Sunday, February 8, 2009
Just an update
Finally bought a new computer and it is sweet.
I am apprenticing as a quiller....sweeter.
I will post a pic of all the quill colors I dyed in the last two days.
I have learning everything from plucking a porc to picking quills that are the right size....all that is left is the wrapping and damn if it isn't hard.
I believe I learned the right way though, from the beginning. The process is long and hard and time consuming.
In these steps.
Getting a dead porcupine, usually roadkill but I just purchased 5 pounds from Montana and there was hardly any hair at all in them.
Washing the quills with Dawn dishsoap to get the dirt and grease off.
Rinsing them then soaking them in fabric softener so they don't get staticky.
Next you lay them out and let them dry, always turning so they air dry.
After you boil your dye and dye the quills which is a time consuming process in itself because they quills have to constantly be watched and turned, in order for the right color.
After rinsing the color off they need to be dried again....then they are ready to be picked looking for the right size.
When that is done you must select a pattern and trace onto rawhide. The pattern is then cut very carefully with an Xacto blade.
You choose the colors for the pattern and proceed to wrap the item you just cut out. After the item is wrapped you then prepare it for sale, such as putting on earwire or jump rings ot necklace clasps or a leather tie.
Hu, and some people thought it was just a pair of earrings.
This is tradition that carried on into the contemporary age.
Pictured above is an earring and necklace set by Anita Big Crow Begay.
Here are the quills before I dyed all of them.
After I dyed them
Colors you never seen in quill work