Debbie's Profile

About

To see my shop click here:
http://www.etsy.com/shop/SweetgrassValley

Specializing in traditional style chokers that are hand made in the old way using hand cut leather, artificial sinew, bone or horn hair pipe, dentalium and white heart crow and other vintage and handmade antique Indian and African trade beads made of glass or stone.
I love to create, I come from a family of talented artists through my father, an uncle and an aunt, their father and his father before that, I am blessed to have inherited some of their talent and was privileged to be able to watch and learn from my father who did pencil and ink drawings and later made many musical instruments and my favorite aunt who painted beautiful art using the mediums of pencil, ink, water color, oils and pastels, she taught me many things about the mechanics of creating a painting and bringing life to a…

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  • Female
  • Born on November 15
  • Joined November 10, 2009

Shop

SweetgrassValley
Handcrafted traditional style bone chokers...

About

To see my shop click here:
http://www.etsy.com/shop/SweetgrassValley

Specializing in traditional style chokers that are hand made in the old way using hand cut leather, artificial sinew, bone or horn hair pipe, dentalium and white heart crow and other vintage and handmade antique Indian and African trade beads made of glass or stone.
I love to create, I come from a family of talented artists through my father, an uncle and an aunt, their father and his father before that, I am blessed to have inherited some of their talent and was privileged to be able to watch and learn from my father who did pencil and ink drawings and later made many musical instruments and my favorite aunt who painted beautiful art using the mediums of pencil, ink, water color, oils and pastels, she taught me many things about the mechanics of creating a painting and bringing life to a portrait. My father and aunt both had a love and respect for nature and all life and this was instilled in me as well. Through genealogy my aunt traced our lineage back to the Lumbee tribe. My love of Native American culture and art has always been a part of me as long as I can remember. I am self-taught in my jewelry and choker designs and have been making bone chokers since 1995. I am also a self-taught basket maker and plan to introduce some of my coiled sweet grass basket work here soon. Although my heritage includes a link to the Lumbee I am not tribally enrolled and do not claim to be Native American.
I live in the Ohio valley in a rural farm community outside of a small town they call the friendly village and it has been aptly named. I love county life and being close to nature inspires my work.
I named my shop Sweetgrass Valley because of the sweet grass I have been blessed to be able to tend since 2002 and the Ohio valley where I live.
I make a variety of items but my chokers seem to be the most popular and those are the pieces I enjoy making the most. I never use plastic in any of my pieces, the traditional materials work best I believe. All of my pieces are hand made using leather, bone, shell, glass, stone and metal. I make my own spacer leather and lacings. I buy most of my materials at various Pow Wows that I have attended during the summer months. I love searching for special little accent pieces and beads to make my chokers. I feel this gives each piece a personality all its own. I’ve taken great care and planning as I create each one, letting the materials guide me to create a choker as unique and individual as its wearer. Please realize these beads are not machine made and therefore some variation in size may be seen. This only enhances the authentic look of each piece in my opinion, just working with the old beads makes me wonder at their history, where they have been and who may have owned them before, wearing them is like walking with the ancestors.
Originally chokers were created to protect the wearer’s neck and chest in battle as a type of armor to keep arrows from penetrating vital areas of the body; they were and still are a very important piece of ceremonial dress or regalia. Chokers were usually not made by the wearer, they would be made by a person who specialized in making the choker and knew the proper ceremony and way of making a choker for the individual for which it was intended so that it would serve them well. Chokers were not made to be strictly ornamental. When made in the right way the choker gave the wearer the power to speak in a clear and true manner, wearing a choker made in the right way let all the people know that this person was speaking the truth and could be trusted for if they did not the choker would choke them if they spoke lies. Often a person would have a dream about their choker and come to the maker with a design for their personal power choker. If you have an idea for a custom piece for yourself I would be happy to make one for you. I have made several custom pieces and I enjoy working with people to create their vision.
I find it most rewarding when a piece I have created becomes a cherished part of someone’s regalia. I have gotten many wonderful comments from customers who have felt that the choker they purchased is exactly what they have been looking for and feels like it was made for them, I believe they were.
Thank you for visiting my about me page, I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit about me and please feel free to send me a convo if you have any questions.
While you are here please browse my shop, maybe I have a piece that will speak to you.

http://www.etsy.com/shop/SweetgrassValley

My facebook fan page is:

http://www.facebook.com/SweetgrassValley

For vintage items please visit my other store:
http://www.etsy.com/shop/bumperstickersnmore
Member of Etsy teams:
Walking the Red Road, Native American Forum Team (search native forum team)
Working Artists Team

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