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Colette Labine

South Slave
Fort Smith
(867) 872-3009
Box 1118
Fort Smith, NT X0E 0P0

Artist Story

Traditional crafts and what I call “soft furnishings”, such as quilts, clothing, dolls and rugs, are what I create for my home and to sell. I began when I was young by quilting a blanket for my bed. Socks and mitts were taught by working with my mother and grandmother. I havre enjoyed working with a variety of mediums including  sealskin.  I can easily bend, shape and pleat, making the most of the light and dark colors on the hide.

I use my sewing machine every single day of the year! Sewing is relaxing and creative. When you get women together to sew it’s a really beautiful place to share traditional knowledge and life skills.

Lately I’ve been up-cycling products, which makes me look at things from a different perspective. It’s a nice way to start the creative process. I love to reflect on how I can upgrade what I already have, or transform something into something better. In that way, maybe I will create something that is useful for others too. I ask myself: “What could I do with this product? What could it be transformed into? What pieces would I want to keep and which ones would I remove? And what do I want it to look like in the end?”  Sometimes that process will take me a while, especially if I have to do some research, but most of the time I will just wait and let the inspiration come.

Creating something out of a need has always been a huge inspiration for me. A lot of my art has evolved in a traditional way from sitting with my grandmother. She’s the one who taught me to create out of a need.  A lot of my inspiration comes from my time learning from her, and eventually from my mother too. Hopefully, I can pass it on to my daughter as well.

Artist Bio: 

Originally from Saskatchewan, Colette Labine has lived in numerous communities in the NWT, and now resides in Fort Smith with her family. She learned to sew through her grandmother and her mother.  Colette enjoys sewing for herself, her family and for members of the community.

Last Updated: December 17, 2018

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