Handcrafted Alaska Porcupine Quill Jewelry

Rockford, Illinois

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GypsyPiperGirl is taking a short break


Note from shop owner Hi! Thanks for stopping by. I'm currently visiting Maryland looking for cool beads and making jewelry on location. I'll be back in a few days ♡

Note from shop owner

Last updated on Aug 4, 2022

Hi! Thanks for stopping by. I'm currently visiting Maryland looking for cool beads and making jewelry on location. I'll be back in a few days ♡

Melinda Carlson

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Melinda Carlson


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About GypsyPiperGirl

Sales 105
On Etsy since 2011

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Whatever made you work with porcupine quills?

I have been asked more than once how I started using porcupine quills. The short answer is that I was really really bored. The story behind that started the summer of 2012. I traveled to Alasked via ferry. I slept on the deck of the ship in my tent. I did tie the tent to the railing to keep it from blowing over. Thus started my adventure of 'Summer In Alaska.' and what a great summer it was!!!
One of the things I did while there was to house sit for my friend Heidi and her hubby. He is a bush pilot and needed to fly his helicopter to Idaho for maintenance. I stayed behind in their home in the Alaskan Interior to house and dog sit. The dogs were hunting dogs, German wire hairs. At some point while alone up on Becker Ridge I needed an adventure. So I borrowed the suv and went down into Fairbanks. While there I got my hands on some porcupine quills. I made another stop to a craft store for findings and returned 'home'. I did not immediately start experimenting but did some putzing around the house. It wasn't long though before Ilsa the younger dog was hysterically tearing through the house and frantically chasing a scent. I had the door to the outside open as I was instructed. So there I stood wondering what had gotten into the house??? I had a bear incident (minor) on Douglas iIsland and was still not used to not being at the top of the food chain. Panic!! What is it? Where's the gun?? Wait, I dont know how to shoot!! Aaaaiiieeeeee
Ok, so she just smelled quills and hates porcupines. Smelling the quills convinced her that a minion of Satan, a porcupine, had gotten into the house. I am not sure hate is a strong enough word actually. One had wandered into the yard once and one snoot full of quills and porkies and Ilsa were enemies for life.
Given that, all of my quilts are soaked and sterilized in alcohol. I don't want your dog to freak out too :D
My original inspiration was the quill jewelry made by the Athabascans. I did not copy their design but made my own of course. And as for the 'sleeping on the deck of the ship' adventure, I made a short video and it's on my website

Shop members

  • Melinda Carlson

    Owner, Maker, Designer

    Born on the East Coast but raised in the midst of dairy farms in the Midwest USA. A small woman with a big dose of wanderlust and sense of adventure. Enjoys travel, especially camping. Plays the bagpipe with a Pipe Band and loves to make jewelry.

Shop policies

Last updated on May 9, 2022
Hello and welcome to my store! I sell handcrafted porcupine quill jewelry and fun vintage finds from my travels. The jewelry I make myself and started while house sitting for a bush pilot in Alaska. My jewelry is in six brick and mortar stores and a zoo. In good weather you can find me in festivals and fairs too. I'm always looking for an adventure. Thanks for stopping by. Gypsy Piper Girl - the traveling bagpiper :)

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Accepts Etsy Gift Cards and Etsy Credits

Returns & exchanges

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* You can rest assured your items are packed with care, and will arrive safely. I wrap each fragile item in multiple layers of bubble and mark "fragile". They have plenty of packaging material.

* Insurance is included in my shipping prices when shipping by Priority Mail or any fragile items. If an insured item arrives damaged, Buyer is responsible for retaining the packaging and damaged item for insurance purposes. No refunds for damaged items will be made to the Buyer until the Buyer completes his/her part of the obligation in assisting to file the insurance claim.

* The item will be shipped to the address as shown on Paypal (if paid with Paypal), or the address shown for Etsy (if paid through Etsy's Direct Checkout). For Paypal, the buyer should be sure his/her Etsy and Paypal addresses match. Buyer is responsible for providing a correct and current shipping address

* I ship USPS Priority Mail, parcel post, first class mail parcel, Media Mail, First Class International

Additional policies and FAQs

My items can be available for wholesale for your brick and mortar store. Message me if interested.