THE 2019 MAKERS
Melissa Attagutsiak is a proud Inuk Artist. She was born in St. John’s, NL. She moved to Iqaluit, Nunavut as a newborn, where she grew up and found her passion for being creative, being an entrepreneur and sewing custom garments. She is a self-taught artist living in Ottawa and she is proud to incorporate her culture into her designs. There, she is growing her new brand Nuvuja9. Nuvuja is Inuktitut for “cloud”.
Melissa has showcased her designs at the 1st National Indigenous Cultural Expo in Edmonton, AB. She also featured a collection at the Nunavut Tradeshow Meet and Greet. Her first show was during National Seal Product Day in Ottawa. Most recently she had the opportunity to go to Paris for International Indigenous Fashion Week which happened during Paris Fashion Week. This year, she plans to bring her designs to stages nationally and internationally. All pieces will have intricately sewn sealskin on modern styled gowns, tops and jackets with unique futuristic fabrics and finishes.
Barry Buckle is an instructor and freelance Fashion Designer. He was taught to sew by his mother, a long-time seamstress. After studying at Memorial University for a while, he decided to make his love of sewing and clothing design a full time career, and moved to Montreal where he studied and graduated with a degree in fashion design and illustration. After working in the fashion industry for a few years he went on to earn a diploma in pattern-making and fashion design from Holland College in PEI. Inspiration comes from things he sees. Instead of following direct trends, he likes to take aspects of each of them and combine them into something unique, but still fashionable. He also finds himself inspired by his students. “They’re new and they’re fresh and they’ve got so many ideas. You learn as much from them as they do from you, only in different ways.” Buckle creates custom outfits for people looking for unique pieces, or costume for productions by theatre companies. He has participated in hundreds of fashion, film and theatre events, through charity support and professionally
Nicole Camphaug is the leadin Inuit artist in a new innovation of the generation that emerged in the seal product industry in Nunavut. Nicole began sewing at a very young age, learning from her mother and aunt, who would sew for the family, and also her grandmother who beaded and made eider duck down parkas. There she absorbed the acute attention to detail to form her current creations and always refining her own visual and conceptual abilities.
Nicole has a wide variety of skills in the arts, from hand-sewn sealskins mitts, hats, purses, to making parkas, to designing and making traditional and contemporary ivory, musk-ox, caribou antler jewellery,. Her recent work includes designing textiles with sealskin; using wide range of styles, from flats to stilettos and boots, incorporating traditional designs with a sophisticated and modern approach. This new endeavour just proves her commercial viability in addition to her design talent.
“I love the idea of being able to wear sealskin at any time of the year, not only for warmth in the winter.“
Clare grew up on Bell Island in the middle of Conception Bay, NL. Currently she lives in St. John’s with her husband and young son, and is a graduate of the College of the North Atlantic Textiles: Craft and Apparel design program.
Her body of work explores heritage skills with locally sourced materials and techniques. Currently that includes local seal leather and fur, rabbit and fish skin with an aspiration to work with local moose and cow hides. She feels it is important to share this knowledge and teaches leather work classes on a regular basis around the St. John’s area. She is also exploring heritage tanning processes with bark and peat bog.
Dedicated the art of hand embroidery and natural dye, Susan Furneaux’s work is rooted in both past and present. Susan is influenced by her rural surroundings; using imagery and materials harvested Newfoundland’s flora and fauna to convey messages and tell stories. Her seasonal processes are reflective of a traditional Newfoundland way of life. When not in the studio, Susan enjoys sharing her passion and knowledge through teaching at the Anna Templeton Centre for Craft Art and Design as well as the College of the North Atlantic’s Textiles: Craft and Apparel Design program. Detachable pockets served as functional-fashion in the 17th to late 19th century. Worn between the petticoat and outer skirt, these pockets held money, sweet treats, grooming items and sewing tools. These pockets, tied at the waist were accessed through slits in the outer garment. Many pockets were highly ornate; embellished with hand embroidery, fur and beading. The level of adornment and the materials used were often attached to wealth and status, much like the contemporary handbag that replaced the detachable pocket in the 20th century.
Michael Harlick has been creating metal for the over 15 years. Most of this time has been in the creation of fine one-of-a-kind silver jewellery. For the past 4 years, Mike has been spending more of his time at the forge, hammering metal into fine edged blades. His knife handles are created with caribou and moose antler with many being inlayed with precious metal and local gemstones that he has cut and polished in his studio. Michael often shapes the knife pommels into sculptural forms that are inspired by natural elements found in Newfoundland and Labrador's boreal forest and peat bogs that surround his studio. Michael's goal is for each piece that he creates is for it to be as beautiful as it is functional.
I have created a seal skinning knife from reclaimed hand-forged steel and caribou antler with ebony details. The knife is elegant in shape and will do the work it was created for. The antler handle has been hand carved in the form of a seal. I am currently working on a leather sheath that will also be embellished with seal skin.
I am an artist from the rocks and marshes of the Burin Peninsula. In my current work I am trying to focus on local themes, be it the hidden graffiti of St. John's, the urban wildlife, abandoned structures or even the colours of the buildings against the rocks. My clothing line is organic and untamed.I believe using traditional, natural and locally sourced fabrics is important to our culture (seal, fox, rabbit fur) and wellbeing. Faux furs and leathers are non-renewable products which do not last over time and create waste in landfills. A real fur, leather, silk or quality cotton fabric will last for generations if well cared for. Comfort and ease of movement are also important, as seen in my flowing dresses and casual outerwear.
You can find Renee on Instagram
BEVERLEY KING - BWSEALSTYLE SEALSKIN
Beverley King is a Mi’kmaq from the west coast of Newfoundland. She is a professionally trained visual artist and registered Art Therapist, and is employed as an Art Therapist with Eastern Health.
She obtained her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Sir Wilfred Grenfell College in 1993, and her Masters of Fine (Art Therapy) from Concordia University in 1996.
BWSealStyle Sealskin began in 2016 after Beverley’s first experience with making a pair of sealskin mittens. She fell in love with the process, and has since found her niche making smaller items such as jewelry and brooches with various themes.
Beverley is also an accomplished beader, and often combines sealskin with beading, deer antler (harvested by her brother), leathers, fox and rabbit fur as well as synthetic trims to create a wide range of items.
You can find more of her work on Facebook.
Blaine Myles is a languages teacher, and visual artist based in Newfoundland and Labrador. Having previously been best known for his ink sketching, Myles’ most recent works are predominantly of mixed media. Since 2015, Blaine has achieved particular attention for his works pairing graphic design with natural elements of flora and fauna: plant matter, stone, sealskin and so forth. The subject matter of his pieces speaks to the rich visual landscapes of Newfoundland and Labrador, with the natural elements of their construction anchoring their larger, and intrinsic “sense of place”.
Laurie Pitcher’s sealskin studio is located in the basement of her home in Hearts Content, NL. She creates and sews her sealskin patterns into functional clothing and accessories for all to wear, use and enjoy. Sewing is a passion for Linda since she learned for her grandmother when she was 12 years old; her designs led her to sew many graduation, bridesmaids and wedding gowns until she had her first experience with sealskin. Creating a seal skin jacket for her husband was a learning curve and an opportunity to find her true passion. To date her skills have developed and she incorporates dyes to the sealskin as well as leathers and furs to create unique designs.
DONNA WHITE - MO-NA SEALSKIN PRODUCTS
Donna White works out of Portugal Cove, located just outside of St. John’s in Newfoundland & Labrador. Donna developed her skills while living in Rankin Inlet, learning from local craftspeople and have inspired her products today.
With an extensive background in dressmaking, tailoring, and fashion design, Donna began to incorporate local sealskin products into her designs in 2017.
Donna has recently created a sealskin whale tail for the Merby’s Calendar, a fundraiser created by the Newfoundland & Labrador Beard & Moustache Club, an extremely popular and effective fundraising venture. This tail will be on display during the Ottawa event.