“Chilkat Blankets: Artistic Masterpieces”


The catalogue for the “Chilkat Blankets: Artistic Masterpieces” exhibit of antique Chilkat robes held in private collections in the U.S. recently displayed at the Antique Native American Art Show & Sale at El Museo De Santa Fe this past August 2015

I have a limited 10 copies of these books available for sale at my booth during the Clan Conference held Wednesday, October 28th through Sunday, November 1st at Centennial Hall in Juneau, Alaska.  They are excellent study reference, especially since we will not see these robes in museums because they are in private collections.  They are $25/each


I interpret this design as the  “Diving White Raven Amongst the Bullkelp” image woven in this antique Chilkat robe


Clarissa Wins Best of Class in Textiles

Clarissa points to her Best of Class ribbon in Textiles of her "Chilkat Child", a 5-piece handwoven ensemble

In her booth at the Cherokee Art Market, Clarissa shows her Best of Class ribbon in Textiles of her “Chilkat Child”, a 5-piece handwoven ceremonial ensemble – The award amount helped Clarissa break even with this show’s expenses–yay!

The 10th Annual Cherokee Art Market announces the Best of Show and Best of Class award winners; to read the list, click here

Artists’ Booths at Cherokee Art Market


Clarissa Rizal’s booth at the 10th Annual Cherokee Art Market at the Hard Rock Casino ballroom, Catoosa, Oklahoma

On Friday night just before the Saturday/Sunday Cherokee Art Market, directly after my assistant Emily and I set up my booth, we walked around to take a look at the works of other artists in the show.  Sure I was interested in the creations of the artists’ work, but I was more intrigued with HOW each individual artist displayed their work.  I was drawn to the professional image each one had created within the use of their 10’x10′ space (though others had a 10’x20′ space).  Out of 150+ artists’ booths, the following are a few of that I made note:


Jackie Sevier’s booth used custom-built, wooden print racks whose carpeted stands also served as the travel containers. Take note of the curtained space; a place to keep the portable “office” and storage of packing material


Bill & Traci Rabbit;s double booth features brilliant paintings. I took note of what I think is their “storage unit” front center stage!


The pottery of Carolyn Bernard Young is beautiful and simple displayed on carpeted shelving with a “front counter desk” flanked by a set of shelves on both sides which housed her packing and shipping supplies, additional stock of pottery, and of course her snacks for the day!


Sculptor Uptown Greyshoes Ethelbah’s free-standing columns defined the perimeters of his 10’x10′ booth. His vertical banner to the left telescoped into an aluminum frame


Straight forward like his work, Jerry Ingram mounted long bough branches from his walls from which hung his satchels, beaded garments and accessories to help create a semi-circular feel to his booth


Kimberly G. Bugg’s booth felt like I walked into a traditional trading post.  By hanging the leather war shirt crossing the corners, she also softened the corners of her 10’x10′ booth


Daniel Corey’s leather masks hung from grey carpeted walls. He defined the perimeters of his 10’x10′ booth with a “desk” covered with black cloth and the most cushy director’s chair I’ve ever seen



Elizabeth and Michael Kirk’s color scheme in their light-weight shelving, desk, vanity, and director’s chairs are black and turquoise. Touches of silver and turquoise are even in the stuffed display of shopping bags


Ron Mitchell’s booth was ultimately my favorite. Why? He defined his space by the rack of prints (under the red cloth) next to his small portable drafting table with a clamp lamp and director’s chair


I just loved Karen and Martha Berry’s line up of three director’s chairs to define the right side of their 10’x10′ booth


A 70-Year Rizal Legacy


70 years this house has been kept in the Rizal side of our family. Inflated taxes has forced my cousins to sell and move.  Not easy.

Because of my name change, many people think I re-married.  No, when I divorced I dropped Hudson so I dropped my married name of Hudson and was left with my middle name as my last:  Rizal.  Yes, I am a direct relative of Jose’ Rizal, the Filipino martyr who inadvertently led the Phillipines to independence of Spanish rule.  Jose’ was uncle to my grandmother Patricia Rizal.

Patricia (Rizal) Lampe arrived in Seattle in August 1945.  By the U.S. Army, she was guaranteed her husband, Fred Lampe’s West Seattle home when she arrived with their remaining five children.  To their surprise Fred’s siblings sold the house as soon as they discovered the news that their brother had died in the Japanese concentration camp in the Phillipines; they did not want the house to be left to the “mucks” or dark-skinned.  My grandfather’s family was left homeless.

Eventually destiny would have it that a house in the Capital Hill district was up for sale.  Taking pity upon the family, a benefactor friend bought the house for them under contract which the Rizal family eventually paid off.

Though I only visited my grandmother, all my uncles and aunts and cousins and 2nd cousins and other relatives of the Filipino Jewish side on the average once a year since I was 14, I have had many memories in this home.  And most recently I spent my last two nights with my 69-year-old cousin and her husband amongst the boxes and boxes of memories.

I witnessed the aged walls cracked as if desiring to speak of all the secrets held within about to be completely demolished and refurbished by the new tenant.  The floors creaked at the light weight of my footsteps slipping past the bedrooms of my cousins and my cousins and my cousins.  We talked until the wee hours of the morning reminiscing of our parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins over food; always over food we discussed politics.  (My father’s side of the family is very political and quite outspoken.)

Letting go of a home due to the inability to keep up with the rising taxes is a real shame.  I noticed that many of the older couples who once lived next doors and across the street are no longer; a new generation of kids have shared the block.  They are the ones who can afford to pay the mortgage AND the taxes.  It is a shame the western culture does not provide a tax break with the consideration to the elderly because many would like to remain in their homes until their death.

My cousin was born and raised in this home 69 years ago, just a year after my Grandmother bought it.   Last weekend, with her brother, husband and son, she moved into a 2-bedroom condo on Seattle’s south side.  As usual with the Rizal/Lampe/Villaflor/Edwards’ traditional hospitality, she extends an invite for me to come stay whenever I come through Seattle.  That hospitality is part of the way things were way before the legacy of the 17th avenue home, and no matter what town or country we live, no matter what house, and no matter what age, or what time in history, it’s the way that hospitality will remain.


On the First Drive to Tulsa, Oklahoma


On the side of the road near the Texas/Oklahoma border, there were these painted VW Bugs…

With my friend Emily, we drove a straight and narrow 14 hours from Colorado to Oklahoma for my first Cherokee Indian Ar held in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  While in Tulsa, I will also be checking out my Tulsa Artist Residency’s new digs still under construction.


A huge symbol of Christ stands amongst the clouds


Walking the hallway carpet at the Hampton Inn & Suites



The Haiku Chronicles: Beaver and Pizzarelli

Poet/writer Al Pizzarelli and his wife Tlingit artist/writer Donna Beaver Pizzarelli and their Mini-Coup

Poet/writer Al Pizzarelli and his wife Tlingit artist/writer Donna Beaver Pizzarelli and their Mini-Coup

Eight years ago Al Pizzarelli and Donna Beaver met at a Haiku Poetry convention out there on the East Coast (but pardon me, I forget where!?).  It was love-at-first-sight for Al; Donna didn’t know what to do with his notoriety, talent, charm and wit except to collaborate with him on a project that totally inspired both of them; years later, they are still at it!

Poet/writer Al Pizzarelli

Poet/writer Al Pizzarelli

Alan Pizzarelli is a poet, musician, and artist born in 1950 to an Italian-American family in Newark, New Jersey.  He is the author of 13 collections of poetry.  During the early 1970s, he began a serious study of haiku and related forms in New York City under the tutelage of Professor Harold G. Henderson, author of An Introduction to Haiku and Haiku in English.  Since then, many of Pizzarelli’s poems have achieved worldwide acclaim and have appeared in a variety of textbooks, journals, and anthologies.

Alan Pizzarelli's latest anthology "Frozen Socks"

Alan Pizzarelli’s latest anthology  hot off the press:  “Frozen Socks”

I recently read Al’s “Frozen Socks.”  Each brief piece of writing took me around the block and back again.  It’s the first book of poetry I read from front to back and then again!  I had three nights to hang out and work at Donna and Al’s home in New Jersey.  I divided the book into three sections.  When I tucked myself into bed each of those three nights, I read one section.  The writings brought me to tears, made me laugh too loud and stopped me in my tracks.  I tell you he is one heck of a Raven Trickster who reminds the reader of our vulnerable human condition!

This book is hot off the press available for purchase on Amazon for only $12.95 with additional shipping.  Order your copy today by CLICKING HERE


For his review and input, Donna shows Al the covers of her hand-printed books

A member of the Tlingit Kaagwaantaan (Wolf) Clan, Donna Beaver Pizzarelli was born in 1961 in Juneau, Alaska.  She hails from a long line of artists, most notably her late mother, beadworker/doll-maker Anna Beaver and her late grandfather, carver Amos Wallace.  A media artist who specializes in web-design, research and podcasts, she is a visual artist extraordinaire, a writer and is about to embark on the path of her grandfather Amos:  metal/stone jewelry.

In 2009, hosts Donna Beaver and Alan Pizzarelli produced the first Haiku Chronicles podcast. Today, more than 30 episodes later,  what started off as a grass-roots effort with just a few hundred listeners has now grown to over two million plays of their episodes around the globe!  You may visit their Haiku Chronicles website by CLICKING HERE.


Donna put Clarissa to work in giving a coat of gloss medium to the front and back of Donna’s book of poetry entitled “Rainforest Poems”

Donna and Al have a couple of weeks to complete their website updates, print and assemble Donna’s book of poems, receive their shipment of Al’s books, and pack their recorders, laptops, cameras, etc. into their little Mini-Cooper to drive up to Schenectady, New York State to attend the international Haiku Convention.  Non-stop they work together in their writings, productions, art and music.  Hanging out with them has reminded me of how a pair of people totally in love and committed to one another and their art forms can change a small aspect of the human race.

You may read more about Alan Pizzarelli and Donna Beaver Pizzarelli when their individual websites are back up and running.

Clarissa Rizal and Donna Beaver Pizzarelli

Clarissa Rizal and Donna Beaver Pizzarelli


Frog Woman House Post


Wayne Carlick and Debra Michel sing an honor song to commemorate the Frog Woman house post at the Montclair Art Museum in Montclair, NJ — September 27, 2015

Montclair Art Museum in Monclair, New Jersey is the very first museum in the state to host Native American art.  A 9-foot house post carved a few years ago by Canadian Tlingit artist Wayne Carlick, was gifted to the museum by art collectors Carole and Malcolm Schwartz.  MAM acknowledged the gift by a dedication of the “Frog Woman” house post on Sunday, September 27th.  Wayne and his wife Debra Michel were the guests of honor, making their long drive from the remote village of Atlin, British Columbia down the ALCAN (Alaska/Canadian) Highway, then catching the flight from Seattle to Newark, New Jersey.


Montclair Museum staff, art collectors and the general public attended the dedication of the Frog Woman house post; Wayne gave a very moving story about the legendary Frog Woman

Wayne Carlick was born in 1958 in Atlin, Canada and was raised on the Taku River in British Columbia.  He is a member of the Tlingit Taltan Nation and a clan member of the Xooxhitan House.  His Tlingit name is Yaan Dec-kin Yeil, which translates to Flying Raven.

After completing his schooling, Carlick trained in carpentry.  he began carving poles, posts, bowls and clan regalia in 1992 when he apprenticed with famed Northwest Coast Indian artists Dempsey Bob.  Carlick has become a successful, versatile artists and his artwork is in many museums, including a few pieces in the Montclair Art Museum.

Traditionally, Tlingit families lived together in large clan houses often built in a row along a river bank or beach.  Four carved, painted house posts were placed at each corner of the house where they functioned as supports for the wood framework along the massive tree trunks.  If the posts became very worn over time and could no longer serve as supports, they were attached to undecorated posts since they continued to be held in high esteem.

Featured on house posts are crest figures belonging to certain Tlingit families or sometimes illustrating Tlingit legends such as the story of Frog Woman.


Debra Michel, Wayne Carlick, Frog Woman House Post, Clarissa Rizal and Donna Beaver Pizzarelli

After doing business in Seattle last week, I spent 4 days in Bloomfield working and visiting with my friends Donna Beaver and Al Pizzarelli.  Donna is part of the organization crew working on the Tlingit Mentorship Program along with Preston Singeltary and Sue and Israel Shotridge and I.  Earlier this month, Donna pointed out that MAM was hosting a house post dedication at the end of September and asked if I knew the carver.  I shuffled my schedule a bit to make the trip out East.  Amongst several other things I did in the brief visit, MAM’s dedication was intimate and moving, with lots of syncronicities.  I’m glad I attended!


A Fabulous Tool: The “Rowenta” Steamer & Iron

Clarissa irons "NW x SW II" button robe with her brand new "Rowenta" Steamer Iron

Clarissa irons “NW x SW II” button robe with her brand new “Rowenta” Steamer Iron

After buying a brand new (or sometimes 2nd hand) iron averaging $10 to $40 every 3 or 4 years for since I began sewing in 1974, I invested in a $240 “la machine!”  I must have reliable equipment to get my work done in a timely manner; I cannot rely on “lesser than” equipment.  The last iron that conked out on me was terribly disappointing because I could not finish my job.  It’s not like I can just go out and buy me a new iron in a small remote town in Colorado Rockies whose stores are not open on Sundays!

So while I was shopping in Juneau’s “JoAnn’s” all the irons were on sale for 40% off.  I hauled this huge iron back to my studio in Colorado.  It’s been worth it.  Such a pleasure having a tool do its best.  In turn it helps me to do my best (and in a timely manner)!

Sho Sho Esquiro and Clarissa Rizal Exhibit


Miranda Belarde-Lewis, Sho Sho Esquiro and Clarissa Rizal plan the floor layout of their next year’s October 2016 exhibit at the Bill Reid Gallery in Vancouver, B.C.

A year after the initial idea of an exhibit featuring traditional and contemporary Northwest Coast regalia and clothing with Sho Sho Esquiro and Clarissa Rizal, we finally met up at the house of Curator Miranda Belarde-Lewis to review the basics of the exhibit!

The exhibit opens at the Bill Reid Gallery in Vancouver, B.C., Canada next year in October and will run for approximately 5 months.  We will be featuring a total of 20 to 30 individual ensembles of which during opening night only will be modeled with the accompaniment of traditional songs set to Preston Singletary’s latest jazz funk band called “Ku’eex.”  Directly after opening night, the ensembles will be placed on their respective mannequins.

Stay tuned for updates on the progress of our exhibit!


Curator Miranda Belarde-Lewis, Contemporary clothing designer Sho Sho Esquiro, and Ceremonial regalia-maker, Clarissa Rizal