate burn sanding Red Recursion. Photo by David Shackleton. We got our TV at Christmas when I was almost 10 years old, there just one channe...

A small matter of maternity

A small matter of maternity

I backed our riding mower out of its tent-shelter the other day to do some repairs, and as the mower came into the light I noticed hundreds of tiny spiders dispersin...

What does it take to be a deer?

What does it take to be a deer?

Bucky the deer eating leaves from a freshly felled alder tree. Photos by Lee Gass.   Our neighbor Diane was working in her garden one autumn when she heard an ...

A Story for Twyla Bella

A Story for Twyla Bella

Twyla Bella and her mother Gail Lotenberg balancing on their bums. Photo by Alejandro Frid.    My friend Twyla Bella is 6 years old, lives on Bowen Island, ...

On the Genesis of Experiments

On the Genesis of Experiments

  The Lee Gass Gallery in Vancouver on the night of our Grand Opening celebration, viewed from the intersection in front.  This is one of several stories in th...