Photo Courtesy: Bird's Eye Inc.
Photo Courtesy: Bird
Artisan Profiles
Greta Michelin
Born in North West River in 1940, Greta grew up in Happy Valley - Goose Bay and on Birch Island before choosing to make her home in Rigolet in 1970. Inspired by her friends, Greta didn't discover her knack for crafting until her late 40's. In addition to moose hide slippers, which only take her a day and a half to make, she also does beautiful grasswork.

Jason Shiwak
A versatile artist, Jason enjoys drawing, making seal skin clothing, working with canvas, and carving in both soapstone and wood. He grew up in Rigolet where, as a child, he first developed an interest in art watching his uncle Jack Shiwak. Jason draws inspiration for his unique designs from his dreams and the stories his father used to tell about his life and Inuit spirituality. When asked about specific preparation for his crafts, Jason responds that I depends on what he's making, and that it takes "sometimes weeks, sometimes seconds." Apart from one short carving course he's taken, Jason is a completely self-taught artist and is incredibly creative with his crafts.

Susan Riche
Susan was born in 1926 in Big Bright. She later moved to Seal Cove and then finally settled in the Rigolet area with her husband George in 1948. At age 22, her interest in traditional crafts was sparked by George, who sews grass. She specializes in grass work, sealskin boots, and knitting, which she learned on her own. She incorporates elaborate designs on her work because "it makes the piece look nice."

Linda Palliser
Lind was born and raised in Happy-Valley - Goose Bay but spent her summers in Rigolet, where she moved permanently in 1987. She began crafting at age eight, encouraged by both her mother, an avid crafter, and her father, who insisted that "homemade is always better." A versatile craftswoman, Linda taught Lifeskills at Northern Lights Academy for Three years, but her specialties lie in grass work, moose hide boots, and slippers, as well as knitted socks.

Ruth Pottle
Born and raised in Cartwright and now living in Rigolet, Ruth began crafting at age fifteen. Her system of making crafts is more relaxed; it can take her up to two weeks to completely finish a piece. In crafting, she finds a certain peace in its intricacies and attention to fine detail. Now the current Lifeskills instructor at Northern Lights Academy, Ruth's preferred crafts include, beading, embroidery, grass work, Inuit dolls, mittens, and dickies.

Derrick Pottle
Derrick was born in Happy Valley - Goose Bay and moved to Rigolet as a child. Growing up, he discovered his love for carving and has fostered it and developed it ever since. His interest in carving stemmed more from practicality than anything else. He notes that "it just kind of developed from the time when we were growing up. We just made our own toys, or boats, or komatiks. Working mainly with soapstone, serpentine, and bone, he expertly and beautifully captures the likeliness of local wildlife, including bears and whales. Derick has been carving seriously for more than fifteen years and has been selling his work for about six years. He enjoys it because it is an opportunity to work with his hands and it keeps him busy.

Belinda Shiwak
Belinda grew up in Rocky Cove, and moved to Rigolet at the age of fifteen. She became interested in traditional crafts by watching her parents and her grandparents, and under their guidance she started sewing grass at the age of seven. In addition to grass work, Belinda makes moccasins, slippers, Black sealskin boots, and knits.

Bertha Blake
Bertha was born in Peace cove, but has lived in Rigolet all of her life. She was always interested in traditional crafts but didn't start making them herself until age twenty. Now, a seasoned professional, depending on the size of the piece, she can start and finish a craft in one day. Bertha is especially fond of sewing grass, but she also knits, makes dickies, and Chimo caps.

Bertha Flowers
Born and raised in Rigolet, Bertha first became interested in traditional crafts more than thirty years ago, and started making them just before she got married. Bertha was twenty-five when she had the idea to patch up her old blankets to make them look more fancy. Innovative with her materials, Bertha creatively uses whatever is on hand, be it patches of wool, cotton, old clothes, or other blankets. She can put together a quilted blanket in as little as two days, but it can take several months for her to make a knitted blanket completely from scratch. her fortes lying in sewing and knitting, Bertha also makes aprons, curtains, and throw blankets. Although she doesn't often sell her work, she usually donates it to the church for special events and causes.

Gertrude Palliser
Gertrude was born and raised in North West River and moved to Rigolet more than twenty five years ago. Always interested in crafts, her desire was further fueled after receiving a bead set for Christmas as a teenager. Although she finds crafting great fun, she maintains that patience is key to getting the job done.
 
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