Becoming our grandmothers

Sarah Howes

Posted on October 03 2018

Nookomis Obagijigan met with one of our mentors and teachers, expert Wendy Savage for food and conversation yesterday.  Wendy is a self taught moccasin, beadwork, and sewing expert. Wendy belongs to a family of extraordinary, award winning artists and educators.  When asked who taught her Wendy says "We taught ourselves!  We went to museums.  We went to the library.  We spent time with those old ladies.  We didn't have the internet."  

 

For Agaton Howes, Wendy is instrumental in her understanding of Ojibwe art "Wendy is who taught me about the meaning behind our floral designs.  She taught me about valuing myself as an artist.  She is always there willing to share everything she knows.  I try to emulate her in my own work."

Wendy got together with Nookomis Obagijigan to make plans to meet with more elders and experts.  She shared her "gathering" technique for making small puckers.  She also showed us some problems and solutions to the split toe patterns we are developing. 

When asked who was the last maker in her family Wendy pondered "Probably my Great Grandma Kate."  What is so amazing about mentors like Wendy is that they are the Grandmothers.  They are the mentors who have given us this gift.  The question for us is what are we going to do with it?

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