Saturday, January 14, 2017

NINA'S ORIGINALS

Robert said to me" Take a break, you've been working awfully long hours." 
I do tend to put the nose to the grindstone when I have a show coming up. I had to get some big orders out of the way and now I'm concentrating on my new line. " What kind of life is this, sewing, sewing, sewing?" he asked.

It got me to thinking that, in a way, it is exactly what I wished for. In the 1970's in Juneau, I would walk to the B.M. Berands Bank where I worked as a key puncher. Everyday I passed this place and I would peer in the window of Nina's Originals. She made fantastical coats and hat out of leather that was laced together and trimmed with fur and feathers. You could see her work station with all the leather laid out, her desk with day to day business and  her small tv. I thought that must be a pretty fine way to go. And it is. It turns out after many years of the broke artist life, living in ramshackle cabins, hauling water and wood and no electricity, I'm finally living the high life like Nina. A dynamite work environment where I can create my pieces and I even have the little tv to keep myself entertained while I do it. Funny how things turn out. Anyhow, it got me curious so I did some poking around and this is what I found. There was one picture of a coat she made at a Juneau Museum site but( not allowed to share.) If anyone out there has a photo of her work or store, it would be brilliant to see!  Here is the loon dress that I did way back in the Juneau days, and I realize I was experimenting around with the lacing techniques she used.  I don't know if her work was an influence but her work life did make me target a goal.

 End of the Trail
Notices in this section are limited to names of those who have achieved pioneer status through many years in the North, or who are otherwise of unquestioned importance in the daily scene.


Nina Emily Chapman, 76,a Juneau businesswoman since 1946. died there January 30. She designed and patented Nina's Originals. Alaska coats and accessories sold throughout the United States, Her daughter. Nina Dawn Baldwin, now runs the Nina's Originals shop In Juneau. [June1981]
Ronda Mann modeling Loon Dress

cabin at 9 mile

young me at the cabin

2 comments:

  1. So nice to see/hear a little of your past life and your inspirations. Your work is SO amazing and wonderful. And I still enjoy reading your Blue Bead book! My grandkids enjoyed it as little ones...but I look at the pictures and story still!

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  2. Thank you Robbie. I'm always glad when you stay in touch!

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