1. Skip to navigation
  2. Skip to content
  3. Skip to sidebar

About HandwovenSpiritbyChantal

I am a Canadian-born interdisciplinary artist currently living and working in Australia. I completed my Bachelor of Visual Arts with First Class Honours at Sydney College of the Arts (SCA), The University of Sydney in 2007.

I hand weave unique spiritual and sculptural pine needle baskets, inspired by my North American Métis background on my mother’s side (Siksiká Nation), and are also a dedication to my beautiful mother-in-law Georgia, of the Nez Percé tribe. I choose pine needles for this reason, to maintain the connection with my Native North American Indian and Métis roots. Their smell reminds me of home...

Each basket is completely unique. Each has its own story to tell and no two are ever the same…

I grew up in isolated forestry towns in Northern Alberta on Niitsitapi land originally, and come from a very large Francophone Canadian family. Like in Australia (and in many parts of the world), the colonisation of North America by the Europeans, changed the lives of our First Nations forever.

My family originates from French Québec, and our Métis traditions and customs were lost a long time ago. No one in my family knows much about our Métis side, only that we are from the Siksikáwa (“Blackfoot”) tribe; my Memère (Grandmother) believes from Québec, in Eastern Canada.

I have always been fascinated and inspired by Native American Indian and Métis handwoven crafts and arts, as well as their humble, peaceful way of life. In search of my Métis roots, I sought out to learn what I could of a part of me that was lost so long ago. I went to Niitsitapi reserves and Pow Wows, to gained knowledge of their tribe, traditions, customs, values, as well as their craftsmanship. This is where my journey with basketry began, all those years ago.

I immigrated to Australia in 2004 to peruse my BVA in Ceramics at Sydney College of the Arts in 2004; my other passion is to spin mud (wheel throwing with clay). This is how I met Corey, we studied Ceramics at SCA together.

My passion for Native American Indian basketry reignited here in Australia, when I met Corey's mother Georgia, of the Nez Percé Nation in North America, traditionally somewhere along the American and Canadian border. Unfortunately, we don't know exactly where from because Georgia never really talked about her father (the side of the family where her Native roots originate), apart from that she loved him so much, she could barely live without him (he passed when she was young).

Georgia quickly became my closest connection to my lost roots, whilst here in Australia. Sadly, she passed away in 2012, and I was given her kindle, which was full of books on Native American crafts and arts, basketry, and spirituality.

It was after Georgia passed, that I decided it was time to revisit my spiritual quest to my Métis roots, which I had put aside to dive into my studies…

In basket making, the act of gathering and the preparation of materials, is just as important as the making itself. I collect pine needles from all around the Northern Rivers of New South Wales, and also the Southeast Queensland regions of Australia. I find value in using materials collected from my immediate surroundings. Each material has its own marvelous personality, its own shape, uniqueness and purpose; its own significance…

After they are collected, the pine needles are then prepared and washed thoroughly in boiling water so they are free of dirt or other organic matter. Each pine needle is then carefully handpicked, the best chosen to be woven into each basket…

Although delicate, each basket has been sealed with a clear lacquer for durability, and also comes with a hemp hook so it can also be hung on the wall…

Once in a while, it will be beneficial to leave the basket sit out in the sun for about 5-10 minutes to stiffen and firm up the wax used to seal the basket. If you need any assistance caring for your basket down the road, please do not hesitate to contact me.

I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU and how you are enjoying your basket! Please take a photo and share on Social Media using the hashtag #HandwovenSpiritbyChantal

To READ MORE about me and how my baskets come to fruition, FOLLOW ME ON…
Facebook: www.facebook.com/HandwovenSpiritbyChantal
Instagram: www.instagram.com/HandwovenSpiritbyChantal
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ChantalandCorey

Website: chantalandcoreyceramics.com
Email: chantalandcorey@mail.com
Madeit Shop: www.madeit.com.au/HandwovenSpiritbyChantal

Thank you for your wonderful support!