This charming little bag caught
our eye during our weekend at the Heard Indian market in Phoenix.
It's a departure from the Plains culture and motifs but remains
in the beadwork genre with a traditionally tanned bag and floral
The bag's unique shape and
construction really made it stand out, and Wendy's use of "white
space," or the bare area surrounding the beaded design work,
really helps highlight and contrast her beautiful floral patterns.
The Menominee are located
in Northeastern Wisconsin and are subsequently considered an
Eastern Woodlands tribe.
It is interesting to note
the differences between regional beadwork designs. Plains people
are known predominantly for their incredible geometrics, while
their cousins to the East favor a more fluid design, often in
the form of florals.
Wendy's choice of colors compliment
one another nicely and reflect the realistic aspects of her design
by trying to recreate or emulate the images found in nature.
Especially fine is the beaded
trim that borders the edge of the bag all the way around. Leather
tassels open and close the bag in a draw-string fashion.
Born on the Menominee Reservation
in Keshena, Wisconsin in 1958, Wendy Boivin is the youngest child
of her family. Due to the death of her mother, Wendy was raised
by her maternal aunt and her family, who later adopted her. She
attended school near the Milwaukee area, but kept close ties
to the reservation returning for holidays and summers.
Loom work was the first style
learned from her mother "aunt" at a young age. Beading
was a hobby, making small gifts for family and friends. After
high school she attended the Institute of American Indian Arts
in Santa Fe, New Mexico and graduated with an Associate of Fine
Arts degree in 3-D design, studying ceramics and dance.
In the years since learning
loom work Wendy learned other styles either by herself or watching
others. After graduation, she worked a short time in Santa Fe
where she realized that she could make money from her beadwork.
Wendy began selling her work in shops in Santa Fe.