Elsie Canadien

South Slave
Hay River

Artist Story

When I was young, I would watch my mother do her art – sewing, beadwork, tufting or making moccasins and slippers. I didn’t really start sewing until I was about nine years old when someone gave me a Barbie doll and I started making clothes for it to wear. From there I started tufting, then did some beadwork on uppers and made a pair of metis slippers – it just took off from there.

I am inspired by what is around me and always think about what can I create. I think of mixing the beads and trying to create a colour. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. I just have to play and create to make something beautiful that stands out, like a picture of a mountain but with my beads.

I try to put a lot of nature into the beadwork, but not necessarily only in the traditional form of flowers. I like to bead different and unusual designs that are more challenging. I don’t stick to the same things. I’ll bead strawberries and ladybugs, or eagles and so on. The best part is that it is my own style that I use.

Over time my art has changed a lot by the variety of things I make now. I try to make sure that it will connect to somebody somewhere. Recently a lady asked for a turtle so I beaded a turtle on her moccasin booties. I am thinking I want to do fall leaves in a picture frame. I have an idea in my head that I want it to look like with delicate beads. So I think I will give that a try soon…

Last Updated: April 5, 2024

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