Have You Seen The “Chilkat Mini-Coopers?”


Hand-painted mini-coops in Chilkat yellow and Indian red! by Clarissa Rizal

Let’s go for a quick road-trip in one of these “Chilkat Mobiles” zipping through the Redwood Forests and out across Canyonlands and Arches National Monuments sliding into Sedona across the Mohave dessert and up towards the Rocky Mountains!  Yep, zippidity do dah at your fingertips in the miniatures of miniatures!

Clarissa’s Tentative Schedule for the Arts 2015


“Chilkat Child” headdress and collar – trimmed with sea otter fur and 22. bullet shells – designed and handwoven by Clarissa Rizal

I am currently gearing up for a full year of travel to art shows, cultural center openings,  and of course visiting my kids and grandkids along the way!  Here’s my 2015 show schedule (subject to change):

1).  Heard Museum Indian Art Market and Fair, Phoenix, AZ – March 5-8th – Booth #D45

2).  Grand Opening of Soboleff Cultural Center, Juneau, AK – May 15

3).  Teslin’s “KusTeYea” Celebration, Teslin, Yukon, July 24-26

4).  Santa Fe Indian Market, Santa Fe, New Mexico, August 21-23

5). Haskell Institute Native Art Market, Lawrence, KS , September 12-13

6).  Cherokee Art Market, Tulsa, OK, October 9-11

7)  Autry Native American Art Market, Los Angeles, CA  November 7-8

8).  NMAI (National Museum of the American Indian) Holiday Art Market, NYC, December 5-6


No Ordinary Napkins


From a 22″ half circle, Clarissa irons the “Christmas Tree” napkins


Using my daughter’s cutting/work table, you can see the black foam core template and the cutting tools and the stacks of fabrics in the back ground with the already sewn half-spheres


Napkins for the in-laws — the Ellis’

When Sue Shotridge and I went into the “Island Quilter” store on Vashon Island to buy some sewing notions for a button blanket, we noticed a napkin in the shape of a Christmas tree – suddenly we just had to buy some fabrics to make ’em for ourselves and Christmas gifts of course!


Christmas Tree napkins made for the Hope Family

First thing you gotta do is choose a selection of colors you like; before you do any cutting, make sure you pre-wash the fabrics and then iron all the fabrics folded in half, right and left selvages matched up.  Then cut a template from a piece of smooth cardboard, cut a half circle that is 22 1/4″ long and 11″ wide.  Lay out your fabric with salvage edge on both the left and right sides.  Lay the straight edge of the cardboard along each salvage.  You will get 2 double sets of half-curve; with right sides together sew along all the edges except leave about 4″ open, this enables you to turn the fabric right side out.  Press.  Topstitch along the entire edges.  Then fold the half circle into the “trees” (shaped above).  Voile’ !  Christmas trees!


After pre-washing the fabric and drying, then iron all the fabrics you intend to use

I had a stash of about $500 worth of beautiful textured cotton fabrics I had bought about 10 years ago when I was commissioned to do a large 25′ x 15′ wall mural, which got “vetoed” at the very last minute.  so finally I put them to use.  Sure I could have sewn a huge mural (if I had someone else paying my bills while I sewed), or used the fabrics for something that would have brought in an income, however, I have great pleasure in making things for people, and it’s been since 1989 that I have done that.  So I cut into all the fabrics without any harm!


A beautiful selection of 100% cotton fabrics

I made 150 napkins during the week of Christmas.  It was very nice to take a week off from any kind of business and just do a sewing project for my family and friends.  Sewing always has a calming effect with lots of joy felt within me — very healing.  I gave some away for Christmas, gave some away for birthday presents and will give some away for wedding gifts this year.


Another nice selection of Christmas tree napkins – these ones for K & M !


At the Evergreen Longhouse Holiday Market


Clarissa’s booth at the Evergreen Longhouse in Olympia, features similar sale items as the Alaska-Juneau Public Market during Thanksgiving weekend in Juneau, Alaska

The Evergreen Longhouse Holiday Art Market is generally held for two days the 2nd weekend in December in Olympia, WA.  Sue Shotridge and I decided to do one day, Saturday, December 13th.  A couple of weeks prior we were both at the Alaska-Juneau Public Market and we sold fairly well, though of course we would have enjoyed selling more!  We knew we would most likely not sell as much at this venue since it was a lot smaller, however, there was more of a Native customer base since all the vendors were Native Americans from the area.


It’s always the female customers who enjoy the painted masks

It’s always interesting to see what most folks are interested in; you just never know until you put it out there.  Most were unawares of the Chilkat and Ravenstail weavings on the young  mannequins.  To my surprise, I cannot say anyone even remarked or paid attention to the weavings – I guess we were too far south (even as close as Olympia is to Alaskan shores!).


Sue and Israel Shotridges booth next to Clarissa’s at the Longhouse Holiday Art Market


Back in the Recording Studio

Ku.eex’s vocalists: Nahaan, Clarissa Rizal, Om Jahari, Gene Tagaban, and Preston Singletary – December 2014


Gene Tagaban, Om Jahari, Hahaan


In the Engineers room with Randall Dunn, Preston Singletary, Gene Tagaban and Nahaan


Randall, the sound engineer, makes it all sound soooo gooooood!  All recordings are done at Avast(!) Sound Studios, Seattle, Washington

Our names and personalities are as individually artistic as our band name “Khu.eex” which means “potlatch” in Tlingit.     Preston called us together for the past three days to record the vocals with the already-recorded instrumentation.  We worked on the vocals in this band to sound like a chorus with two and three-part harmonies of many, many voices as if there is a large group of singers as we do in our traditional songs and dances.  In the olden days, our songs were always sung with harmonies; we want to inspire our traditional dance groups to bring this element back – I feel “Khu.eex” can be a powerful venue to help this intent.


Singer extraordinaire: Om Jahari

Om is the professional vocalist; the rest of us have sung (mainly our traditional songs) but we are not considered professional singers.  However, having Om on board helped “round us out!”  This is the first time the five of us have sung and recorded together; it was FUN!


Our fearless leader: Preston Singletary

I don’t know if Preston has been a prominent singer with all the bands he has been in over the years as a musician.  Khu.eex is his venue to begin to bring out his best voice.  Khu.eex is one of his longest-time, biggest dream coming true!  We who he has called together, are fortunate to share his dream.

Read my other posted entries about our band at:



Presentation at P.A.M.


Clarissa begins her presentation on the design and weaving of her latest Chilkat robe “Resilience” to the members of the Native American Arts Council at the Portland Art Museum

Many, many years ago, if you asked me to get in front of other people and talk about whatever, no matter what size the audience, and no matter if the speech would be in front of my family and relatives, I would freak out.  No one nowadays,  believes me when I tell them of my once-upon-a-time fear and shyness; — especially not those who were at any of my four presentations at the Portland Art Museum this past weekend of December 5th through the 8th, in Portland, Oregon.


Clarissa explains the meaning of every design element in the robe

Audience feedback tells me that I am a fantastic storyteller at heart, a natural-born comedian, an up-and-coming philanthropist,  a content and yet passionate, visual artist.  Interesting feedback…things I don’t really define as me though obviously those outside of me experience me on the contrary of what me believes about me.  I guess I APPEAR to others  to be those things I have yet to add to my list of how I define myself.  My personal experience of myself is passion and inspiration.  I feel passionate about my work; in fact I am inspired by my own work.  My latest Chilkat robe which is now in the permanent collection of the Portland Art Museum was, and continues to be, an inspiration.


Clarissa tells another tale about the making of “Resilience”

With every art piece I design and create, no matter what medium, I strive to “out-do” the last piece of that particular medium.  I compete with myself; I have experienced this is where true, fulfilling competition lay.

Thank you to all of you I met during my 4-day stay in Portland, especially the members of the Native American Arts Council at P.A.M.  Thank you to Deana Dartt who worked hard on acquiring this robe for PAM’s permanent collection.  And thank you to Beverly Terry who sponsored the making of the “Resilience” Chilkat robe!

You may see photos  and read about the design description of my latest Chilkat robe “Resilience” at these blog entries:



At the Alaska Juneau Public Market


Clarissa paints the last of 12 masks she had for sale at the Alaska-Juneau Public Market

I remember when Peter Metcalfe, the producer/director of the Alaska-Juneau Public Market first started this venue for artists and craftspeople back in the early 80’s.  The Public Market replaced the Juneau Arts Council’s “Holiday Fair and Market” started back in 1978 where I used to sell hand-made hats, hand-made kid’s clothing and hand-made masks.  A few artists like John and Sharon Svenson (Haines), or Linda Fordham (Gustavus), came in from out of town.

Now, the Public Market has at least 250 local artists/crafts people from all over Southeast Alaska.  Held during Thanksgiving Day weekend at the Centennial Hall in Juneau, Alaska, it feels like a “family reunion” of sorts because many of the artists only see one another once a year at this time.


Sue and Israel Shotridge hang out with Clarissa on “her side” of their shared booth at the Alaska-Juneau Public Market – November 28, 2014

1989 was my first year at the Juneau Public Market.  I had a booth smack daeb in the middle of the lobby just outside the “great room” at Centennial Hall.  I sold about 100 “dream catchers” traditionally made of branches and “sinew.”  I think dream catchers made their debut in Juneau, Alaska (or maybe all of Southeast) that Thanksgiving Day weekend.  They were an unknown thing back then.  I learned how to make them in early ’89 from a Huron Native woman who was visiting the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe.  I taught a couple of friends (one in Santa Fe and one in Juneau) how to make dream catchers of silver and crystal beads; I know the single mother supported herself and her two daughters for a number of years making the silver dream catcher earrings, pendants and hair barrettes.


Jessica Isturis models the mask she purchased from Clarissa

2010 was my second year at the Juneau Public Market.  (My father had passed away a couple of years prior, so I moved in with Mom.   After about 6 months of living with Mom, she wondered why I was still around, like when was I going home? I paused before I answered her with this statement:  “I will go home whenever….uh,…you “go home.”)

For two months before the market, I painted one of my largest called “Frog Speaks” along with about 7 smaller paintings. I also printed my own fabric and made 10 dolls with “Chilkat warp” hair (leftover “thrums” trimmed from Chilkat robes I had made in the past).    The night before the opening of the market I got cold feet!    Like I have spent 2 months working away on these things and I have not a penny to my name and what makes me think that anyone is going to buy this stuff….!?!?!?!

I sold all the paintings, sold 7 of the 10 dolls (the remaining 3 I gave to each of my children’s first born), and I sold a few prints!  I made enough income to pay 5 months’ bills!


Nancy Barnes models the mask she purchased from Clarissa during the market

2014 was my third year at the Juneau Public Market.   I had on display, my “Chilkat Child” woven ensemble and my daughter Lily’s “Little Watchman” Ravenstail ensemble, along with my tall charcoal on canvas “Totemic Theories.”  I sold a few of my button blanket greeting cards, my hand-painted masks, limited edition prints, beaded hats, paper feathers, the children’s book I co-illustrated, but not one item of the Chilkat/Ravenstail spinning and weaving supplies sold.  I now know that the Public Market is NOT the right venue for selling those supplies!


A couple of hand-painted masks finish drying on a piece of plastic

My oldest grandchild, Elizabeth Hope (I affectionately call her “SikiKwaan”), helped me sew spinning pads for those weavers who don’t mind spinning their own warp.  She is shown here sewing on my 1974 “Genie” Singer sewing machine my mother bought me when I graduated from high school.  This machine has “seen it all…!”


Grand-daughter “Sikikwaan” helps Grandma Rissy sew the spinning pads for sale at the Alaska-Juneau Public Market

The Shotridges and I shared this booth at the Juneau Public Market this year.  It was quite cozy and full…!  Between us, we had a variety of things for sale.  You would think that we looked like we were having fun!—Little do people know that I was a bitch while setting up the booth that first morning!  For three months prior, I had worked my fingers to the bone preparing a variety of items for sale and I was plum exhausted by the time we set up this cozy “gallery” that I didn’t FEEL like setting up, but who else is going to do it!?

So you folks out there who wear rosy-colored glasses thinking that artists “have a grand life” – go think again!  Sure we set our own hours, HOWEVER, most of us work around the clock; we never leave our work!  And do we really want to?  Do we really want to leave our work?   Hmmm…very good question!  I have to ponder that one.


Sue Shotridge and Clarissa Rizal on “their side” of the shared booth at the Alaska-Juneau Public Market

Sue and I are like two peas in a pod.  I don’t know if I have ever met anyone else who reminds me of me when it comes to how we operate.  High energy, we are consistently on the go.  And somehow we don’t “bump into one another!”  Woe be to us if THAT ever happened!  We’d blow one another out of the water!

Sue and Israel Shotridge hang with Clarissa on "her side" of their shared booth

Clarissa finishes painting masks and trimming out the child-size dance apron with .22 bullet shells in Clarissa’s “borrowed” studio overlooking a typical Alaskan waterfront home…!


Juneau Public Market: Buttonblanket Greeting Cards


6 of 9 Button blanket robe designs by Clarissa Rizal on greeting cards

The greeting cards above will be some of the items available for sale at the Alaska-Juneau Public Market held Friday, Saturday and Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend in Juneau, Alaska.

I invite you to visit my Booth #‎P-15  right across the isle from Tony Tengs “Chilkat Cones” in the main hall of Centennial Hall.  And please note:  I will be sharing the booth with Tlingit carving artist & silversmith, Israel and Sue Shotridge (www.shotridgestudios.com).

The following is an inventory of items for sale; they include (but are not limited to):

A limited supply of Chilkat weaving and spinning supplies:  Cedar bark without the sap (both whole and split), Chilkat warp, Chilkat weft yarns in golden yellow, turquoise, black and cream, spinning pads, etc.

Books for sale that I wrote, made or co-illustrated include:  “Chilkat Pattern Templates”, the “Chilkat Weavers’ Handbook”; Juneauite author Hannah Lindoff children’s book “Mary’s Wild Winter Feast” — and books that I highly recommend:  “The Intenders” by Tony Burroughs and “Go Pro – Becoming A Network Marketing Professional” by Eric Worre.

Miscellaneous items include:  hand-caste paper feathers, limited edition Giclee prints, hand-sewn, beaded, felt Russian Sailor hats,  and gumboot shell earrings made by daughter Lily and sister Dee Lampe.

Come check out my latest 5-piece Chilkat woven ensemble called “Chilkat Child” which will be on display next to my daughter Lily’s 4-piece Ravenstail woven ensemble “Little Watchman.”

We’ll see you in a couple of weeks during the weekend of Thanksgiving at the Public Market in Juneau (Friday, Saturday and Sunday)!

Clarissa’s Winter Schedule: Art Markets, Presentations, Demos, Classes

Charcoal by Clarissa Rizal

Charcoal by Clarissa Rizal

Here’s my Winter Schedule for upcoming Art Markets, presentations, classes and demonstrations.  If you are in any of these locations, come by and visit; I’d love to see you!

1) One-day Chilkat/Ravenstail Weaving Class, Juneau, Alaska, Sunday November 23rd, 10am-4pm with potluck lunch — this class is for experienced weavers who have a project on their loom and need assistance, comraderie, support and a feast!  Class is limited to just 10.  The Northwest Coast Weavers’ Supply will have weaving/spinning items available for sale BEFORE the Public Market sales; so you will have the privilege to be the first to purchase your supplies for your next weaving project  —   Interested?  Give me a call at 970-903-8386 or email me at:  clarissa@www.clarissarizal.com

2)  Alaska-Juneau Public Market, Thanksgiving weekend Friday, Saturday, & Sunday, November 28-30th, Booth #P-15 in the main room of Centennial Hall on Willoughby Avenue in Juneau, Alaska – Click here to see the list of some of the items I will have available for sale

3)  Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon Presentation of “The Making of Resilience Chilkat Robe”, Friday, December 5th; I will also have Chilkat-related items available for sale AND I will have two woven ensembles on display only during this presentation

4)  Evergreen Longhouse, Olympia, WA,  — The Holiday Market is open Friday and Saturday, December 12 & 13; I will only be selling on Saturday! —  Click here to see a list of some of the items I will have for sale.

5)  “Raven’s Nest” Gallery (owned by Sue and Israel Shotridge), Vashon Island, WA — I will be demonstrating Chilkat weaving on a child-size robe; I will also have on display two child-size woven ensembles, “Little Watchman” a 4-piece Ravenstail outfit woven by my daughter Lily Hope, and my 6-pience ensemble  “Chilkat Child.”  I will also have items for sale as well; click list here to see list of some items.

6)  Chilkat Weaving Class, Corvallis, OR – December 15-19th; for experienced weavers with a project on their loom. — This class is currently full.

7)  Heard Museum Juried Indian Art Market & Fair, Phoenix, AZ – March 7-9, 2015

Preparing For Winter Art Market Sales

Clarissa prints limited edition Giclee's on her large format, ink jet Epson 7880; this is the first time she has enjoyed printing in the 5 years she has owned this machine!

Clarissa prints limited edition Giclee’s on her large format, ink jet Epson 7880; this is the first time she has enjoyed printing in the 5 years she has owned this machine!  (Grand-daughter Amelie points to the photo of “Resilience” Chilkat robe)


Shrink wrapping Clarissa’s limited edition Giclee prints, to be marketed during this Winter season 2014-15

This past week has been a bit nutty — While printing limited editions of some of my work, I’ve been cutting out and sewing spinning pads, splitting bark, spinning warp, designing a log for the Northwest Coast Weavers’ Supply, making travel arrangements, etc. etc. including but not limited to, the joy of holding a newborn granddaughter and of course time out with her older sister, Amelie!