In this episode of Art on the Island Maureen Bader talks to Cortes Island artist Naomi Hayter.  Naomi has lived on Cortes for 40 years, coming here from Victoria to live a back to the land lifestyle.

Maureen Bader

Although Naomi wanted to study and apply to the Parson’s School of Design, her life took a different path. Naomi started beading simple bracelets and had been working with crystals. Her teacher, Leah Porter Blackfoot, suggested she put them into a bag, bead it and wear it close to her heart and that’s how she got started with medicine bags.

Naomi is self taught, and discusses how her self-study took different forms, such as stitches from aboriginal traditions. Bead work is her main activity. Naomi’s work changes as the types of beads change. Colour and even travel to new locations can inspire Naomi to new work.

In terms of marketing, her teacher Leah instructed her to have something for everyone, from less to more expensive articles. Listen as Naomi talks about going to the gem shows in Arizona. This taught her about the marketplace of the earth.

Naomi’s clientele will come back each year to see what she has new. Her work can be found all over the world.

Naomi sells at the Cortes Craft Coop and the Friday market at Manson’s in July at the outdoor market, and does quite a bit of commission work. You can also find Naomi on Facebook: naomi.hayter