“This basket purse was inspired by an idea that I had many years ago, as well as by some of the baskets that you will have in your show. A friend gave me a large gourd several years ago and I had planned on weaving around it to make myself a purse, but, I have never gotten around to doing so. The idea to make something different, I thought of this right away, but due to my time limitations I decided to make a smaller version. It is a break away from my usual traditional work, so I had a lot of fun with it.
My original idea was to weave around a gourd, I had already spent a week or so weaving around the gourd and I suddenly had the inspiration to weave a course base out of roots. It worked out well, so I decided to split and trim the warp and weave around the outside of the round base. As the exhibition was opening in the spring, this became the theme of the basket. The top of the purse [the cover] represents the sun, the top edge of the main purse represents the sun’s rays. The three rows of three string twining represents the sky, below that the broken diagonal lines represent the spring rain. The three rows of skip stitch represents the earth, and below that the three layers of ‘v’ shapes represents random spring growth. This was a difficult piece for me, as I had to decrease as I wove around the the base, ending with a small hole on the bottom.The mother of pearl button on the bottom resembles the sun on the basket cover. I wove the lid to fit the basket, making it as round as possible, as the roundness of the basket represents the earth, as well as the sun.”
Isabel was born in Old Masset, Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands in British Columbia), into the Raven moiety Yahgu’7laanaas. Her Haida name, S’it kwuns, means Red Moon, which was a name held by her maternal great-grandmother Isabella Edenshaw. She comes from a long line of weavers, including her mother, Primrose Adams; her aunt Delores Churchill, and cousins April and Holly Churchill. She began to weave seriously in 1982.
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