"Gų̄s" fireweed necklace by Vashti Etzel, Golden Eye Designs

"Gų̄s" fireweed necklace by Vashti Etzel, Golden Eye Designs


It took me 17 hours to complete this statement necklace. Mainly because I beaded on paper this time around and it took a very long time to pick it out. I normally draw the image directly on the material. I beaded on a white velvet fabric. It also took awhile to harvest and to peel the birch bark. I peeled until I found the right thickness.

I used Swarovski crystals, John bead crystals, fire polished crystals, Tourmaline gemstones, Green Amazonite, Cubic Zirconia gemstones, Vintage French beads, Seed beads, Miyuki delicas, glass beads, size 11&15 beads, 24kt gold plated beads, dyed porcupine quills, white velvet, birch bark, sterling silver chain and findings. - Vashti

Vashti Etzel is a Shutuh Dene (Mountain Slavey) / Kaska Dene from Tułidłini (Ross River), Yukon Territory. She grew up in the small northern community, a community which has many hidden talented individuals. Vashti's inspiration came from her late grandmother Eva Etzel who was a master of beadwork, embroidery, and traditional crafts. Vashti is a self taught artist who picked up the talent naturally. However, her journey into traditional arts began when she made her son his first pair of wrap-around moccasins.

Vashti grew up on the land hunting and harvesting with her family in Ross River, and enjoys spending time on her home lands. She grew up listening to many stories told by her grandfather, mother, uncles and aunties about the bush life, the values and skills they were taught. Vashti believes that being on the land and practicing traditional skills are a necessity in keeping yourself grounded with your roots. She is planning to learn how to tan hides and to make a variety of traditional garments.