After 3 months of preparing the bark and wool then spinning the warp and dyeing the weft, and then 5 months of weaving the robe with at least 8 up to 12 hours per day of daily weaving time, I finished the robe on my 58th birthday, June 4, 2014! You may read the design description of the robe in an earlier blog post from last year at by clicking: http://www.clarissarizal.com/blogblog/?p=2914 (You may also find additional blog posts about the progression of this robe under the category “Latest Art Projects” in the left hand column of this blog page.)
Of all the parts of the robe that I was not looking forward to was the weaving of the Sealaska Heritage Institute’s logo! However, once I got it started, I had so much fun and i felt such an affection as if the “human body” was actually a real entity, a real person! — You are probably wondering why the figure is upside down…it’s because this logo is the actual “tail” of the shared body of the Eagle and Raven clan. The tails of the main figure(s) is always drawn upside down.
On May 5th, I had a bike accident causing big bruises everywhere, especially my hands. And though my hands took a long time to heal and I was in pain, I had to get the robe done by June 11th because I SAID I WOULD and there was an institution that had commissioned this from me and by golly I was gonna “getterdun!” So I swathed my hands several times daily with the famous healing skunk cabbage ointment “Skookum” made by Harlena Warford out of Hoonah, Alaska,…and I used the three fingers on each of my hands to get the job done come hell or high water! (And because I know that I AM the “hell and high water” there was nothing of which to be afraid!!)
At the Canoe Gathering in Juneau, Alaska during Sealaska Heritage Institute’s biennial “Celebration”, Carver Wayne Price is flanked by Portland Art Museum’s Curator of Native American Art, Deana Dartt-Newton and designer/weaver of the robe, Clarissa Rizal. This is my third Chilkat robe Wayne Price has worn for me.
PAM now houses the robe in their permanent collection. According to Deana, as long as she is the Curator of Native American art at P.A.M., this robe will always find its way into ceremonies and Celebrations. Thank you, Deana!