Since our first meeting at
the Santa Fe Indian Market in 2007, where he sold out, we've
been anxiously awaiting Babe's next batch of beautiful cultural
In the traditional manner,
Babe crafts these elaborate and functional cradleboards by hand.
His images are taken from his Woodland heritage. As a member
of the Kahnawake, Mohawk tribe - which is part of the Iroquois
confederacy, Babe grew up playing outdoors and working with his
Like many of his peers he
is an acomplished steel worker, but working with wood allows
him to portray a softer, more colorful side of life as a traditional
These boards are all cut and
adorned by Babe, and each canopy is carefully hand turned and
hand bent after much preparation.
His decorative panels tell
a story about life in the region where he grew up. Each is engraved,
with the mural painted upon the relief carved surface.
Babe worked High Steel in
New York since he was 18. Always did artwork as a hobby. Cradleboards
were done when someone in the community would come by and request
one for their new baby. Only started to concentrate seriously
on artwork for the past five years.
Before starting a cradleboard
design, Babe will sketch an idea out onto his drawing book. The
process for the construction of the board itself is fashioned
in the old Mohawk traditional style. Once the board is done,
he will draw freestyle then carve the design by hand.
Type of wood: pine is backboard
and footboard, ash is the rowbar, maple is the backbar or a similar
type of hardwood. Bound with catgut. Leather is deerhide and
fur is different types. Whatever is available at the time: rabbit,
There are two different designs
that he will incorporate onto the cradleboards. The traditional
style will include our floral and bird designs. These are all
on our oldest boards that we have seen. The contemporary style
will incorporate the old style, but will also reflect the clans
that are within our society.