Amanda Baton

North Slave
3 Braathen Avenue
Yellowknife, NT X1A-3H3

Artist Story

I make beaded earrings and have started to dabble in working with furs and tufting. Besides beads, I also use other materials in my work, such as hide, beaver fur, and caribou hair for tufting. For now, I am only making earrings. Eventually, I aim to get to the level of D’Arcy Moses, because I would love to be able to create other types of wearable art and fashion pieces.

I am a self-taught artist, but I come from a long line of artists from Délı̨nę, where my mother is from. A while ago, my maternal grandmother gifted my uncle a beaded moose hide fringe jacket. I included the flowers that my grandmother beaded on that beautiful piece on my logo. My goal is to one day be able to replicate that jacket, so my focus is on learning as much as I can now, mastering my skills, to be able to make that dream come true.

When we were kids, my auntie taught use how to sew cardholders. I stopped sewing and beading for many years, and went down the wrong path, but I picked up beading again by doing flat stitching. Afterwards, I learned how to make fringe earrings. Things started to change for me when I reconnected with my art practice. It’s a very healing practice for me. As much as I love to see the outcome, I truly enjoy the whole process of creating. Beading makes me feel calm and puts me into this meditative space that really allows me to relax.  

My beadwork and tufting really represent who I am. One thing that I noticed about my earrings is that they are really different and not traditional. I love to use a lot of bright colours. Having had challenges with mental health, using vibrant colours motivates me to get better. I’ll be wearing black clothes, but I’ll always pair that with the brightest earrings!

Sometimes, my designs come to me in dreams, and other times I will ask for guidance from my Ancestors. I am spiritual and it’s a part of my art practice as well. Sometimes, I’ll also be influenced by the seasons, and the colours that I see in my surroundings. I typically pick my colours before I start working on a piece. I tend to envision what I want to make instead of drawing it. It’s something that just comes to me, especially when I do intricate fringe beadwork.

Making art really connects me with my culture and decolonization is part of the work. My sisters and I are the first ones in my family not to attend residential schools. We’re trying to break that cycle by reconnecting to our traditions and culture. I’m proud of all the hard work that I am doing in the process. As challenging as this learning journey can be, I want to reclaim those skills so that I am able to pass some important teachings along to my daughter.

Artist Bio: 

Amanda Baton lives in Somba K’e, Denendeh. She is a Sahtúot’ine Dene and German self-taught artist coming from a long line of creatives. Amanda took a step back from her professional career to focus on healing, and creating art has been a big part of her journey. She plans to continue working on herself through her artistic practice. She is inspired by the beadwork of Louise Speakman, Christine Dunbar, and Lisa Beading on Instragam, who blend interesting colour palettes and textures in unique ways. Amanda’s artwork can be purchase in person or online through her Instagram page: Saht’ea Adze Beadwork (which means “Black Bear Moon” in North Slavey).

Last Updated: January 23, 2024

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