“Inuit hunt seal to feed our families, our communities and being able to use the fur is amazing. Inuit make mitts, hats, coats, kamiit (winter, waterproof fur boots), purses, hunting bags, you name it, we will make it.”
I have been sewing for a great number of years but have only recently been doing the sealskin shoes. I love working with sealskin and was always looking at ways to use it in a manner that promotes it and not just in the colder months. I found that people would look forward to the colder months in order wear their sealskin products. Inuit and non-Inuit who love to promote their support for the arctic and culture, seem to jump at the opportunity to wear their products. I came up with the wonderful idea of how to use sealskin anytime, anywhere.
I absolutely adore sealskin and it is very important to my Inuit culture to use it, since we eat the seal for nutrition, the fur is a byproduct, rather than the sole purpose. Inuit hunt seal to feed our families, our communities and being able to use the fur is amazing. Inuit make mitts, hats, coats, kamiit (winter, waterproof fur boots), purses, hunting bags, you name it, we will make it. I like the idea of modern shoes being adorned with sealskin, it’s another use for our furs.
As I do not make the actual shoe itself, I do like using an already made shoe, that way I am not limited to one style or size or colour. I have creative freedom to use a shoe that inspires me or challenges me. I also like that people can provide me with their favorite shoe to have them renewed, if you will. There really is no limit on what I can do with adorning sealskin to footwear.
Nicole Camphaug is a fine craft artist from Rankin Inlet, currently working in Iqaluit.