I am an Alaskan Native who is passionate about my Tlingit culture. I express myself through making jewelry and art. I find great joy in working in film. When not creating, I am foraging for indigenous plants for cooking and medicine making.
Currently I carve silver, copper and gold. Many of my pieces have spruce root woven into them. I hand-carve, shape and cut all of my materials to create unique pieces, as well as harvesting and preparing the spruce roots that I weave into many of my metal works. Although I may repeat certain designs, each piece of jewelry is one-of-a-kind. My style is Tlingit formline mixed with scroll work. Much of my inspiration comes from local plants. I delight in creating heirloom pieces that are unique to an individual or family.
I have learned most of my jewelry trade from Jennie Wheeler (who is my mother) and from Dave Galanin. Jennie sews with furs and skins and weaves baskets. Dave Galanin is a master carver and jewelry maker.
Photo: Mary & son Ryker
Photo credit: Crystal Houghtelling
Photo from the Tlingit Legends Collection
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