Monica Jo Raphael
As a fifth-generation bead and quill worker my art strives to guarantee the perseverance and survival of traditional Anishinaabe knowledges. My art is the end result of a journey that includes Indigenous intergenerational knowledge of traditional gathering and preparation methods, as well as the traditional teachings, stories, values and Anishinaabe lifeways with respect for Mother Earth who offers the materials. It is important to me to execute a craft that is not only artistic but still keeps the integrity of the traditional art of my Anishinaabe grandmothers of years past while blending traditional techniques with woodland flora and fauna designs of years past with bright modern colors of the future creating a twist to a timeless artform. My materials include porcupine quills which are dyed using natural and commercial dyes, birch bark, smoked deer and elk hide, and various gemstone, antique and vintage seed beads including 24k gold and sterling silver beads.