Many years ago, when my children were young, we began traveling to Alberta, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota and North Dakota. Wherever we went I would research local museums that featured First Nations Art (specifically the beaded items). Frequently my family would be left waiting as I sketched a Lakota Pony Blankets or teepees being set up for a local PowWow.
I soon discovered my newly adopted region (Kawartha and North Hastings County) was also rich in their own First Nations traditions. On occasions, I can be found at the Petroglyphs (north of Norwood, Ontario) or in a kayak below the Pictographs at Bon Echo Provincial Park.
My first small homemade loom has been put aside to make way for a much larger version. For beading should not be limited by inches, only by imagination. Through time and lifelong learning I discovered that small beads could be used as effectively as tempura paints. All of this takes time, a creative spirit, really good eye sight and an ever developing talent.
I have been beading for over 49 years. Within this time, I has discovered that my father’s mother was from the Iroquois nations (Seneca). With this knowledge beading has become my way to connect to my Ancestors (including the grandmother I never had the chance to meet). Many of my pieces reflect my spiritual understanding of the 13 Original Clan Mothers (the feminine aspect of First Nations spirituality), the Sioux Nations and traditions passed on by Elders and Medicine People of the First Nations. I have been fortunate to have received the teachings of a Blackfoot Artist who in turn was taught the traditions of beading by his Elders.
If you begin to see some new influences in my work it is because my wandering spirit has decided to seek out new lands and the teachings from all of the sacred directions…