I’m an Artisan Designer; Fur and Leather Keep Me Warm

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artisan designer1, house boots
Samples of my exclusive house boots, an harmonious blend of various fabrics, leather and furs.

As the cold weather settles in for another few months, I cuddle in my small country home on the Bay of Fundy. I put on my beaver house-boots and my wool sweater and thank Mother Nature for offering me all I need to keep us warm.

Living in a remote community on the Fundy shore, I am awed by the highest tides in the world. Surrounded by nature and silence, I bow to the sea which brings fish and clams to my table, and to the forests that supply firewood to keep my house cosy and wildlife to complement the seafood

My sewing skills make it possible to make clothing and accessories that will keep us comfortable.

artisan designer2
My African seal and coyote jacket.

Living in harmony with this environment, I relish a dream come true after fantasizing about it through all those years of living in some of the mega-cities of the world, a world surrounded by cement and pollution and so reinvented by humans that they can forget where they come from and who they are.

Real Meaning of Sustainability

I was introduced to fur design by professional furriers and artisans who put their skills at work to produce beautiful garments from a natural and renewable resource. Working in the Northern regions of our beautiful country, I’ve discovered the real meaning of sustainability of our natural resources.

I am thankful to the organizations who oversee good management and a respectful attitude toward our natural resources.

I am disappointed by negative and false information still spread by some organizations, sadly giving real environmentalism a bad name while imposing hardship on real people. At a time when “anti-bullying” and other forms of negative behavior are topics of public interest, we should wonder if this sentiment should perhaps apply here.

SEE ALSO: AMAZING FACTS ABOUT FUR: DRESSING FOR THE ARCTIC

Be Strong, Be Proud

While attending a recent event where I was able to display my creations, I was overwhelmed by the interest of people asking questions about the different furs in my booth, and reaching out to touch them. Often I heard the comment: “I am nervous about wearing furs … someone might attack me on the street”.

I reply that they should be strong and be proud of wearing creations from the natural world. Every time I wear my fur coat, people come to me wanting to know what it’s made of and often comment on how beautiful it is.

Meanwhile, as I’m looking out the window at the ice moving with the tides, I am sewing and transforming a seal pelt from a vision into a beautiful garment.

artisan designer3, Glooscap, Cape Split, Bay of Fundy
The spectacular view from my studio, with Cape Split on the horizon. This is the land of the creator Glooscap of Mi’kmaq mythology.

 


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4 Comments

  • I really enjoyed your article, I received my education on the use of animal pelts for comfortable & durable items. My father (step father) was part Native American, my grandmother taught me how to make a wide variety of products. From moccasins, mukluks, coats, and gloves, all as a method to use all of the animal parts when we would hunt.
    I have always kept my pelt working skills within the family due to the stigma, and ignorant views that come from the views and opinions of a society that builds viewpoints without true non-biased research. I learned to hunt because feeding my family, through hunting wild game that spent its life in its natural habitat. Working with furs allowed the use of the entire animal. Now my grandma gets a comfortable pair of moccasins as house slippers every year, or other items that can be useful.
    My entire life was filled with educational opportunities learning how to survive in the harshest environment. Navigate using classic orienteering skills, and fun with a gps features.
    One of the most useful skills I was taught, was tracking animals and later people (search and rescue member), but also animal behavior or ethology.
    The things I learned provided me the necessary knowledge to work with captive wolves, help with researching wild wolves (tracking, tagging, and researching.) I was given the opportunity to learn how to operate radio telemetry and assist wolf biologists to gather data neceasary for helping the species.
    Recently, I’ve began look into operating as a trapper/furtrader, the biggest decision that I’ve been trying to decide on, has been sales of pelts alone, or handmade product sales. I have the capacity to operate either one, but do not have the info on which is a better decision? Then I’ve also had the thought of doing both, some custom handmade product, as well as selling hides alone, but gaining the knowledge needed to decide which path is best, requires information I dont have. Basically, which has the best chance to make a quality income?

    This article was great, information on the option of a skill/hobby becoming a source of income. Also, that the role of trapper is something that is not viewed as negatively as I believed. So thank you

  • What I could see from your post, your designs are lovely. I too, am looking forward to getting into my black mink and Finnish racoon trimmed coat!!

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