Thursday, August 15, 2013

Quill Wrapped Horse Hair Moccasins...

Here are two pairs of moccasins I made a while back.  Both are a early to mid 19th century Missouri River style interpretation.  

Both are made of brain tanned hide and beaded using sinew and pony beads.   The Quillwork technique is "Quill Wrapped Horse Hair",  in which the quills are wrapped around a bundle of horse hair and stitched to the hide.  It was a rather rare technique even back in its heyday.  The technique was all but extinct until recently revived.  

 The quills on these pairs are dyed with a combination of natural dyes and also modern dyes.   In doing research at the time of making these,  I came across information that aniline dyes were introduced to Native people far earlier than thought....actually in only a year or two after they were invented.   The trades good industry was on the cutting edge in its day.  No different than it is now.


Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Still re-posting some of my previous works I was able to get new photos of while visiting Santa Fe.   And there is a lot of them!  So more to come in the coming days.  

This is a blanket strip I was commissioned to make for some very close friends of mine.   They owned the original,  which they sold.   And they always regretted it.   So...they asked me to make a copy of it for them.   This is the resulting strip.   

This strip is beaded on brain tanned buffalo,  using sinew with antique Italian seed beads as well as carefully chosen French reproduction beads.  It is mounted on a hand dyed blue stroud wool blanket...all just like the original.  

I seldom make exact copies of antique items.  I would rather make my own artwork.  And,  its very important to remember that making copies of artifacts to secure permission to do so from either the owners of the material ( collectors or institutions ),  maker of the item or even the Native family from which it originates is paramount.   To just copy something is really a theft of intellectual property and is not taken well in Indian country.   


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Quilled Mandan Style Shirt....Part "Deux"...

I got to re-photgraph some older works...This is a Mandan style quilled war shirt I made about 20 years ago.   I used all historically correct materials ( Now non-available) Brain tanned mt. sheep hides,  sinew sewn natural dyed quillwork and human and horse hair drops.

The beads used are a combination of antique Italian pony beads and French re-production colors,  acid etched to emulate beads 150 years old.

The sleeves are multi - quill plated,  the quills dyed using a combination of Oregon grape root,  blood root and indigo.

The symbol of the disk is a symbolic thunderbird design.

The left on hair ruff of the mt. sheep was done on historic shirts. 


Saturday, August 10, 2013


Here is a pair of beaded cowgirl boots I made over 20 years ago....I never had photos of them until now 

The images are based on illustrations by Jo Mora....a well known Cowboy illustrator and painter. 

Each panel has a different image.  Hard beading if I remember because I did these direct on the leather....broke a lot of needles.  

Detail of boot panel. 



Ah.....vacation at last.   Having fun down in Santa Fe, New Mexico.   Staying with some old friends and getting to see some previous works I made that they own.   

A Plateau style pony beaded shirt...made out of Mt. Sheep hides,  Antique beads and sinew sewn.

A Plateau style Mt. Lion skin quiver...antique Italian beads and sinew sewn

Detail of beaded tail flap

A Quill Wrapped Horse Hair shirt I made,  along with a historic blanket strip.   Shirt is made from brain tanned mt sheep hides,  sinew sewn natural dyed porcupine quills. 

Its been fun to see these pieces again.