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I first started working with fur during a three-year program at the college in Tuktoyaktuk. I was the only one who hadn’t worked with fur before – I was more familiar with beading and sewing, which I picked up as a young girl. Our graduation gift was a sewing machine, which allowed me to keep sewing at home. I started and didn’t stop.
I enjoy making hats, mitts and crow boots. A crow boot is a taller boot, up to about mid-calf, made of fur, and with a little tassel or a pom-pom at the top; other people use pom-poms, but mine have tassels. They’re very popular, especially because it seems like not many people are making them anymore. I try to always learn new techniques from people in the community or from books, or just from doing it over and over again and trying new things.
Art is one of those things where you feel like only you can do it. You’re the only person who can make your piece in a certain way, and someone else would say “How come you do it like that?” and you say “It just comes like that.” They don’t understand how I do it, but I love sewing the way I sew it, not the way other people would sew it. That is what makes my work unique and special to me.
Greta Villebrun was born in Aklavik, NT, but now resides in Tsiigehtchic, NT. Greta is an experienced craftsperson, she sews fur mitts, shoes, hats, beaded slippers, moose-hide beaded gauntlets and fur slippers. She is an established artist that has been making traditional artwork for over 15 years. She received her "Fur Garment Certificate" which was a three year course that she completed in Tuktoyaktuk, and she enjoys creating and sewing traditional clothing. Greta is an accomplished seamstress who takes pride in the articles that she produces. Her artwork can be viewed and purchased from her personal gallery in Tsiigehtchic, and her artwork can also be purchased by mail-order.