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Alaska Native Artist - Accentuating Tlingit Traditions
Updated: 18 hours 15 min ago

Moving Me

Mon, 06/01/2015 - 4:12am

Clarissa’s late afternoon Tai Chi – Colorado

Over the past couple months I’ve gotten back into Tai Chi; it helps my aging bone structure to feel a bit more limber.  Tai Chi is a tool to keep up your physical and spiritual circulation – 20 years ago when I took up Tai Chi, I only did it for about two years then I quit…I got involved in too much of my business life, family and working-on-the-house-and-garden-life,  and although I loved the movement, I didn’t make it a priority to keep it in my life.  Not like now; I do a lot of sitting, so I’ve got to do something that “moves” me…!

Categories: Arts & Culture

How to Cut Sea Otter Fur

Sat, 05/30/2015 - 4:00am

Like most furs, cut sea otter fur from the back side using a very sharp xacto blade or an old-fashioned shaving blade – Clarissa Rizal 2015

Sea otter, mink and beaver furs are generally used to trim the top edge of Chilkat and Ravenstail robes.  I mark on the back side of the pelt about 1/4″ strips.  Always cut using a sharp, fine blade along your mark.  Try to lift up the pelt as you cut so the blade does not touch the surface of the table; you want to avoid making defined cuts in the fur line.   Like anything it takes practice to cut along your defined lines so be easy on yourself!

Categories: Arts & Culture

Studio Part 2: “Clarissa’s Kitchenette”

Thu, 05/28/2015 - 4:00am

“Clarissa’s Kitchenette” includes the basics: microwave, Fridge, Water, hot pot, with table and chairs!

“Clarissa’s Kitchenette” is the 2nd of a 9-part series introducing my readers to my humble studio where I live and work.  The 1st part of the series is called “Clarissa’s Studio Part 1:  The Livingroom.”  “Clarissa’s Kitchenette” does not have running water nor plumbing, so there is limited eating and/or cooking that goes on in this space, though I still have the kitchenette basics:  microwave, fridge, bottled water and a hot pot!  (And to the very right of my water jug is my metal cabinet tool box covered by a South American weaving).

Three, small, metal cups rest under the water spicket ready for small hands of thirsty grandchildren in “Clarissa’s Kitchenette”

Grandmothers must always be prepared when their grandchildren come to visit, even if it is just one who lives next door!  And when the others come to town, well then, they gotta share their cups now, don’t they (until of course, Grandma fetches 4 more cups to accommodate!).

Always prepared to share a quick snack in “Clarissa’s Kitchenette”

High dining table and chairs have become the style; at first I didn’t like that, however, I like the height for certain things, especially eating.  To the very left is my free-standing, 6′ acrylic painting on canvas stretched across a curved column entitled, “Totemic Theories.”  Hand-made ceramic bowls are being collected one-at-a-time from Durango Pottery and woven placemats and napkins from Pier 1  via gift to me from grandmothers-in-law, Charla Ellis.  “Leaf” plates are from Walmart about 10 years ago.   A Northwest Coast shower curtain designed by Morales hangs between the kitchenette and the bedroom.

View into the “Studio Living Room” from “Clarissa’s Kitchenette”

Throughout my studio, I have weavings from various parts of the world.  In the above photo, on the wall is a field of geese with children walking camels past a lone house.  This weaving was hand-made by young teen-agers in Egypt.  The woven rugs and pillow coverings in the living room were made by the Zapotec in Mexico.  In the rest of my studio, I have rugs woven in Tibet, a Nepalese prayer rug, a large, English tapestry, a large, woven box from Sweden, an Irish throw from County Clare, and throughout my studio, my trash cans are large woven “baskets”.  Other baskets are from Africa, China, India, etc, and then of course, I use cedar bark baskets to hold my weft yarns.  Then not to mention my bedroom wicker set with carvings, and my wicker living room furniture.  It wasn’t until about a month ago, I came to realize my surroundings are full of weavings!  Golly, does this mean I am really watch you might call a weaver?

Categories: Arts & Culture

Clarissa’s Planning Methods

Mon, 05/25/2015 - 4:12am

The inside pocket of Clarissa’s Franklin Covey Daily Planner

Nearly 40 years I’ve been a multi-tasking artist, mother, partner, etc.; in order to accomplish the variety of tasks I set for myself (being that kind of intense, goal-oriented kind of personality), I had a college-ruled, spiral bound notebook for every aspect of my daily, weekly, monthly activities.  Each notebook was dedicated to recording all the dates and necessary information to accomplish goals in each of these categories:

  • Household/garden/vehicles
  • My art business Clarissa Rizal LLC
  • Family members & relatives
  • Ex’s business

I had no idea there were such things as daily planners until about 10 years ago…!  Like where in the heck was I raised!?

The zippered pleather Franklin Covey Daily Planner’

I eliminated usage of spiral bound notebooks; I like keeping all my information in one compact place.  I refer to my daily planner periodically all day long, seven days a week.  I ordered this Franklin Covey daily planner, brand spanking new from Ebay for only $25 which retails at about $70.  I scored.  For a personality like mine, a daily planner is a must for all I plan on accomplishing.

The inside week sheets of the Franklin Covey Daily Planner

Of course, I plan the week with standard Franklin Covey sheets (shown above).  Then there’s the daily routine of “chores” which I check off daily in my custom-designed printed columns (shown below) by my daughter, Ursala Hudson.  I indicate phonecalls, emails and texts I must place for the day or week, along with any blog post ideas and/or updates, record the number of hours I weave or number of hours sewing a buttonrobe, contact information for a supplier or appointments at the docs or dates with the family and/or friends.    The most pleasurable act of keeping track of my goals is checking off the box when I complete each task!  Yep, that simple act of defining an accomplishment!

Divider are custom personalized prints of daily and weekly details created by Ursala Hudson, indpendent artist & designer

Categories: Arts & Culture

Ultimate Rack for Prepared Wool

Sat, 05/23/2015 - 4:00am

An antique clothes drying rack gifted to me from fellow artist Cecil Touch almost 20 years ago

I have used this antique clothes drying rack to hold prepared wool for nearly 20 years.  It’s collapsible, easy to store, lightweight yet sturdy.  I prepare all my wool and cedar bark before I begin spinning the Chilkat warp needed for a robe.  This type of rack comes in very handy.  It has many “spokes” to the wheel that stem out from the center as shown in the photo above, so I can prepare enough wool for at least 600 yards of warp.

Categories: Arts & Culture

90th Birthday Party With Aprons For All

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 4:00am

Apron patterns of various sizes from babies to adult laid out to be cut

My children’s paternal grandmother celebrated her 90th birthday this past Sunday on May 17th with her 2 children, 6 grand children and 8 great-grandchildren.  For her birthday present, I sewed up Alaskan-inspired aprons.

Sewing the pockets

10 years ago I had bought $600 worth of fabrics for a large wall mural that I was supposed to create for the Alaska Psychiatric Institute, but they re-nigged on the project so all the fabrics hung out in my attic until most recently.  Out of the collection I chose a few fabrics with colors of the Alaskan landscape, particularly the blue-berries!

The stack of finished aprons

The sizes of aprons ranged to fit people who were 4, 6, 9 and 16-month to 3 and 5-year old and two 7-year-olds and of course one for Great Grandma Shirley!  Though I was on a time crunch with all my other projects and business, I had such a blast during the making of these aprons!  I am reminded once again how much I love to sew for those I love and I get a kick in the pants dressing up people, whether for a birthday party, wedding or a traditional Native ceremony!

All the kids and great grandma wear their aprons….Left to Right front row: Violet Hudson, Great Grandma Shirley, Amelie Haas, Louis Hope — L to R back row: Ursala Hudson holds Simone Haas, Rowenn Kalman holds Aisley Salas, Elizabeth Hope, Lily Hope holds Eleanor Hope, Ishmael Hope holds Mary Goodwin


Categories: Arts & Culture


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