Cross Stitch Patterns Based on Pacific Northwest Coast Native Indian Art Styles: Book 1 Thunderbirds

Raven Publishing Inc.

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By Jim Gilbert and Sheron Ruffel


The first in a series, this book contains the three full-size colour cross-stitch patterns from the West, Mid, and North Coast shown on the front cover.

  • Original designs by Jim Gilbert, adapted for cross stitch by Sheron Ruffell.
  • Patterns are full size and are approximately 37 cm x 27 cm (14" x 11") with each based on accurate, traditional designs.
  • Also included is a First Nations area map, Aboriginal art within a cultural context, Aboriginal designs used in cross stitch explanation, illustrated cross stitch instructions.
  • Soft cover, 8 1/2" x 11", 36 pages.

About the Authors

Original Designs by Jim Gilbert, B.A., April 8, 1932 - November 14, 2000

Jim was trained under a traditional Kwagulth art apprenticeship with the Hunt family of Victoria. He worked with and for master carver, Tony Hunt Sr., learned the basics from master carver, Henry Hunt, and felt privileged to have danced at Henry's funeral potlatch.

Tony Hunt Sr. praised Learning by Designing Pacific Northwest Coast Native Indian Art, Volume 1:

“This book provides valuable information about the complex variations of Northwest Coast designs. It is well researched and all artists should benefit from this information. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK. Congratulations.” - Chief Tony Hunt Mupin Kim - Klah Kwa Tzee Four Times Chief/Big Copper - Kwagulth Master Carver and Artist. Tsaxis/Victoria, B.C.

Jim was a versatile and award-winning artist in both traditional and contemporary styles. Over the years, Jim was commissioned by a number of First Nations communities to produce carvings and silver jewellery to be used for ceremonial activities.

For thirty years, Jim was an active artist working mainly in the art form of the Pacific Northwest Coast First Nations. He worked in most coastal aboriginal art styles with artistic production ranging from original graphics, limited and open edition prints, carvings in wood, ivory, bone and stone, to hand engraved and sculptured jewellery pieces in silver and gold.

Jim was raised in Brentwood Bay on the Saanich Inlet. His early fishing and hunting partners were local and travelling Indigenous people. That, along with the influence of his father, Harry Gilbert (1898 - 1967), who painted and carved in the Native style, ensured Jim's lifelong affinity to the culture.

In Learning by Designing Pacific Northwest Coast Native Indian Art, Volume 1 and Volume 2, companions for the previously published Learning by Doing Northwest Coast Native Indian Art, Jim shared his passion and respect for the art form and passed on his own training, understanding, skill, and experience with traditional art apprenticeship methods. His experience teaching First Nations art in Victoria schools gave him an understanding of effective methods of passing on artistic knowledge and skills to larger groups of students.

 Jim used his artistic skills to create over fifteen hundred original illustrations for both volumes of Learning by Designing. His qualifications as a biologist, teacher, artist and author made him uniquely suited to be involved in the production of this extensive working guide and reference book.

Jim's desire was to pass on his knowledge and appreciation for Pacific Northwest Coast Native art. In his own words, "It is important to me to pass on what I have learned and to make others aware of the value of the finest and most sophisticated art form ever developed by an aboriginal people."

Adapted for Cross Stitch by Sheron Ruffel – Sheron Ruffel was born in Port Alberni where her parents settled when they immigrated from the Shetland Islands. She was raised on the lower mainland where she graduated from high school with majors in Art and Commerce. She always had an interest in any type of arts and crafts being taught and she was encouraged by her mother at an early age, especially for her love of knitting and embroidery. A chance meeting with Karin Clark gave Sheron the opportunity to convert the beautiful works of Jim Gilbert into cross stitch.