Weaving in the Midst of Movement

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A birthday gift weaving loom from her daughter Lily, Clarissa weaves a Chilkat/Ravenstail neck “scarf” while fishing with friends; a beautiful partly sunny day on the east side of Shelter Island, Juneau, Alaska — June 2016

No matter what size my weaving loom, be it 7ft. wide, 4ft. wide, 3ft, 2 ft. or 1ft., all my looms are portable.  They have to be.  I am always on the move.

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The gallery and the fishing pole are proof, Clarissa is weaving while friends are fishing…a glorious place to weave as long as we keep the fish separate from the weaving!!!

For the past two years, I have been weaving four ensembles for my very first, and most likely my last, exhibit of weavings.  I’ve had financial support from several funding organizations that have helped pay nearly all of my personal and business expenses; this support has been a luxury.

The following are the organizations that have provided me grants to do this exhibit:

*  2015 Native Arts and Culture Foundation Fellowship Grant, Vancouver, Washington State

*  2015 1st People’s Fund Creative Capital Grant, Rapid City, South Dakota

*  2016 Tulsa Artist Residency, Tulsa, Oklahoma

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Clarissa’s weaving in the hotel room at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Hollywood, Florida — September 2016

I have been traveling a lot this year; all of it has been business-related where I squeeze in family visits when I can.  Portable weaving looms and financial support have enabled me to continue doing my other business-related work such as doing a presentation of my work during the NACF Board Meeting in Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood, Florida, and the following week to attend the annual Las Vegas Souvenir and Gift Show.

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With a refreshing treat of a small bowl of cherries, Clarissa gives herself a foot bath while weaving…

I’m teaching myself how to “relax” in the midst of movement, creativity, business and sometimes chaos.  Listen up weavers; if I can do it, so can you!

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One of three completed woven strips to be a part of an ensemble entitled “Girl Gaucho” — the ensemble is part of an exhibit “Layers of Love” opening at the Bill Reid Gallery in Vancouver, B.C. Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

I am living proof that we Chilkat and Ravenstail weavers can get our work done in the midst of movement!

 

“Weavers Across the Waters” Chilkat/Ravenstail Robe Update

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As of June 9th, 2016, these are the very first 5×5 contributions from the following weavers:  Stephany Anderson, Kay Parker, Willy White, Alfreda Lang, Sandy Gagnon, and Dolly Garza

Being the creator (or “mastermind as my Mother would have put it) of this community-based project, would I had known that when I have receive each of these priceless 5×5 woven Chilkat and Ravenstail weavings, I would feel such honor and a privilege to hold each one in the palm of my hands!?  Would I have known that I would feel such pure and raw power in each simple image!?  And would I have known that I would feel such intense protectiveness as I hand-carried these in my carry-on luggage; like worse than when I am transporting a robe that I have designed and made!?!? — In the purity of this power, I feel immense grace and lovingness; I feel such excitement and peace; I feel strength and healing; I feel the connectedness of all beings through the anticipation of connecting all of these weavers’ weavings together.  This is already a powerful robe.  My goodness, we share in the excitement and most likely all of what I feel too in the completion of this robe!

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As of today, July 13, 2016, we have 23 total contributions received from (top to bottom, L to R): Della Cheney, Margaret Woods, Douglas Gray, Lily Hope, Nila Rinehart, Kay Parker, Stephanie Andersen, William White, Karen Taug, Courtney Jensen, Alfreda Lang, Chloe French, Dolly Garza, Georgia Bennett, Rainy Kasko, John Beard, Michelle Gray, Marilee Peterson, Annie Ross, Sandy Gagnon, Pearl Innes, Veronica Ryan and Crystal Nelson

The past couple of nights since my return to Tulsa, which is where I will be working day and night on putting this robe together for the next month, I put a cloth cover over all the little weavings who lay side by side with one another, like the way we cover our weavings for the night.  Already these little ones have become dear.  —-  Thank you to all our present-day weavers who have contributed their talent through a piece of their spirit to become unified as one in this special, ceremonial robe.  We look forward to receiving the other 31 pieces due by the extended deadline of July 19th!

Remember to mail your contribution insured to me at:  Clarissa Rizal, 40 East Cameron Street #207, Tulsa, OK   74103

For more information on the mission and purpose of this robe, please visit the initial “invitational” blog post by clicking this link:  http://clarissarizal.com/blog/calling-all-chilkat-and-ravenstail-weavers/  

An Award Winner at SHI’s Juried Art Show 2016

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Clarissa Rizal’s 5-piece dance ensemble “Chilkat Child” wins Best of Weavings category at the Sealaska Heritage Institute’s Juried Art Show — Below the ensemble is Clarissa’s daughter, Lily Hope’s Chilkat dance apron — June 2016

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Surrounded by a painting by Alison Bremner, a carved and painted dance stafff by Archie Cavanaugh, Clarissa Rizal’s button robe “Northwest by Southwest II” wins Best of Sewing category at the Sealaska Heritage Institute’s Juried Art Show — June 2016

 

Tulsa Artists’ Coalition 5×5 Show & Sale

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Clarissa’s first two chalk pastels on canvas board — May 2016 — working in chalk pastel is new to Clarissa; she experimented with the medium first on the large canvas before tackling the smaller canvas (foreground)

It’s been the custom for me over the past few years that I donate some piece of artwork to a non-profit for a worthy cause; usually it’s a painting, or a print, but this time I tried my hand at something different because I had left all my paints, charcoals, etc. in my studio attic in Colorado.  I’d never worked with chalk pastels, and I was intimidated because I didn’t know if I could pull of creating something that I liked; Imagine that?  I doubted myself?   But, I didn’t have time to lose; I volunteered to donate an art piece for the Tulsa Artists’ Coalitions’ 5×5 Show and Sale and the deadline for submissions was in just two hours!  These two images I did in a matter of two hours.  The larger took about half hour; the smaller one took about one and a half hours!!!

So what is the Tulsa Artists’ Coaltion’s 5×5 Show and Sale?

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“Toasting the Saguaro” (or “Wendat Tlingit Visit Saguaro” — pastel by Clarissa Rizal — May 2016

Since 1999, the 5×5 has shined as an example of artists supporting artists–last year over 250 pieces measuring 5″x5″ in a variety of media were generously donated by artists from around the region and across the country.

On the day of the even, art buyers line up early outside the TAC Gallery for the opportunity to purchase their favorite 5×5 creation for $55.  At 5:55pm, doors open and the fun begins!  The show opens tonight, Friday, May 6th at the TAC Gallery in the Brady Arts District in downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma!

(There’s always a big long line for a couple of hours before the show opens, I kid you not.  Now for us Alaskans, waiting for a couple of hours before an art show opens is NOT in our DNA!  If we waited in line outdoors for any event, we’d be soaked to the bone, or freeze to death, or even possibly eaten by a bear, so we are not conditioned to stand in line for nothing!!!)

The excitement and support from artists and the art-buying public for this unique event has been tremendous.  IN addition to raising critical funding for TAC, the 5×5 provides buyers with an opportunity purchase, quality, affordable art while providing artists the opportunity to display their talents before the thousands of art patrons who visit the Brady Arts District each month.

100%of the proceeds from the 5×5 directly benefits local artists through the TAC Gallery.

About TAC:  TAC has supported local artists for 30 years by providing exhibit opportunities for emerging artists and artists who work may not fit into a traditional commerial gallery.  TAC is proud to be a pioneer in the Brady Arts District—one of a handful of independent artists and art groups that initially established the neighborhood as an arts district.  TAC has held opening receptions Frist Friday since 1996 and worked with the Brady Arts District Business Association in establishing what is now known as the First Friday Art Crawl.

TAC is an all-volunteer, independent non-profit arts organiaation, with the majority of funding from memberships and the 5×5 event.

 

 

The “Chilkat Mask”

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“Chilkat Mask” in shades of blue — Clarissa Rizal — 2016

During my “spring break”, for the first time ever, I actually took a real spring break, like an actual, much-needed vacation. During the vacation I hugged and played with my grandchildren, visited my kids, romped around the desert with my friend Rene, and in between when nobody was looking, I wove this Chilkat Mask!  Yep, it can be worn as an actual mask.  I wove it with the same shades of blue weft yarns I dyed a couple of years ago and I am using the main bulk of the blue yarns for my most recent Chilkat robe called “Egyptian Thunderbird.”  This mask will be in an exhibit  of Northwest Coast Native masks at the Stonington Gallery in Seattle, Washington opening Thursday, June 2nd.  Most of the masks at this show will be in carved wood, or in jewelry, and I doubt very much there will be a mask like this one that is woven; we’ll see.  My “Chilkat Mask” may be the first of its kind, I don’t know.  Come on down to the Stonington and let’s see!  I’ll be there!

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cloth-covered wires were inserted, hanging down with the warp, only in the central part of the Chilkat mask …this is to give the mask some structure with flexible capabilities to form to any human face — “Chilkat Mask” by Clarissa Rizal — 2016

 

Clarissa’s Latest Button Blanket Robe: “The River Robe”

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“The River Robe” — latest button blanket robe by Clarissa Rizal in memory of her mother, father and brother — December 2015

When we were kids fishing with our mother at Fish Creek out North Douglas Highway near Eaglecrest in Juneau, Alaska, (this was back in the late 60’s), our mother recalled a memory from her childhood as she looked upon the shallow creek of a few salmon running upstream, and said:  “…In the olden days there were fish so thick we could walk across their backs to the other side…” — This is the name and meaning of this button robe.

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Using dark Mother-of-Pearl buttons, antique fishing lures and 100% wool appliqued on wool, Clarissa added Czech crystal beads to the tips of the hooks…for safety purposes!

Back in the mid-90’s, I began collecting antique fishing lures.  I bought some from an elderly Swedish man at a garage sale on Saltspring Island, bought some from a garage sale in Juneau, bought some at antique stores wherever I happen to be and whenever I thought of it: in Oregon, Washington State, California and Colorado.  I had every intention of designing and creating a series of button robes embellished with the antique lures. In my vision, the button robes were in honor of all our fishermen from any culture out there in the open ocean, big and small rivers and tiny creeks, all fishing for their supper, their families, and for putting up for winter.

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The border of Mother-of-Pearl “salmon eggs” and MOP simulated “fishing hooks” and antique fishing lures — copyright 2015, Clarissa Rizal

Finally, 4 weeks later, I completed the robe today!  The entire time I worked on this robe, I thought of my father and my two older brothers who all were commercial fisherman and fished for themselves, family, friends and community.  And of course, I thought of my mother whose statement she made over 50 years ago was still remembered by her eldest daughter who just had to name a robe in honor of her childhood recollection.  Here’s to my Mom, Dad, Brothers, and all who love salmon fishing!

 

Latest Painting

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“Underwater Curtain of Life” acrylic on canvas, 8″w x 24″h —  by Clarissa Rizal — 2015

This is what happens when you spend a few hours with the granddaughter and daughter on a snowy afternoon with all kinds of other obligations to do but who wants to do them when baby, it’s cold outside!?

(Yes, it is true.  Unless otherwise noted, most of my work on my blog is for sale.)  Contact me if you are interested.

 

“Northwest By Southwest II” Buttonrobe

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A very similar version of the original robe of the same name minus the #2 of “Northwest By Southwest II” button robe, recently completed by Clarissa Rizal

This is a photo of the original buttonrobe entitled “Northwest by Southwest” made in 1999.  This is my most favorite button robe I’ve ever designed and made.  This past summer, my son-in-law gave me some of the same background fabric that he found while searching for blankets on eBay.   This same fabric I bought nearly 30 years ago in Santa Fe, New Mexico,  so I was absolutely thrilled to have enough to make a second “NW x SW” button robe, hence the name “NW x SW II…!”

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

Catch a close-up of the fabric detail as Clarissa irons “NW x SW II” button robe with her brand new “Rowenta” Steamer Iron

If you are interested in purchasing this robe, just give me a holler!  I will have this robe available for sale at the Clan Conference in Juneau next weekend, October 28-November 1st.  If a happy buyer does not snatch it up during the conference, I will have it available for viewing and sale at the Haa Shagoon Gallery in Juneau.  Remember:  Christmas is coming!

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

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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:

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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

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

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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!

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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

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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

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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

8DanCorely

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

 

10Elizabeth&MichaelKirk

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

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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

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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