ARTIST STATEMENT

"A birchbarker for over thirty years I am greatly influenced by my mother. Using the skin of the birch tree I remake old-style Ojibwe baskets, sometimes decorating with dyed porcupine quills. I paint picturesques “birchbark paintings,” using different colors of cut out birchbark designs or scrape designs on birchbark to tell stories. When I made “All Race’s Bouquet,” it was to show I am sick and tired of racism. I think all colors are better together.

 

Like my ancesters, I harvest birchbark using techniques so not to kill the tree. Having respect for birchbark I waste nothing, left-over birchbark is used for small art.  I use red willow, sweetgrass, and porcupine quills and materials readily available. To preserve the art for generations to come I use artificial sinew, for sewing pieces together.

 

I teach like a grandmother, with patience and encouragement to help make the best birchbark basket. By teaching Ojibwe birchbark basketry its my hope to keep it alive for future generations. With purpose and intention I use symbolism to tell traditional stories about Ojibwe culture. Through my art I celebrate my Ojibwe heritage and feel proud I come from a long line of Ojibwe birchbarkers" -Pat Kruse