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!

 

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