Handmade Portraits: Mabel Pike

Etsy’s got a fascinating video about Alaska craftswoman Mabel Pike:

Tlingit Native elder Mabel Pike first learned how to sew moccasins from her great-grandmother in the 1920s. After her village in Douglas, Alaska burned down in 1926, Mabel’s parents moved their family to Juneau, where Mabel and her sisters began selling their handcrafted Native wares.

At 91 years old, Mabel has been doing needlework all of her life. She has never been able to make her living solely from her handicrafts, but she’s not in it for the money. As a Tlingit master artist, she has taught beadwork at Stanford University and is on the board of the Alaska Native Heritage Center. With a deep-seated passion for beading, Mabel is dedicated to passing on the the traditions of her clan’s culture.

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Becky Stern is a Content Creator at Autodesk/Instructables, and part time faculty at New York’s School of Visual Arts Products of Design grad program. Making and sharing are her two biggest passions, and she's created hundreds of free online DIY tutorials and videos, mostly about technology and its intersection with crafts. Find her @bekathwia on YouTube/Twitter/Instagram.

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