Quill Art videos
Athabascan peoples harvested porcupine to eat and also carefully processed its quills into a fine material to beautify special items. Some artists continue to use quill in their work. In 2013, the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska hosted the Dene Quill Art project, bringing together Athabascan artists Shirley May Holmberg and Emma Hildbrand with ethnographic Nancy Fonicello conservator to share quillwork techniques and develop new ones by studying historic museum pieces. They shared their expertise with students, museum visitors and local Alaska Native artists, along with conservators who learned how to better care for quillwork objects in museum collections. The video set presented here introduces participants and provides detailed demonstrations of how to work with quill from cleaning and dying, to sewing, wrapping folding and weaving. Links to a selection of Alaska Native objects from the Smithsonian collections made with porcupine quill are included below.
Tags: Alaska, Native art, Alaska Native, Indigenous, Athabascan, Dene, museum, education, Indigenous, quill, porcupine, conservator, Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center in Alaska