A beautiful floral design of porcupine quills on a birch bark medallion graces this coiled sweetgrass basket by Paul St John; Mohawk/Passamaquoddy. The designs are traditional NE Indian designs.
Paul calls this beautiful round basket his "sewing basket". This basket is 6.25" in diameter and 3" high. The quill decorated birchbark medallion in the center of the lid is 4 3/8" in diameter. Some of the leaves are done in the double curve style - the double curve motif is prevalent in Maine Indian artwork - among all 4 tribes (Maliseet, MicMac, Passamaquoddy and Penobscot). The quills for the leaves are dyed dark green, the flowers are dyed red, yellow and purple.
Paul St. John lives in Maine, his mother is Passamaquoddy. He grew up on the Mohawk lands in New York, his father's homeland. - When I saw his work I knew immediately I needed to offer his great baskets. While quill work and coiled sweetgrass baskets are historically Maine Indian traditional crafts, currently no one but Paul St. John is making coiled sweetgrass baskets and few Maine Indians are using the traditional porcupine quill on birchbark for design work . - Passamaquoddy basketmakers, Jeremy Frey and Otter, both have used some quill work on their baskets... but quill work on coiled sweetgrass baskets are only done by Paul St John.