Saturday, July 30, 2016


I am getting to the final pieces of a set of Plateau Style horse gear I have been commissioned to make by a major art museum.   I wanted the style of the gear to be classic Plateau in aesthetics,  but the images on them and ideas are my own.   The narrative for the most part is about the different environmental changes occurring to people here.   Once all this is finished,  I hope to have final photos from the museum of all the pieces together.   

 The first two items I made for the project,  a quill wrapped horse hair bridle ( have never seen this technique used in this manner before.  Only on war shirt strips and also a blanket strip ).  But I felt it lent itself well to this use.  The bridle also has a fancy ring bit with drops, but I didn't use it for these photos.
A detail shot of the bridle.   All sinew sewn,  natural dyed quills and antique Italian seed beads.  

Detail shot of the horse collar.  It represents the Dalles dam on the Coumbia and the flooding of Celilo Falls.   The fish are sturgeon,  and on the sides migrating sturgeon.   The beads are antique Italian seed beads,  with some antique Czech beads.  

A few more of the pieces of gear recently finished.   The saddle,  saddle blanket and rawhide bags.  The blanket over the middle of the saddle will be replaced with a beaded elk robe.  

Saddling up my front porch :-)  The cinch is painted buffalo rawhide,  and based on a antique one in my collection.   The stirrups are also buffalo rawhide covered,  and the incised bags are also buffalo rawhide.  

A better look at the beaded saddle flaps.   They are beaded out of Antique Italian beads. 

The incised rawhide bags.  The images of are traditional Plateau root diggers.  The root bag and root digging stick are mine in my collection.  

The saddle blanket I wanted to be a representation of the Okanogan Night Sky.   When I am at my ranch on the north side of the Colville Reservation -  their is no light pollution from human development.  So the sky is amazing.  I like to lay on a blanket in the grass and look up at it.  

This is the next to last piece I am making.  This will be the saddle drape.  It talks about the tribes on the Columbia River that were legally cheated out of recognized tribal status.  The Chinook tribe being one of those tribes.   They signed treaties with the US Government,  and three times have had their treaty de-ratified and status taken away.  The last time under the Bush Administration.    The artwork is by Greg Robinson,  Chinook and is used with his permission.   

The first of two panels that will go on the beaded rump drape. - "Ancestors" 

The finished Rump Drape

So,  I hope to have this epic work done soon and photos of the complete set up.   Its scheduled to be installed in late August.   Stay tuned.  


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