Our mother moved us to the Southwest from Juneau, Alaska in 1987, while I was still gestating in her tummy. She studied fashion design at IAIA that following year, and always felt it was then and there that everything happened for her. The Southwest became her artist retreat, where she made her work. When she’d return to the Northwest Coast, it was always “go-go-go”; a calendar full of workshops, parties, events. In the Southwest, she learned to relax; tea in the morning sun, walking, camping, swimming, shopping.
Immersed in the Pacific Northwest’s rainforest, my older siblings and parents knew the quench of community swollen with definite sustenance. For me, it was the innocence of giant mountains blushing at their Southwestern sunset, and the poetic immensity of the starry night that nourished me into this being.
We are steeped in a specific slurry of climates, cultures, moments, commitments, whims — from a millennia of memories passed onto us by ancestors and dreamed up by those to come. When we let a bit of us seep out onto paper, canvas, panel, fiber — the vastness of our infinite selves finds a tangible form, indefinitely. That is art.
As a pre-teen I began teaching myself web and graphic design, the learnt skills of which supported and carried my family and I through my twenties. In the midst of that, I received a BA in Art from Fort Lewis College in 2014. I especially loved printmaking and oil painting, but those mediums were always mere glimmers of delight amongst a full life of mothering and the capitalist hustle. In 2016, my sister and mother submerged me into the tantalizing waters of Chilkat and Ravenstail weaving during one of my annual visits to the Northwest. Drenched in its all-consuming power, I now dedicate my attention to curating a rich life revolving around my weaving loom, tending to all the many many things that support that spiritual practice.
Learning to weave has offered me a sense of place and purpose. Entering into the practice of Northwest Coast Art is awakening parts that I’ve suppressed due to feelings of inadequacy and fear of being an imposter. Growing up in a mixed-race household with constant criticism of conflicting cultural values, I avoided adopting a condemned identity. I lacked a sense of value or contribution. As regalia began unfolding at my fingertips, from the very essence of all my life’s experiences and knowledge — from all the teachings that have come before — I understood first-hand how intertwined we all are, each of us essential threads to the collective forces. Every day I am blessed with the gift of weaving.
I currently reside in Southwest Colorado with my partner, Chris Haas, and our two daughters, Amélie and Simone. We are a handful amongst a long lineage of creators, a few of which have websites: Clarissa (late mother), Bill (father), Lily (sister), & Kahlil (brother).
“Kadusné” is the Tlingit name given to me by my mother. It is a verb, translating as “they are weaving”.
As my daily rituals evolve to support deliberate creativity, I refer to my inner “diety”, or essential self, as Kadusné. Immediately, upon honoring the name and divine essence, the two personas yoke. The Ego tends to draw back, the ancestors step closer, and Kadusné can be found working.