Karen Ann Hoffman, Turtle Clan

Title: Jacqueline Clause-Bazinet, Mohawk, Bear Clan 
Image size: 39 x 29 inches

Medium: Colored and graphite pencils, acrylic, watercolor and ink.

“Beading is my life,” says Jacqueline, a Mohawk who has lived on the Tuscarora Reservation her entire life, “and I come from a long line of beaders.” She has been actively beading for about eight years and her best mentors are her mother, Mary Annette Clause and her grandmother "Nan" Marlene Printup. Both Mary Annette and Marlene are master beadworkers and “they both have been great teachers to me and are very inspiring in whatever endeavors I undertake, not just beading.”

As a young beadwork artist, Jacqueline says that it sometimes takes her a long time to complete a piece. Some projects, “I can just whip up in days. It’s when I have a clear vision of what I would like my piece to look like that it’s easier to bead.”

Some of her inspiration comes from walks in the woods or sometimes from floral images she has seen in books or magazines. She often looks through the old beadwork patterns that have been passed down through her family and finds inspiration in them as well to create something of her own. She has made a traditional Haudenosaunee outfit for each of her children; one in pink and white beads (her daughter Kyleigh's favorite colors) and the other, a strawberry outfit for her daughter Keirstin, “because she was born in the spring and has beautiful ginger hair. Strawberries are the first berry we harvest each year and they have deep cultural meaning to the Iroquois.” Both of her daughters bead with her, continuing the family tradition that has been ongoing since the 19th century.

 “One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned in life is be grateful for everything you have and to appreciate life because it could all be taken away from you in a second,” says Jacqueline. “The Creator has given each of us a purpose in life. Mine is to be here for my children and to express my life and the beauty in it, through beadwork and to keep those traditions alive by teaching beadwork to others. When I was growing up I loved to watch my mother do her beadwork and she always encouraged me to do the same. I’m honored to have her as teacher.”

On one occasion, Jacqueline was walking down her long driveway to meet her daughters at the school bus. “I heard squawking and as I looked up, I noticed four red-tailed hawks flying above me. It was as if they were dancing in the air. After a few minutes three of them flew off and were soon out of sight but one remained, and flew into the woods behind my house. The red-tailed hawk has always reminded me of my brother, who passed away a few years ago. It was a heartwarming feeling to see them flying above me. He must have known that I've been missing him.”

In the background of Jacqueline’s portrait I included a large group of red-tailed hawks and bald eagles coming together to form the basic outline of the Aienhwatha belt, now universally considered the symbol of the Iroquois Nation. One of them is in color, and that one represents her brother, whose spirit is ever present in her life.

Jacqueline has exhibited her beautiful beadwork in numerous venues and has won awards at the following events: