Hopefully everyone is finding time to find a bright spot during these troubled times. I am constantly amazed at the resiliency of the human heart and that artists and organizations around the world are among those at the core advocating for change.
I want to take a moment to thank all of my students and clients who helped keep saamisupplies going during the last three months and to thank you, yet again for your incredible patience regarding the delay of your orders.
It’s been a frustrating eight weeks waiting for supply orders because of manufacturing/ shipping disruptions worldwide and the on-again/off-again nature of the safety shutdown. You’ve been waiting for tin thread to start and or finish projects (me too!) and everyone is antsy. Please know I am as anxious as you are as I’m used to filling orders immediately.
I ask that you continue to be patient and know that I will expedite your orders as soon as I receive my shipments. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have questions about your orders or if you want me to send partial shipments of products I have in stock. If you are placing a future order please be advised that shipping times will possibly delayed by 6-8 weeks.
In the meantime, here are some images to get you planning your next creation.
Life is quite different since I last posted and with most of Minnesota stuck at home I’m getting lots of orders for kits and requests for new projects. Since many of my classes have been postponed I’m busy filming and experimenting with new bracelet (and necklace!) designs I hope to hatch in April.
I’ve been receiving an uptick in emails from students and clients from all over the globe sharing photos of finished bracelets. Emi Sawaishi is a maker from Japan who has kindly allowed me to post her earring and bracelet photos.
I also received the loveliest compliment from my client Tiina regarding the New York Times “Echoes of Scandinavia” article about Sámi craft and culture by Penelope Colston. If you didn’t get a chance to read the article here’s a link: Follow the link to the complete article: Link
“I loved the Times article. My entire life nobody but my husband knew who are the Saami people so I would say, when asked “I’m Finnish “ . You wouldn’t believe that about 85-90% of the people who asked my ethnicity would reply, “Finnished with what?” This doesn’t happen today because of the awareness that people like yourself are bringing to the American public, so thank you”
I get so much inspiration from all of my students and clients it’s hard not to sit down and make a few bracelets myself.
If you are a happy crafter enjoying the solitude of your home at this time check out our kits and our instructional videos for individual styles and downloadable pdf’s. Please let me know if you have questions or require different bracelet lengths.
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New York Times Interviews Liz Bucheit about Sámi Culture
Happy Spring (almost)
This year started off with a bang for everyone here at
I had the pleasure of being interviewed by New York Times journalist Penelope Colston for her “Echoes of Scandinavia” article about Sámi craft and culture. Ms. Colston contacted me this past December about her upcoming piece and I am thrilled to have been included.
Who knew reindeer were strutting the streets of Manhattan! Many thanks to Ms. Colston for a fantastic
piece highlighting traditional and contemporary aspects of Sámi culture and
August is here and we’re moving into the “dog days” of
summer. It’s been pretty hot here in Southeastern Minnesota so I’ve been
working on several new projects in my sweet air conditioned studio!
I’m always developing new ideas for different kits so here
are a few new upcoming design offerings I’m working out. I prefer Sámi inspired
traditional leather dyes but I’ve been experimenting with brighter colors
(you’ll notice the Prince inspired bracelet!) and more creative bracelet
We’re also in preproduction mode for several new videos demonstrating more intricate braiding, beading and sewing techniques so stay tuned for those to drop in early September.
I mentioned in my previous blog we are already booking class dates beginning in January 2020. There are still opportunities to take a class before the end of the year so check our remaining calendar dates and start gearing up for Xmas!
If you prefer to learn with your gal pals or fellow creatives, we can schedule a class date for your group in our beautiful Lanesboro, MN studio. Call us at 507-467-3078 for details.
Working on some cool projects of your own? Post your pictures on our Saami Inspired Facebook Page and email me your images for a potential feature spot in one of our upcoming blogs! I’d love to see what you’re working on.
Saamisupplies.com Now Offers Imitation Reindeer Hide and Kits.
It never ceases to amaze me how I continue to learn from my students. I recently returned from an instructor’s retreat at the North House Folk School in Grand Marais, MN where I took a class in Aniishiinaabe style moccasin making from the very talented Marcie McIntire.
Funny thing, I found myself saying exactly what my students say during the course of my Saami Inspired Bracelet Classes. Things like “Am I doing this right? Can you check my work? How long does it take you (the instructor) to complete a pair of moccasins?” It’s easy to forget we are all students at one time or another and the experience taught me to listen more and be as empathetic as possible during the course of my classes.
I’ve also taken to inviting my students to give me suggestions about additional materials, tools and techniques.
One suggestion came from our client Chris who wanted an alternative material instead of reindeer hide to make her projects. After a bit of research we found the perfect solution.
We are now proud to offerimitation reindeer leather bracelet kits in a variety of colors! Instead of genuine antler buttons, kits will includepewter “replica” antler buttons in addition to needles and thread. These bracelets make great graduation, confirmation and birthday gifts for women and men. Try a beginning kit out today and stay tuned for more kit variations to come!
There are so many features of this craft that are unique. Some people are specifically attracted to the intricate braiding and hand stitching that go into a bracelet or necklace. Other folks want to identify appreciation for their Scandinavian and or Saami roots by wearing tin thread jewelry to show cultural pride.
Butdid you know the materials used in this tradition also appeal to people who can’t wear regular jewelry?
We all have friends and clients who have jewelry allergies and these poor souls are pretty limited as to what they can wear even if they love silver and gold. The most common allergy is related to the nickel content in sterling silver jewelry. I’ve even had clients who react badly to wearing gold jewelry based on prescriptions they may be taking for a chronic illness or condition.
However, I’ve had people who are attracted to these bracelet styles purely on the premise that they are (for the most part) hypoallergenic!
Traditionally the Saami people of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia tanned their own reindeer skins using bark from a variety of trees.
Our black reindeer hide is organically dyed using the bark from the alder tree. Our coiled tin thread is comprised of 96% tin, 4% silver and is nickel free. Reindeer antler buttons and cord take the place of metal clasps on regular bracelets so no metal is touching the wearer’s skin.
So, if you have a friend, family member or client who always says ‘I love jewelry but I’m allergic to metal!’ introduce them to the special beauty and wearability of these handcrafted bracelets.
Join our blog and add some color to your pewter thread bracelets. I love the look of traditional pewter thread braids but sometimes I long for a little variation to really make the materials pop. I usually wear several bracelets at a time and often I can color coordinate my selection with what I’m wearing. We recently added a rich rainbow of 1.00mm round cowhide leather cord to our inventory at saamisupplies.com. Follow the steps in this project to brighten you bracelets and your day.
Double Four Braid Pewter Thread Bracelet with 1.00 Round Leather Colored Cord
Begin by cutting 4 pieces of 0.35mm pewter thread approximately 18 inches long each. Cut one 18 inch section of 1.00mmround leather cord.
Take 2 pieces of pewter thread and place a strand on either side of your leather cord. These will be your borders. Double the entire piece in half on the end of an open paper clip attached to your table clamp. Make sure to keep everything flat. It’s a bit of a challenge so don’t be discouraged if it seems like you need another set of hands to get everything positioned properly.
Double your remaining 2 strands of pewter thread over the end of the paper clip and you are ready to start braiding.
Proceed to braid as you would for the double four-strand pewter thread bracelet project in our previous post this past week.
You should end up with a 6.5 – 6.75 inch finished braid. You can sew the braid to a leather strip at this point or simply cap the end with a button and loop for a different look.
It’s hard to believe that the addition of color can make this braid look so different. You can also try using round polyester cord or silk beading cord for variety. I’ve had students use flat strips of suede or reindeer hide and even ribbon! Remember to use materials at least 1.00mm wide so your material doesn’t disappear between the sections of your pewter thread.
Don’t forget to join our blog and stay tuned for another exciting project next week. Visit www.saamisupplies.com for everything you need to fuel your creativity!
Don’t finish off your Saami inspired projects using plain old leather cord. Our reindeer leather cord is hand twisted around a strong core of synthetic sinew for strength and durability. Choose from our variety of colored reindeer cords and match them up with your reindeer leather strips when you order from Saami Supplies!
Our reindeer antler buttons range in size from 9 – 12mm. Each antler button is unique and will vary in size and color. Reindeer antler buttons compliment all Saami inspired projects. Finish off your bracelets with these beautiful reindeer antler buttons!