|Tawny's Native American fusion dress- with hand-beading and braiding, and garments inspired by a plethora of tribes.|
Like so many costumers, I started my craft at the Renaissance Festival. Like all costumers, I look at my beginning work with (and I quote my artist friend Cami Woodruff) "nostalgia, but mostly horror". With practice, exposure to new techniques, and instruction I was set right on my way to becoming a better costumer/artist/craftswoman- the person who gave me all three of these is my long-time mentor, friend, and jedi-master, Tawnya "Tawny" Hicks-Letts.
Over the years Tawny has taught me finishing techniques, loaned me books, fed me, gave me materials, and looked at my sketchpads and gave me encouraging grins and a fanfare of, "That's awesome!" No matter where I am right now in learning my craft, if I can ever become half as good as Tawny, I'll be a happy crow-lady. So, without further ado, here is some of the work of my mentor- most notably her take on Native American-European fusion. This regal dress was made for a Renaissance Festival, but it is inspiring nonetheless for anyone wanting to combine cultures into one spectacular outfit.
|Tawny's original design for the ensemble|
|The underpinnings and apron- adorned with tinkling cones that are hallmark of the Ojibwe|
|The beaded and fringed jacket.|
|Back of the ensemble, with shawl.|
|The massive cloth headwrap- inspired by Cherokee and Eastern Woodlands turbans.|