Wendy Boivin

Floral Bag

7" L x 4" W
11" long with tassels

This charming little bag caught our eye during our weekend at the Heard Indian market in Phoenix. It's a departure from the Plains culture and motifs but remains in the beadwork genre with a traditionally tanned bag and floral designs.

The bag's unique shape and construction really made it stand out, and Wendy's use of "white space," or the bare area surrounding the beaded design work, really helps highlight and contrast her beautiful floral patterns.

The Menominee are located in Northeastern Wisconsin and are subsequently considered an Eastern Woodlands tribe.

It is interesting to note the differences between regional beadwork designs. Plains people are known predominantly for their incredible geometrics, while their cousins to the East favor a more fluid design, often in the form of florals.

Wendy's choice of colors compliment one another nicely and reflect the realistic aspects of her design by trying to recreate or emulate the images found in nature.

Especially fine is the beaded trim that borders the edge of the bag all the way around. Leather tassels open and close the bag in a draw-string fashion.

Born on the Menominee Reservation in Keshena, Wisconsin in 1958, Wendy Boivin is the youngest child of her family. Due to the death of her mother, Wendy was raised by her maternal aunt and her family, who later adopted her. She attended school near the Milwaukee area, but kept close ties to the reservation returning for holidays and summers.

Loom work was the first style learned from her mother "aunt" at a young age. Beading was a hobby, making small gifts for family and friends. After high school she attended the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico and graduated with an Associate of Fine Arts degree in 3-D design, studying ceramics and dance.

In the years since learning loom work Wendy learned other styles either by herself or watching others. After graduation, she worked a short time in Santa Fe where she realized that she could make money from her beadwork. Wendy began selling her work in shops in Santa Fe.

Returning to Wisconsin, Wendy earned her B.S. in Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She taught on the Menominee Reservation for years. While teaching Native American Language, Culture and History, she developed a Native Crafts Class at the High School, which is still one of the most favorite electives.

Wendy is a single parent, with two adult sons living in Wisconsin and three daughters who live with her in New Mexico. She is currently working part-time for a local jeweler and doing her beadwork.

Wendy believes her inspiration comes from anywhere, and everywhere, the past, present, and future. She gives a lot of credit to her birth mother who was known for her own fine beadwork and was told at a ceremony her spirit guides her in her present day creations. Today, Wendy is sharing her beadwork techniques with her daughters, hoping they will continue to carry on the tradition.

The materials I use are varied from traditional brained-tanned smoked buckskin, porcupine quills, brass beads and cones, imitation sinew, cotton cloth, to plastic, paper bag, nylon threads, synthetic fabrics factory tanned suedes and leathers. Like my ancestors I use the materials available to me. Styles vary also from traditional ceremonial objects to the gas tank cover on my brother’s Harley-Davidson. But the things put into all my pieces are quality craftsmanship, care, and a little of myself.

Special Collections

Price: $600.00
(plus sh/han)

If you have questions about this
item, please contact Brandon:


Ask About Our Lay Away Program

To return to the gallery: Click Here
Additional information: Purchase Details