Amongst 6 other weavings on 6 looms, Nila Rinehart sketches out her pattern for a small child-size Chilkat robe

Since 1989, I have taught at least one class per year; and every year since 1992, I have spearheaded an informal group of Chilkat/Ravenstail weavers gathering.  This year, my long-time friend Margie Ramos hosted this class at her vacant apartment.  Cozy and warm, it was the perfect thing to conduct the class!  Thank you, Margie!


All the students eagerly await the cutting of the birthday pie; My long-time friend of 50 years, Margie Ramos (2nd from right), baked me a blueberry/pear torte L to R: Laine Rinehart, Catrina Mitchell, Nila Rinehart, Karen Taug, Margarget Ramos & Crystal Rogers Nelson

This particular class requirements were:  1).  Must have prior experience in weaving chilkat and/or ravenstail, 2) must have a project on the loom ready to begin weaving, 3) weaver is female, must have reverence and gratitude for the style of weaving, etc. 4) must have own pattern or the ability to draft up a pattern (no matter how crude or excellent it can become), 5) Bring sense of humor


Crystal Rogers tries to fix the curve of her Chilkat face’s outer lip

Such a fun class as usual, I am very proud of each weaver’s work and the self-directed project each would like to complete.  That’s what this class is all about:  tapping into your own inner drive, being aware of your goals, and making the necessary steps to complete your goal.


Karen Taug is terribly happy and content about returning to her Chilkat weaving of a headband

Chilkat weaving isn’t for everyone, though for those who enjoy the weaving process; those who have come to know the weaving and it comes to know you, we find it’s truly a spiritual practice.


Lily Hope explains counting the number of warp ends to her inquisitive children Bette and Louis

In 2017, I have every intention of beginning to teach young girls.  My goal is to rent a place in Haines for the a month or two during the Summer 2017 with all three of my kids and their kids (at this time, 7 grandchildren).  The three oldest grand-daughters will be 9 and 7; these are the perfect ages to begin teaching them the discipline and art of Chilkat weaving.  I would like my children/grandchildren to experience a Tlingit holistic approach to weaving which will include not just drawing the design and preparing the wool to spin, but also, berry picking, fishing, putting up foods for winter, etc.   I will have three grand-daughters in this very first children’s class; I will be keeping my eyes and ears open for two more girls around the same age.  If you have any recommendations of any young girls who may be interested, let me know!


Nila Rinehart drafts a second pattern for her child-size Chilkat robe with on-lookers Lily Hope (with daughter Eleanor), Crystal Rogers Nelson and Laine Rinehart


Shgen George (with daughter Elizabeth) nears the completion of her black border of her Chilkat robe.


Shgen George came hours earlier for a couple of days to gain as many hours as she could, beyond the class hours.   Clarissa Rizal’s Chilkat robe hangs to the right; she begins shaping the background in her design field