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Alaska Native Artist - Accentuating Tlingit Traditions
Updated: 17 hours 53 min ago

Klarissa’s Kool Klean Kanteen Kontainer

Mon, 06/29/2015 - 4:12am

Necessary Kold or hot drinks Kontained in Klarissa’s Kool Klean Kanteen

When my friend Margie gifted me this thermos last Fall 2014, I thought it was sweet, nifty and thoughtful of her.  Little had I known I would use this precious gem at least once a day every day since!  It’s the perfect size, not too big, not too small.  I’ve traveled the ferry south from Juneau to Bellingham with it in my stateroom, traveled in my Chilkat Mobile along the West Coast down to Los Angelos over the Phoenix, up to Santa Fe and then Colorado.

This thermos keeps your hot drink hot for about 5 or 6 hours; keeps your cold drinks cold for about the same time.

I keep it handy at my side while I am at my desk, my drawing table, my sewing table, coffee table during music and of course my weaving loom.  It’s been my pal, my confidant (yes, sometimes I actually talk to it), and obviously my traveling buddy!  Yep, hot or kold drinks keep me hydrated serving me well…THE Klarissa’s Kool Klean Kanteen…!  Go out and get one for yourself!  Or better yet, maybe somebody will gift one to you…!

Thank you dear Margaret!

Categories: Arts & Culture

Lifelong Sewing Basket

Thu, 06/25/2015 - 4:00am

My 50-year-old antique sewing basket was given to me for my 9th birthday from my Mother, Irene Lampe

This little sewing basket has sentimental value to my life as a designer and maker of button robes, a costume designer for theatre and a seamstress who sewed all my own clothing for myself, family and friends for many years,… and now my grandchildren.

Today is our mother’s birthday.  She would have been 90 years old.  I don’t know if she remembers giving me this gift for my 9th birthday and I have used this little treasure box for 50 years and will most likely continue to do so until my own passing.  I don’t know if she ever saw this basket at my sewing table; though, for some reason it would be nice for her to know that I have used this little treasure box and have never replaced it with anything else.

Back in March I was online searching for small sewing baskets for each of my oldest grand-daughters and to my delight, I came across some of these baskets for sale — though none of them had the plastic tray!  If any of my readers happen to come across these baskets (that include the plastic tray), I would appreciate it if you would please contact me!

Thank you Mom, for your thoughtfulness.  I have always appreciated your support.

Categories: Arts & Culture

Alaskan Salmon Berry Pie

Mon, 06/22/2015 - 11:36am

Fresh-picked salmon berries – Auke Bay, Alaska

A few Juneau Chilkat and Ravenstail weavers gather together for a meal hosted by one of the weavers at their home; then we weave afterwards.  The “Wednesdaynite Weavers” we could call ourselves.  A couple of Wednesdays ago, Nila and Laine Rinehart brought fresh Salmonberry pies for dessert – none of us had had this taste before; not like this!!!

Recipe for fresh salmonberry pie!

A couple of days ago, my friend Lis and I went out to her secret berry patch in Auke Bay – we picked all we could BUT we had to leave some berries behind because we didn’t have enough time nor any other containers!!!  We picked enough to make about three standard size pies, or as the photo below suggests:  2 large and 3 small pies!  Just in time for Father’s Day!

Instructions for making salmonberry pie!

NOTE:  I suggest you cut the cardamom in half….use only 1 tsp instead of 2 tsp!  In our opinion, 1 tsp of cardamom in the mixture is sufficient!

Additional notes…

Some folks may not like the unique flavor of cardamom which if I am not mistaken is a key ingredient in Chi Tea.  If you are a creative baker, you may experiment with other flavors to enhance the quality of this wonderful-tasting berry pie…!  Salmon berries are unlike any other berry — they are the first of our berry season in Southeast Alaska!

2 large and 3 small Salmon Berry Pies celebrating Father’s Day 2015!

 

Categories: Arts & Culture

Clarissa’s Studio Part 5: “The Office”

Sun, 06/21/2015 - 4:00am

Clarissa’s desk sports a 6-year-old Samsung “SyncMaster XL2370″ monitor linked to her 6-year-old MacBook

10 years ago, I didn’t even know how to turn on a computer.  I refused to spend any time in the world of technology; like why would I need it, right?  There’s only so much time in the day and I’d rather create than look at a computer screen for hours.  Even though I had an official website since 1998 when most artists did not (only because my friend Cecil insisted I had a website so he created it), for the first nearly 8 years whenever I received an email from someone commenting on my work on my website, I always had to ask my kids to pull up my website to see what the inquirer was talking about and at that time it was a chore to do so!  Since then, my attitude has changed.  I had to surrender to the fact that every business interaction was all on line; there was no need for a hard copy of anything.  Not even what’s inside my wallet.

Clarissa’s office in relationship to her living room

My attitude changed too when I began taking control of how my website required many choices: the lay out, the choice of colors, the photographs, the text, etc.  I began to see the artistry of a website design.  I truly appreciate having a daughter in the family who enjoys creating websites.  She also encouraged me to blog nearly 5 years ago even though I initially resisted.

Clarissa’s office in relationship to her sewing space

In reality, I spend 1/3 of my year creating actual product, 1/3 doing administrative work, and 1/3 doing marketing.  Creating actual artwork is the best part; maintaining the business end of keeping one’s self from being a starving artist is 2/3 the work which includes: drafting up proposals, applying for grants, responding to emails, attending to bookkeeping, keeping track of receipts, applying to do art markets or artist residencies, doing the taxes, packaging and shipping artwork, preparing for, traveling to, attending and setting up/taking down an art market, researching and ordering supplies, updating the website, photographing the art, comparing insurance, posting blog entries, maintaining the vehicle, cleaning and maintaining the work space, and filing papers, etc.

Clarissa’s office from the perspective of the kitchenette

I spend at least half of my time as an artist in business on the computer.  I spend at least half my time sitting in this office.  Some artists have enough income to pay someone else to do the administrative/marketing aspect.  I have yet to make that kind of income to afford even a rental with running water and sewer,  let alone an administrative assistant.  Though some day you will know when I have an administrative assistant.  She will be the one who answers the call from you!

Clarissa’s weaving area from the perspective of her office

People wonder if I even have a home.  Folks want to know where I live and work because it seems I travel a lot (though I have yet to afford a vacation.).  “Clarissa’s Studio” is a 9-part series showing the 9 areas of Clarissa’s studio where I work full-time and live part of the year in Pagosa Springs, Colorado.  As you know by now, I remodeled a 2-car garage about 10 years ago as a studio without running water or sewer system because I had no plans of using this space as a place of residence.  I had no idea that years later, because of big changes in my personal life, I would not be able to afford paying rent anywhere else. so for nearly 4 years I have weathered insufficient heat during the winter and the inconveniences of not having a real kitchen and a bathroom, until someday I can afford a real home.

Over the next three months (starting this past May),  I will introduce you to various parts of my humble 700 sq.ft. sanctuary divided into sections.  Here are the parts of “Clarissa’s Studio Series”:

  • “The Living Room” where I play music, read, crochet, knit and clear out the coffee table to do Tai Chi;
  • “The Office” where I draft proposals, emails, FB,  grants, letters, update my website and post blog entries;
  • “The Sewing Space” where I sew button robes and clothing for the grandkids;
  • “The Weaving Space” for all my Chilkat and Ravenstail weaving projects on various size looms;
  • “The Grand Table Space” where I do large layouts of robe pattern designs and cut the applique for button robes;
  • “The Drawing Room” where I sketch and finalize drawings for robes, paintings, collages and book illustrations;
  • “The Painting/Collage-making” where I create just that, along with printing limited edition Giclee’ prints and shrinkwrapping them;
  • “Clarissa’s Kitchenette” where I zap an occasional Amy’s TV dinner for lunch and I keep a modest supply of drinking water;
  • “Clarissa’s Storage Units” for beautiful and practical storage of all weaving, spinning, sewing, dyeing, beadworking supplies and recent collection of books

The first three  blog entries on “Clarissa’s Studio” series include:

Part 1:  “The Livingroom” at:  http://clarissarizal.com/blog/clarissas-studio-part-1-the-living-room/

Part 2:  “The Kitchenette” at:  http://clarissarizal.com/blog/studio-part-2-clarissas-kitchenette/

Part 3:  “The Drawing Room” at:  http://clarissarizal.com/blog/clarissas-studio-part-3-the-drawing-area/

Part 4 — “The Beautiful, Practical Storage Unit” at:  http://clarissarizal.com/blog/clarissas-studio-part-4-beautiful-practical-storage-unit/

Categories: Arts & Culture

Where Are Your Glasses?

Sat, 06/20/2015 - 4:00am

A hand-built ceramic platter created by my daughter Ursala Hudson – 2005

As you may know by now, I like to know where all my tools are, so when the time comes where I need them, I can grab it in an instant.  Especially reading glasses!

Categories: Arts & Culture

Clarissa’s Studio Part 4: Beautiful, Practical Storage Unit

Thu, 06/18/2015 - 4:12am

10′ wide x 7′ high, beautiful, functional cherry wood entertainment center converted into a storage unit

A month ago I fetched this beautiful, solid wood “entertainment center” off of a craigslist ad in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  I had been searching for about two weeks on Craigslists in Denver, Salt Lake City, Flagstaff, Santa Fe, Phoenix and Albuquerque.   Yep, once I saw this beauty, nothing was gonna stop me; I went and got what I had envisioned and drove it back home.  Everyone thought I was nuts to drive so far, that is of course until they saw it in my studio!

I replaced the storage boxes under the desks; I replaced the various sizes and mismatch of dressers and cabinets; I replaced the disorderly appearance with a unified, beautiful, functional piece of furniture that makes this part of my studio look like (I quote from a family member):  “…wow, this place looks like something out of an old museum…!”

Where the TV is supposed to go…

I store all my dyeing supplies in one part, my weaving supplies in another, along with my spinning supplies, sewing supplies, beadwork supplies and picnic/camping baskets.  And lest I forget to mention, this wooden ensemble of 3 pieces cost $350 in excellent condition.  The seller said he bought it 10 years ago for $3500.00.

I placed a wooden closet bar across the top and hung three fabric sweater closet shelving

 

The top shelf inside each end cabinet features a recessed light showcasing all hand-made items including Northwest coast glasswork, beadwork, carvings, pottery and masks.  Sitting on top of the left cabinet is my hand-made Swedish musical instrument called the “Hummel”; on top of the center cabinet is my carved and painted “bentwood box” I made for my mother as a Mother’s Day gift in 1972, and on top of the right cabinet, are a painted box with the “Step Into the Light” NWC design created back in 1981, along with my trusty leather hand-made hat from “Head-N-Home” and my feathered headband made by “Feathered Flies.”

I was always unsatisfied with my previous layout of this part of my studio due to all the mismatch and irregularity of storage.  I wanted something that helped me be more sufficient as well as easy on the eyes.  This has been a pleasure.  If you ever find yourself in the same boat I was once in, do yourself a favor, choose unified beauty!

The grand work table to the left of the grand storage unit

Folks want to know where I live and work because it seems I travel a lot (though I have yet to afford a vacation.)  “Clarissa’s Studio” is a 9-part series showing the 9 areas of Clarissa’s studio where I work full-time and live part of the year in Pagosa Springs, Colorado.  As you know by now, I remodeled a 2-car garage about 10 years ago as a studio without running water or sewer system because I had no plans of using this space as a place of residence.  I had no idea that years later, because of big changes in my personal life, I would not be able to afford paying rent anywhere else. so for nearly 4 years I have weathered insufficient heat during the winter and the inconveniences of not having a real kitchen and a bathroom, until someday I can afford a real home.

Over the next three months (starting this past May),  I will introduce you to various parts of my humble 700 sq.ft. sanctuary divided into sections.  Here are the parts of “Clarissa’s Studio Series”:

  • “The Living Room” where I play music, read, crochet, knit and clear out the coffee table to do Tai Chi;
  • “The Office” where I draft proposals, emails, FB,  grants, letters, update my website and post blog entries;
  • “The Sewing Space” where I sew button robes and clothing for the grandkids;
  • “The Weaving Space” for all my Chilkat and Ravenstail weaving projects on various size looms;
  • “The Grand Table Space” where I do large layouts of robe pattern designs and cut the applique for button robes;
  • “The Drawing Room” where I sketch and finalize drawings for robes, paintings, collages and book illustrations;
  • “The Painting/Collage-making” where I create just that, along with printing limited edition Giclee’ prints and shrinkwrapping them;
  • “Clarissa’s Kitchenette” where I zap an occasional Amy’s TV dinner for lunch and I keep a modest supply of drinking water;
  • “Clarissa’s Storage Units” for beautiful and practical storage of all weaving, spinning, sewing, dyeing, beadworking supplies and recent collection of books

The first three  blog entries on “Clarissa’s Studio” series include:

Part 1:  “The Livingroom” at:  http://clarissarizal.com/blog/clarissas-studio-part-1-the-living-room/

Part 2:  “The Kitchenette” at:  http://clarissarizal.com/blog/studio-part-2-clarissas-kitchenette/

Part 3:  “The Drawing Room” at:  http://clarissarizal.com/blog/clarissas-studio-part-3-the-drawing-area/

Categories: Arts & Culture

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