Double Helix

Double Helix

As long as we have been around, people have used plaiting, braiding, and weaving to protect, clothe, adorn, feed, and tell stories. We use materials of earth, things made in fire, to reveal how and where we intertwine and connect.
Discussion for this piece began in February of this year when I contacted, hoping to collaborate on a donation for Metalsmiths for Change. Knowing each other only through social media, the choice to collaborate was a leap of faith. What emerged through our rich discussions and periods of discernment was not only a peek into the other’s creative process but this beautiful necklace.

Courtney: “When I saw the completed piece, my first thought was how very strong Aisha’s design felt to me. The way she bound the beads together had a solid presence, and brought back my first year of naaxein weaving with my Tlingit teacher, Chloe Sk.wein French, of the Eagle Moiety, Tsaagweidi Clan (Killer Whale Seal Clan) and Yaax Aan Kowtl Tsexi Hit (The House that Anchors the Village). As my hands were learning to dance the weft yarns around the warp, she told me that student and teacher become woven together with strands of time that connect us to our ancestors. She told me with a hug, “Now you are my Niece, and I am your Auntie.”

Aisha: “Each Sunday evening, we had a ritual: my mother washed and braided my hair. I never knew what pattern would emerge and so throughout the process I would, surreptitiously, touch my hair as each plait came together. As I was putting this necklace together that memory came flooding back and I decided to weave the beads together binding them into an intricate pattern of my own. And, just like that, it felt right.’

Aisha's mom, Yvette George, wearing "Double Helix".
Bidding opens on Saturday, August 7, 2021 at 10am Pacific Time on Instagram.

This Solidarity Auction benefits ​National Black Food and Justice Alliance .
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