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Seminole Patchwork Borders

Clarissa Rizal: Alaska Native Artist Blog - Thu, 05/07/2015 - 4:04am

A roll of Seminole Indian Patchwork waits to become borders for button blanket robes designed and made by Clarissa Rizal

Back in 2005, I was given the honor to design and create a button blanket robe for a prominent elder in our community, Ethel Lund.  The border of the robe was a Seminole Indian patchwork trimmed out with Navajo ribbon work.  The robe is called “Frog Speaks” — it is part of my button blanket collection on my website at this link:  http://clarissarizal.com/gallery/button-robes/

I have several feet of this roll of Seminole Indian patchwork wide enough for the borders to a couple of button blanket robes — with all the designs and options of fabrics, etc., it’s so hard to make up my mind how I want them to turn out!  The possibilities are endless!  You ever have that problem!?


Categories: Arts & Culture

Clarissa’s Studio Part 1: The “Living Room”

Clarissa Rizal: Alaska Native Artist Blog - Mon, 05/04/2015 - 4:00am

The Hibiscus blooms fully in Clarissa’s living room

Folks wonder where the heck I live and work; there are only a handful of people who have seen the inside of my studio home, so I figured I would introduce the general public to where I play music, weave, write, sew, draw, paint (and sorry, I won’t be introducing you to my bedroom!).   I work full-time and a half and live part of my year in a remodeled two car garage in the most beautiful part of Colorado.  The studio has no running water, no sewer and has insufficient heat in the wintertime, but I wear my sheepskin boots, sheepskin hat and gloves during the days and sleep in fleece and sweatpants during the bitter cold months in December, January and sometimes February.  Yes, I am working towards someday having a real home though it is gonna take awhile.

The sun sets upon the Easter lilies with what I call  “middle-aged-ladies’-flowers” geraniums blooming in the background

Over the next three months, 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

Clarissa’s hand-made Northwest Coast Tlingit carved harp with abalone inlay was recently repaired after nearly 25 years of collecting dust in the attic

I use sheer, white/off-white curtains to divide my spaces.  Since the space is one big room, I want some sense of controlling the cold and heat, keep each work space free from distractions from other projects in the other work spaces, and to create privacy when needed.  For example, compare the above photograph showing the closed curtains behind the couch, and then the open curtains in the photograph below exposing the small kitchenette.  In all posts of the “Clarissa’s Studio Series” take note where I use the curtains.

The open curtains exposes Clarissa’s kitchenette

I live a secluded life during the Fall/Winter in Colorado in comparison to my very social life during the Spring/Summer in Alaska and most recently Yukon.  In Colorado, I fulfill my need for privacy and seclusion, and other than hanging with my grandchildren and children, my main focus is my work; I work 70- 80 hours per week to create as much as I can within the time frame because once I land in Alaska, life is not about me, it’s about including others.  Because I was born and bred in Alaska, and I remain true to my roots and heritage so I attend Native functions and teach classes, and I must harvest my berries and salmon, and I have many long-term friends and family, and the hours of daylight are long and wonderful, so it is very challenging to get any work done, who has time to work indoors!?!?  There are beaches to be walked, oceans to ride, branches to brush aside and big trees to rest under, and always with others!

Clarissa’s music room

So every Springtime before I leave for Alaska, I absorb my serenity and look about me at the little bit of charm I’ve created herewithin, and I appreciate the stillness and silence while I create, create, create.  Life is good as I nourish both aspects of this Gemini being!

Easter lilies at sunset in Clarissa’s music living room; and I’m sure you’ve noticed Clarissa’s red, tenor ukelele to the right!

Categories: Arts & Culture

Superintendent speaks out about student privacy rights

Juneau School District Announcements - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 2:40pm

Supe's On  - Welcome to the Superintendent's Blog

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Categories: Arts & Culture

School District Report on Investigation into Hazing

Juneau School District Announcements - Wed, 08/27/2014 - 4:35pm

The Juneau School District has concluded our investigation into allegations that on or about May 30-31 of this year a group of incoming senior boys hazed/initiated a group of incoming freshmen boys by paddling them multiple times.

These events were first brought to our attention in early June. At that time the district began an initial investigation, which, due to an active police investigation and summer vacation, was put on hold. When we were informed that the police had concluded their investigation we resumed our efforts.

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Categories: Arts & Culture


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