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Rosemary Elemie

Region: 
Sahtu
Community: 
Deline
Phone: 
(867) 589-4918
Address: 
Box 38
Deline, NT X0E 0G0

Artist Story

My mother encouraged me to sew as soon as I turned 10 years old.  At first, I wasn’t really interested, but I began to sew regularly when I was thirteen. The first thing I made was a slipper for my older brother. I was so proud of myself when I finished it and gave it to him, and he was just as proud. I can now make slippers, mitts, gloves, as well as canvas and fur mukluk. Whatever I see that I like, I just do it!

I try to come up with my own unique designs. I love to use different color accents and I like to play with the shapes and sizes of petals and leaves.  I do my own drawings even if it can be a lot of work. My mom was always sewing. So I watched what she did: she would draw a flower on paper, cut it, and put it on the mitts she was working on. I try to do it like she did now. In the end, it comes out beautiful!

I get my ideas for flowers from different places. One of my friends gave me images of various flowers. If I need inspiration, I look at those flowers and will draw my own in the size that I need. When I travel, I look at everything: buildings, pictures, how people dress. I look at all the different colors that go well together from what I observe around me, and that’s how I choose the colours for my beadwork.

I really enjoy going to sewing circles in Deline. They are important because we go there to get together, to share stories, to laugh, to calm down. It’s good company. Some younger girls come to look at us too, so it’s like we’re teaching them at the same time. It’s good to share what we know, because they have to learn how to make their own mitts, bags and mukluks so they can take care of themselves if they need to.

My favorite part about beading is to see the final product. Sometimes I get so excited to see the final result that I complete one side first just to see how it will look. When I finish an art piece, I feel proud and I usually show it to my husband. I show him the colours, the fur, and the details I put in. He always encourages me and says: “Oh, it’s so beautiful” Even if my mother is no longer here with me, I thank her often for the knowledge she passed on to me.

Artist Bio: 

Rosemary Elemie was born and raised in Deline, Northwest Territories. She sells her art in Norman Wells and in Deline. Rosemary especially loves to bead with small beads, but will often incorporate bigger beads to her work to make her designs stand out. Rosemary loves to pass her knowledge down to her daughters and grandchildren. She also loves to help others learn her craft, whether in a classroom or a sewing circle. She hopes to keep learning and to keep sharing her knowledge with younger generations.

Last Updated: March 13, 2018

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