Beth McCubbin

Aanii !

9.1                Ojibwe; Aanii – Greetings! Hi!

This workshop introduced me to just how diverse the Minwaashin Lodge community can be. There was a wide variety in ages again at the workshop, but only one of the participants was Indigenous, an Ojibwe elder woman. The others were made up of women and children who were drawn to the community centre for what it stands for, for the traditional way of life and values it represents. The conversation which occurred while the participants were all working on their tiles was very interesting. One of the women grew up right next to a reserve in northern Ontario where her and her family had always respected and learned from the traditional practices of the First Peoples living in the area. And the other woman, invited by her friend to come along, was of European descent, strong in her own traditions.

The woman from northern Ontario spoke of a number of Indigenous traditional teas and medicines which she still uses from her childhood, and the Ojibwe woman spoke of her past and upbringing too. She had attended a residential school and was never taught the ways nor language of her people. She is now in the process of learning her Native language, Ojibwe. As an adult she had worked as a teacher and has always been very proud of her heritage. Her tile, seen above, represents this for her…Aanii !

9.2A memory of northern Ontario maybe?
9.3 This is the logo for Minwaashin Lodge.  In their large community room where the clay workshops are held at the centre, there is a lovely textile hanging that was the inspiration for this tile.
 Life-Cycle Service Model from Minwaashin Lodge website
9.5some nice little colourful hands…
9.6                  fingerprints, hand prints and carefully drawn marks and little flowers
9.7After struggling with carving the wet clay, difficult and new for many participants, this young girl carefully painted a tile with under-glazes…


Although I absolutely love every single tile that I’ve seen so far, this tile is definitely one of my favourites, watching its process was fantastic! It was inspired by the crack/wrinkle in the clay which can be seen in the middle of the tile, which became the nose of this wonderful face. The discussion between the young boy and myself when I was asked to help him mix the proper colour for the skin tone was incredible. In the end he told me that I had gotten it exactly right, Phew!

 The Tile Project, Beth McCubbin, September 26


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