elitekey: v. I make things, I fashion things.
Kwe' kwe'. Teluisi Megan Samms. Elitekey, elu'j. Ni'n l'nu epi't, ni'n Mi'kmaw, ni'n Nlaka'pamux. Wejiey K'taqmkuk. Nugumah.
My name is Megan Samms. I am a maker of things, animate things, live textiles. I'm a Mi'kmaw woman living, working and making between Nēhiyaw // Cree, Treaty 8 Territory in Northern Alberta and Taku River Tlingit territory in Northern BC along the Yukon border. I was born and brought up in Ktaqmkuk, or Newfoundland, territory of Mi'kma'ki. My life and my work, both in forestry and textiles, are continually and dually inspired by the simple and traditional, by process, exploration and the land.
I am deeply moved by the uncomplicated, honest and time honoured life tasks. Whether it's cultivating my garden, looking for and reporting wildfires in the boreal forest, tending to honeybees, foraging for medicines and colour, weaving, dyeing, spinning or knitting, I am, each time, brought back to the beauty in such simple but necessary acts of existence.
The practice and long lasting results of handcraft, hardwork, fibre and plant dyes come together as a functional art grounded in usefulness, shelter, beauty and tradition. These are concepts I aim to integrate in my textile work. I am a cloth maker. Elitekey, elu'j.
About my work
elu'j: v. making things which are animate. ie: cloth, pla'kit (blanket), moccasins, gloves.
artisan: a worker in a skilled trade, especially one that involves making things by hand.
I am a hand weaver utilizing a few aged, wooden floor looms committed to using 100% natural fibres, organic whenever possible, and natural dyes. Unusable fibre and spent dyestuff is composted and water usage is harnessed rainwater or melted snow. I tend to and harvest dyes in my garden and around the fire lookout, in the Boreal forest, that I sit on for 6 months of the year. I sometimes supplement colour with extracts from Earthues, a small natural dye company in WA, USA. Due to the nature of this, colour is seasonal.
Pattern and fibre choice is inspired by where I dwell, (between the fire lookout and Taku River Tlingit Territory // Atlin, BC) the land and also by the ultimate function of the piece. Colour is, of course, inspired by the natural world and often times by who the original design or item is for. In my studio practice, one project often inspires the next, time on the land influences the next colour exploration.
Production is limited and is possibly one of a kind. I have work available at Itsy Bitsy Yarn Shop in Whitehorse, Yukon and at the Atlin Arts & Music Festival Head Quarters in Atlin, BC or if you're interested in a custom colour or cloth, don't hesitate to contact me.
I greatly enjoy and welcome collaboration. Please be in touch if you're interested in working together.
Wela'lin. Msit No'kmaq. Nugumah.