For this holiday season look no further than Kodiak for fun and unique gifts. Local artists will showcase their work at bazaars and fairs all over town from now through December.
Using Kodiak’s pristine and natural landscape as their backdrop, local artists use the local flora and fauna as inspiration, creating unique pieces ideal for holiday gifts. This non-exhaustive list merely scratches the surface of the wide range of local artists.
Throughout November the Kodiak Island Brewing Company is showcasing and selling crocheted bags, blankets, wrist warmer gloves, and Xtratuf warmers by Jane Robinson. Prices range from $15 to $200.
Harborside Fly-by Coffee also sells art by local artists and locally-made products. They sell handmade soaps for $7, mason jar cozies for $15, cards, and photos of Kodiak animals ranging in price from around $65 to over $300.
Natasha Pristas — art, prints, cards and calendars
Pristas was born in Kodiak and uses its animals, nature and city landscape to inspire her bright, colorful artwork. Her goal is to make artwork accessible for the average person. She creates calendars, cards and prints ranging from $7.50 to $38. She also sells original pieces for a range of prices.
“With pen and watercolor I can get the colors that I want,” Pristas said. “And in our climate we sometimes need a bright burst of color.”
Her work can be found at the Kodiak History Museum, Norman’s Fine Gifts and The Frame Shop, or on her website www.natashazahnpristas.com. She will also be at the Kodiak Baptist Mission Bazaar on Nov. 30.
June Pardue — jewelry and baskets
Pardue creates baskets, jewelry and salmon skin pop sockets for cell phones, among other items.
Born in Old Harbor, Pardue’s Sugpiaq culture permeates her creations. She makes baskets and jewelry inspired by natural materials and anything Alutiiq, she said.
She creates “anything Sugpiaq-inspired. If I’m reading about our language and let’s say it’s something really cool, sometimes I will create something out of stories and I how I grew up.”
Pardue prefers using beach rye for her Alutiiq grass baskets; however, she has experimented weaving with seal gut and willow and enjoys twine weaving in just about any medium, according to her biography on the Alutiiq Museum’s website.
Her items can be found at the Alutiiq Museum. She can also be contacted through her Facebook page June Pardue Studios.
Mark Witteveen — metal sculptures
Witteveen creates sculptures inspired by Kodiak’s natural landscapes, flora and fauna. His most popular pieces are sculptures of salmon, halibut and octopus.
“I am inspired by the nature around us more than anything. I work with fish as a job, so I spend a lot of time with animals,” Witteveen said.
Witteveen’s work will be showcased at The Kodiak Island Brewing Company on Dec. 15 along with artists Lisa McCormick, Chrissy Johnsrud. Witteveen can be reached through his website http://www.metallicmarineart.com. At the time this article was written, the time of the event was not available.
Clay Creek Pottery
Susan Baker owns Clay Creek Pottery, located in Chiniak. She creates bowls, mugs and dishes with designs inspired by Kodiak’s flora and fauna. She sells her mugs at Java Flats and Norman’s Fine Gifts. Her studio in Chiniak is open to visitors by appointment. Her prices range from $23 to $35 depending on the size and item.
“I do mostly functional pottery,” Baker said. “My biggest seller is mugs but I do other things like different sizes of bowls, sets of dishes, little soap dish. Whatever you can create with clay.”
For her portfolio and contact information visit her website claycreekpottery.com/.
Bear Bread Studios — Jewelry and “bear bread”
Jewelry-maker and founder of Bear Bread Studios, Hannah Gordon creates jewelry from natural materials found on the beach. She collects shells, pumice and sea glass, decorating them with natural stones to make earrings and necklaces. Gordon also makes bear bread, or shelf fungi, that is dried and either burned or painted.
Her art will be showcased at the Alutiiq Museum Bazaar on Dec. 7. Prices range between $23 to $35, and her bear bread starts at $25.
Susan Malutin — Fur hats, mittens, headbands, slippers and ear muffs
As a master sewer who has learned from Alutiiq elders, Malutin uses a range of furs for her creations including sea and land otter, beaver, arctic fox and ermine. She will be at the at the Alutiiq Museum’s Holiday Bazaar on Dec. 7.
Her headbands and neck warmers cost $250, slippers range from $110-$150 depending on size and materials, and ear muffs range from $65 to $70.
Her contact information can be found on the Alutiiq Museum website.