Featured Artist : Tsoonklah Tamaree KawagleyRavenÃ¢ÂÂs Nest Handmade Gifts
RavenÃ¢ÂÂs Nest Handmade Gifts
Artist Bio / Statement
My name is Tsoonklah Tamaree Kawagley, I’m a Certified Tribal Artist, member of the Indian Arts and Crafts Board & have my small business: Raven’s Nest Handmade Gifts.
I design and make fiber art featuring traditional Alaska Native designs with patterns I created to complement them, using contemporary knitting techniques. For example, I’ll make a shawl featuring traditional designs for Butterfly and Distinctive Beauty, followed by two color brioche floral patterns that complement the traditional designs. The patterns I created are also interchangeable, so each piece I make is done freeform & creates a really unique craft. The patterns I created for the traditional designs also retain their mathematical & symmetrical properties, which is essential for Tlingit formline art, artwork.
What inspired me to start designing and making crafts is I wanted to help keep my heritage and cultural artwork alive & offer crafts that are affordable. Traditional Tlingit regalia usually costs $2000-$10,000+ of dollars. For example, my Raven-Frog Button Blanket’s worth approximately $30,000.
For colorwork, I prefer to use bare yarns to contrast dyed yarns, or a combination of contrasting colors, along with contrasting textures. Currently I knit, crochet, embroider, sew, hand dye/paint yarns. I’m also trying to find funding opportunities to purchase a rigid heddle loom so that I can make woven crafts that will also feature traditional artwork with designs I created to complement them.