BY: Cory Hunlin
PHOTO BY: Nathan Lang
COURTESY OF: Maggie Boyd
Cory Hunlin is originally from Tsideldel First Nation, British Columbia, and now lives and practises in Montreal. Through their project THIS CLAW, they are crafting modern beadwork and fur earrings that continue a tradition of Indigenous design. Hunlin discovered beading in a workshop at the Native Friendship Centre of Montreal and then furthered that knowledge via YouTube tutorials before beginning to experiment. “I love the idea of creating new traditions and new kinds of earrings,” Hunlin says.
Hunlin uses size 10/0 Czech seed beads. Their signature earring is a variation on a traditional brick stitch style to which a drop chain and metal spikes have been introduced.
Hunlin sources materials locally. The glass beads and fur both come from Kahnawake, part of the Mohawk Nation, where Hunlin obtains rabbit pelts collected from roadkill. The pelts are cut and hand-dyed in small batches and then undergo a two-day process that involves drying, washing and stretching each one numerous times.
The endeavour’s name came to Hunlin after they meditated on how they could incorporate the Raven clan into the moniker. “In a way, I’m using my claws to make my earrings,” Hunlin says. “Especially now that I’ve grown out my nails.”