Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday Feature: Quill Boxes

Porcupine quillwork is the oldest traditional Ojibway art form that predates the European exploration of North America.

All materials of the quill boxes are seasonal and made of natural materials except for the thread and dye. The white quills are their natural color. The base is made of birch bark which must be taken from the tree in spring and before the end of July. The Ojibways know how to remove the bark without destroying the trees and how to store it for future use. A special grade and thickness of birch bark is necessary for basket making.

The baskets are trimmed with sweetgrass which is seasonal and also harvested in July.

It takes a craft person two days to make one 3" quill box which does not include preparation and materials. The more intricate and dramatic the design, the older the person is that has done it as it takes years of practice to perfect this skill.

Visit us today to see more stunning examples of quill work in our gallery:

79 Rue St.Paul Est
Montreal, QC
H2Y 3R1

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