Georgia Bennett- Raven’s Tail Weaver
Artist and raven’s tail weaver Georgia Bennett combines the ancient Haida art of raven’s tail weaving with modern colours to create Haida dance regalia, head dresses, pouches, belts, wristlets, sashes and other traditional wearable artwork. Georgia is well-known throughout Old Masset and around Haida Gwaii for her distinctive work and she is often sought out by locals for the creation of traditional formal Haida wear. In fact, Georgia’s skill and proficiency has become known far beyond the boundaries of the islands and today she ships orders all around the world. Georgia Bennett has exhibited her work in the All Islands’ Art Show. Photos of her work have been published in books. Georgia Bennett credits her mentor and first instructor Evelyn Vanderhoop as well as weaver William White with her inspiration and dedication to the art of raven’s tail weaving.
Meet Georgia Bennett
Meet Georgia Bennett
To Georgia Bennett, Haida Gwaii is paradise. Everything from the abundance of sea life to the thick rainforests and diverse vegetation present on and around the islands makes self-sustenance possible. "You could survive on Haida Gwaii without any stores," says Georgia, much as the Haida people did for thousands of years. Georgia revels in the slow pace of daily living and the natural beauty that surrounds her every day. "It is amazing to live here."
Georgia was a professional nail technician when she first tried her hand at the ancient art of raven's tail weaving in 2004 under the instruction of notable Haida weaver Evelyn Vanderhoop. Her first piece, a pouch, became a gift to her sister and her first apron, a gift to her husband. A busy career caused her to set aside the hobby for a few years, but in 2009 she took up the art again, devoting more time and attention to honing her skills and soon found herself getting requests from people to create items for them. Georgia began making traditional dance regalia and head dresses, eventually adding many other items to her repertoire, including belts, pouches, aprons, dance robes and more.
At first, she would spend several hours to a couple of days per week at her weaving, doing nails for the bulk of the week. These days she gets so many orders that she only does nails for a couple of days each week and devotes most of her work week to weaving. In the early days of her weaving, most of her orders came from locals. While she still creates many items for her fellow Haida Gwaii residents, she is also developing a much wider reputation as a skilled raven's tail weaver. She has sent orders to places as far away as California and Australia. Georgia feels blessed to be able to spend so much time at a craft that she loves. She confesses that weaving is both work and play for her and it is rare that she doesn't have a project on the go. About the only time she takes a break from weaving is to spend time on the Internet looking for new wool to work with. In fact, one of her dreams is to own a wool shop.