The Construction Foundation of BC’s ‘Welcome Exchange’ initiative kicked off another Paddle Pendant virtual workshop this past week, featuring First Nation artists Dean Heron and Latham Mack. The Welcome Exchange initiative is supported by HERE in Canada.
The night started off with an introduction from CFBC’s Allison Ainsley, followed by an introduction to Paddle Pendants from Heron, who touched upon his career as an artist, growing up and his early exposure to First Nations art and culture. Heron’s introduction was followed by a roundtable introduction from participants and facilitators, who shared a bit about where they came from. Fellow First Nations artist Latham Mack was also on hand for the evening’s workshop, where he shared some of his techniques around carving, as well as answering some questions throughout the 90-minute workshop.
Wednesday’s workshop featured participants from South Africa, Mexico and India who now call Vancouver Island home. Each one participating on the call received a Paddle Pendant kit that was delivered to them with a partially fabricated pendant, twine, sanding paper and other goodies to engage fully with the workshop demonstration.
Following introductions from the group, focus shifted to the carving of the Paddle Pendants. Heron articulated and demonstrated the process using Bent Knives. The carving segment of the workshop was followed up with instructions on sanding each participant’s pendants to create a smooth finish ahead of painting and finishing. Discussion of culture was also prevalent throughout the workshop and allowed for interesting insight into the inspiration behind the Paddle Pendant as the subject for the workshops.
“We chose to share the making of paddle pendants for two main reasons,” explained Heron. “They’ve been on the coast for thousands of years and they also signify bringing people together. When you get into a canoe, for example, and you want to get somewhere, you have to do it with your people. With your family, your clan or your community. There’s this idea where you have to pull together to get where you want to go and the paddle pendant represents that.”
The workshop moved into a demonstration on braiding the pendant’s necklace material before a brief overview on the painting and decoration of the pendants. The group closed out a fun and engaging night with a brief Q & A with Heron and Mack before signing off for the night.
Interested in registering for future Welcome Exchange workshops or know someone who is? Contact email@example.com for more information!