THE 2018 MAKERS
Margaret Andersen of Makkovik, Nunatsiavut, NL; but known to everyone as ‘Peggy’ currently lives and works in the northern most community in Labrador/Nunatsiavut – Nain. As an Inuit craft producer, Peggy’s forte is to work with sealskin – preferably raw, natural sealskin. She cleans her own sealskins and crafts her own kamik, pualuk, slippers, for herself as well as for other members of her family. Although raw and natural is her preference, she is known to work with the chemically tanned pieces, as well. Peggy credits her love of sewing and painting to a number of well-known craft producers in Nunatsiavut and Labrador. Nellie Winters (a master craft producer in Nunatsiavut); the late Emma Broomfield of Makkovik (known for making the black bottom seal skin boots); and her Mom, Clara Ford, were Peggy's first teachers of the work that she loves. Other inspirational artisans include Maria (Dicker) Merkuratsuk (a well-known mitt maker in Nain); and Peyton Barrett (of Cartwright. Owner/Operator of Mealy Mountain Gallery).
Is a self-taught artist, making custom gowns, jewellery and parkas. She tries to incorporate different materials such as seal skin, antler and leather in her designs. Melissa loves to take on new challenges and enjoy trying new styles and fabrics. She works together with clients to design a one of a kind products.
She hopes to launch her brand Nuvuja9 in the near future, but in the meantime, check out her Facebook page.
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, at the College of the North Atlantic. “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
My work is exploratory. I’m not afraid to use colour, texture, and to pair it with different materials. I’m compelled to be bold and unapologetic in my designs. I see truth in the material. The resiliency, hard work, the beauty produced by harsh conditions. It is successful evolution; it is a smart textile. Anything a synthetic textile would try to emulate, Nature has already perfected in this fibre. The creative potential I see in sealskin is nurtured by my emotional relationship to it. It embodies so much of what the world needs right now. It is local, sustainable, humane, and possesses the most wonderful combination of durability and biodegradability. You can wear it a life time, and it will then return to Mother Earth. I’m inspired to push the limits / boundaries / properties of what the material can do. I’m inspired by the sealers themselves and their strength in the face of adversity. I encourage people to check out my website or Facebook or Instagram.
Michael 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 three 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 inlaid 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 designs are also influenced by traditional metal-smithing, the arts and crafts movement and his love of the fantasy genre, both in literature and role play gaming. Michael's goal is for each piece that he creates is for it to be as beautiful as it is functional.
I am an aspiring 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. Instagram
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”.
Born and raised in Iqaluit, Nunavut, grew up in a household of artists. She carves, makes jewelry, paints, and everything in between, but sewing is her passion. She creates hats, mitts, clothing, jewelry, accessories, bow ties and even wedding garters, all out of seal skin. Jeanine attended the jewelry and metalwork program the Nunavut Arctic College and continues to apply the various skills into her work.
Jeanine is always open to new challenges and takes pride on a customer’s face when they are pleased with her work. She believes there is always more to learn both traditionally and contemporarily. Jeanine prefers to do everything by hand so she considered all of her products “made with love.”
Mary Peter was born and raised in Iqaluit. She works with court services but enjoys sewing in her spare time. She starting working with seal skin 8 years ago while taking part in the Kamik making program at the Tukisigiarvik Centre in Iqaluit. This year, she instructed the program. Mary sews a variety of items including kamiit, hats, mitts, jewelry, purses, garments with sealskin and magnets.
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.
TORNGAT ARTS AND CRAFTS
Torngat Arts and Crafts is a ‘brick and mortar’ type craft shop located in the town of Nain. TAAC purchases arts and crafts items from sellers on a weekly basis out of the craft shop, or on an as needed basis from other Nunatsiavut communities. TAAC buys from over 80 craft producers and regularly receives orders from outside of Nunatsiavut. TAAC is the only shop in Northern Labrador that offers a stone carving inventory. Some products we sell at our store include: jewellery (made mainly of bone, stone and/or beads); yarn products (either knitted or crocheted, such as Chimo/Pang hats; gloves; and slippers); sealskin products such as mitts, boots/kamiks and slippers; the Inuit traditional akulik and/or silapaak (jackets); carvings made of serpentine, soap stone and labradorite; Labrador books; Labrador/Inuit-inspired every day cards provided by photographers and artists from Nunatsiavut; glass art work (Inuit designs); as well as raw materials in which to make the hand crafted products, such as seal pelts, leather, moosehide, yarn, and various linings and furs.