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Moose Tufting-Pink on Birch


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  • Made in the Yukon by Nancy Hager
  • Hand collected Moose Hair and Birch Bark
  • 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 (in)
  • The craft of using moose or caribou hair for decorative artwork (Tufting) predates European contact. Moose hair or caribou hair is taken from the rump or shoulders of the animal, the winter coat is most desirable. Porcupine quills and fish scales can also be worked in the same way. Once harvested the material is then dried in small 6x6 inch pieces. The pieces are then cleaned by a simple washing, then dyed in batches of rich colours. Traditionally dyeing is done from natural resources such as berries, roots, flowers, bark and lichens, a painstaking process.  The design for the art piece is etched freehand onto a velvet cloth or slipper "vamp".  Once the hair is sorted by length and colour, the artisan cuts from the desired colour, grasping the hair in a small bundle of approximately 150 hairs. The bundles are then sewn into place. The bundle must be taut to make it stand up against the backing. Once each bundle is in place the ends of the standing bundles, or tufts, are then sculpted with care and skillful precision. Intricate and delicate forms begin to emerge until the artisan’s design is complete.