How the Yukon Made an Artist ‘Whole Again’ | Presented by Destination Canada

How the Yukon Made an Artist ‘Whole Again’ | Presented by Destination Canada


In most localities, you say there’s
a colorful 5 percent. Well, I’d say in Whitehorse there’s
a colorful 50 percent. I’m Luann Baker-Johnson and I’m a glassblower in Whitehorse, Yukon. Whitehorse is in the Yukon Territory,
very, very close to Heaven. There is such magic in this land. The Yukon helped make me whole again. I became a glassblower because
one of our kids died from leukemia. And a year after her death,
my high school sweetheart, who I married, had six kids with,
he said, “Lu, go to art school.” I discovered glass, hot, molten, 1,200-degree C glass. Glassblowing was a healer in my life. So we built Lumel Studios in the Yukon. It’s the only glassblowing studio
that allows 5-year-olds and our oldest 97-year-old
to create freely on our benches. I’ve lived in many places.
I’ve traveled to many, many places. But the Yukon always brings me back. It’s a land that you can walk out
your door and have adventures. Sled dogging is a quintessential
thing to do in Whitehorse. The dogs all have personality. When you’re working with the dogs,
you’re watching them run ahead, and you just laugh out loud with
just pure joy of living here. Sourdough Rendezvous has been
going on for 55 years, now. And it’s this zany festival
where thousands gather. There’s ax throwing. There’s wood sawing. There’s log tossing. I’m competing this year for Madame Trapper. I’ll have five different events. I have not practiced.
You don’t need to practice. It’s just the pure fun and frivolity of it all. If you are surrounded by majesty, it is going to influence who you are as an artist. It’s a land that can build you up,
that can make you strong. Come to the Yukon, for the land, for its people. Come to the Yukon to see something
that is so phenomenal that it will knock your socks off.

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