Needle Power with Porcupine Quills
MARLENE JOUDRY from the Mi’Kmaq Nation, Nova Scotia
Porcupine Quillwork is perhaps the oldest form of Native American embroidery, unique techniques used by the Great Lakes and Plains peoples living within the natural range of the porcupine. The quills are folded, twisted, wrapped, plaited and sewn to embellish articles of clothing, bags, knife-sheaths, baskets, wooden handles and pipe stems. In particular the Mi’kmag Nation of the East Coast of Canada is renowned for their exquisite linear patterns and fine use of porcupine quills in their elaborately ornamented clothing and regalia. Porcupine quill and moose hair embroidery were decoratively applied to leather painted with mineral pigments. Of particular importance is the protective power of these traditional motifs.
Pure Art’s guest, Marlene Joudry, carries on these traditions and designs and makes by hand a unique style of delicate jewellery made from locally harvested porcupine quills, skilfully combined with semi-precious stones and silver.