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Karin and Jim's collection Learning by Designing Pacific Northwest Coast Native Indian Art, Volume 2
by Karin Clark and Jim Gilbert

  This companion manual to Volume 1 puts First Nations art into deeper cultural context, providing Native Indian philosophy, knowledge and skills foundation, code of ethics, and interviews with a contemporary First Nations family, as well as some aspects of historical context and a description of the Potlatch. A full colour, 16-page creation story with 20 designs is included. Additional topics include: contemporary design evolution with 50 examples, 20 designs to draw and paint, and a Quick Reference Chart containing over 100 designs. Durable soft cover, 176 pages.

Here are some of the reviews we have received so far:


Reviewed by Reg Ashwell
Freelance writer and Northwest Coast art dealer and collector,
Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Those collectors and admirers of Pacific Northwest Coast Native Indian art who enjoyed Volume 1 of Learning By Designing by Jim Gilbert and Karin Clark are in for an even greater treat now that Volume 2 has arrived. For those latecomers who have not yet read Volume 1, it is highly recommended that they read it first and then carry on to the companion Volume 2, which is so essentially a follow up of the previous book. I particularly enjoyed Karin Clark's moving column on the late and great Jim Gilbert in which she pays tribute to the artist's prodigious efforts to further world wide appreciation of the art of the Pacific Northwest Coast native Indian people. In Volume 2, we are treated to warm and wonderfully informative interviews with First Nations people such as Ruth Cook, George Cook, Nella Nelson and Wedlidi Speck. Particularly fascinating is a Four Worlds Colour Section with original black and white illustrations by Jim Gilbert. It is a Pacific Northwest Coast native Creation Story as told by Wedlidi Speck and magnificently rendered in four hand-painted colour sections by Ron Stacy. Wedlidi Speck is a born story teller whose prose, as told from a First Nations perspective, makes colourful and captivating reading. Below is a quote from what he has to say about the human element of the "fourth world". "Seekers of sacred knowledge and truth, throw yourself in the promise that is you; as an acorn, a tree awaits; as an egg a salmon becomes. You are an ember enroute to becoming a sacred fire. Let the journey begin." Let the journey begin indeed. There is so much information packed into this extremely well- written and exhaustively researched second volume, I found myself reading many pages twice, just to make sure that I had absorbed all of the fascinating text. And those hundreds of exquisitely rendered illustrations by Jim Gilbert are superbly enhanced in Volume 2 by the artistry of Ron Stacy, who has been happily immersing himself in the study of Pacific Northwest Coast native art for many years. Kudos to Karin Clark and the late Jim Gilbert, whose tireless efforts and endless research have resulted in two classic volumes which are surely destined to find their way as valued additions to libraries, schools, cultural institutions and other places of learning throughout North America.

Reviewed by: W.F. (Bill) Judt,
relief carver,
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

I am even more impressed with this volume than the last. If offers so many new tools and insights that allow one to create imaginative and lively designs that incorporate the numerous elements of the art form. I can see this volume generating a lot of interest in my relief carving classes. The carver in me got really excited at what I found between page 51 in the "introduction to design" chapter and the "quick reference charts" ending on page 152. The patterns are beautiful and the combinations almost endless. I especially liked the design ideas in the sections on "elements - rain, clouds, etc" and "Trees and Costal Islands. Beautiful.


Learning by Designing, Pacific NW Coast Native Indian Art, Volume 2
About the Authors
Overview of Learning by Designing

Building on a First Nations Foundation
Traditional First Nations Code of Ethics
Twelve Principles of Aboriginal Philosophy
First Nations Knowledge and Skills Foundation

Four Worlds Colour Section
Aboriginal Art within a Cultural Context
Talking with one contemporary First Nations Family

Ruth Cook
George Cook
Nella Nelson
Wedlidi Speck

Introduction to Design
Evolution and Formation of Design Shapes
Evolution of the Ovoid - The Salmon Egg/Salmon Head Theory
Two-Dimensional Design Styles
Semi-Realistic Design Styles
Extended and Rearranged Design Styles
Myth Interpretation /Reading a Rearranged Design
Reading a Two-Dimensional Design
Overlapping - Depth and Perspective
Perspective - Birds Wings and Tails
The Elements - Rain, Clouds, Snow, Water, Ocean
Trees and Coastal Islands
Painting and Colours
Basketry Designs - Geometric, Decorative, Animal, Woven or Painted
Decorated Garments
Decorative Garments - Button and Applique
Contemporary Garments

Culture & Art Style Regions of the Pacific Northwest Coast
Map: Four Major Art Style Regions of the Pacific Northwest Coast

Full Designs in the Style of the Four Art Areas
North Coast Designs
Killer Whale

Mid Coast Designs
Killer Whale

South Coast Designs
Killer Whale

West Coast of Vancouver Island Designs
Killer Whale

Summary Chart
Quick Reference Charts
Mythological Creatures
Natural Elements and Heavenly Bodies
Sea Creatures

Appendix A: Some Aspects of History of the Coastal First Peoples
Appendix B: The Potlatch


Karin Clark, Raven Publishing
P.O. Box 325,
5581 Horne Rd.
Union Bay, B.C. V0R 3B0
Ph. 250-335-1708
Fax 250-335-1710
Toll Free 1-877-333-0723

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Created April 23th 1996, last update: Oct. 4th., 2011.

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