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Beading and sewing were just a part of growing up in Fort Liard. For me, traditional arts come from deep within my culture and from my family’s influences. I was in the bush until I was six, before being sent to school. My grandmother sewed, my aunts, my older sisters. Everyone sewed. As kids we just started off stringing beads and it progressed from there.
When I bead, the colours have to come to me. I have flowers on my moosehide that has been sitting there for a while because I just don’t see the colours yet. I like using the delicate, smaller beads that are so intricate you can do almost anything with them. When you use paper to visualize and start the process it comes to real life, but it’s how you form the flower and the colours you use that inspire the quality to match the visualization.
My mother is my true inspiration. Just to see her beading and thinking I could do that. After I had my first child I did it more to pass the time and that is how traditionally it becomes more refined. I think that is part of what makes my work stand out. I have to be satisfied. Sewing is a work in process. If I don’t like it I have to put it away for a while before taking it out and undoing it in order to redo it so that it feels right and I’m satisfied.
Cathy was born in Fort Liard, NT. She has been beading since she was a young girl, stringing beads with her mother, sister and grandmother. More recently the high demand has encouraged her to start selling her products. She finds great satisfaction and overall accomplishment from finishing products and selling them on the market.