The week before leaving on a trip to Kalispell, Montana to teach papermaking workshops, I had done a portrait of Kuta.....for the first time.....using my artform. That piece is in the Airedale Art Gallery......"The Very First Kuta." Just before leaving I had taken some of Kuta's hair with me in order to show students how to mix other fibers with the plant pulps-- this was auspicious for she seldom mixes other fibers with the paper pulps.

After a week into the workshop schedule I received that call from Kauai that Kuta was on death's doorstep and in great misery, and gave the attending veterenarian the OK to help him out of that misery. Shortly after his passing, I was to send an the emailed eulogy, A Hui Ho Kuta, to be read at his ceremony on Kauai. A bit later I had a great urge to see Airedales and looked up breeder, Judy Howell, in Columbia Falls. Before the visit I made her a piece using Kuta's hair mixed into the pulp.

After meeting her crew of 'dales I gave Judy the piece, and showed her that portrait of Kuta I had done recently. She loved both pieces and told me I should make a few for her to take to the Montgomery show in Pennsylvania, where she would be showing one of her girls. Upon Arriving back to Kauai I did a series called "The Paper'dales" which which she did take to the show. The first Paper'dale of that series was Kuta. This is the icon for the Portraits of Their Essence section on my site and appears on its first page. I made this piece to assuage my grief and as a gesture to immortalize Kuta. It would mark the emergence of this very dear-to-me expression of my art. Below is the first Kuta.

The First Kuta
Kuta's First Portrait