Fiber artist Kay Parker learned Ravenstail weaving in 1990 from Kathy Rado and has studied extensively with master weaver Cheryl Samuel. Kay began her love of fiber arts at the age of 6, when making doll cloths for her “screw dolls” (dolls made from various length flat head screws with clay heads on the pointed end of the screw). By age 7 she was knitting, thanks to neighbor Gazel Rhodes, and learning to put seams on dish towels, on the sewing machine. While taking a basketry class at the UASE from Delores Churchill in 1984, she fell in love with Ravenstail. The class across the hall was a Ravenstail class and as the week progressed and the weavings grew she became captivated. For the next two years Kay went to sleep at night reading Cheryl Samuel’s The Raven’s Tail, practicing the weaving techniques in her head and yearning to get started. Her timing was perfect and after weaving several projects was able to join a group of weavers that were weaving the “Hands Across Time” robe for the Alaska State Museum. With that experience as a spring board Kay began her own robes and weaving became a habit that became a lifestyle. She also participated in the “Mother” robe for the Ketchikan Totem Heritage Center and the “Coming Ashore Gladly” robe for Janice Criswell’s wedding.
Ms. Parker has been teaching Ravenstail weaving since 1994 and has taught Ravenstail weaving classes in Anchorage, Cordova, Yakutat, Klukwan, Hoonah, and Petersburg and offers a class each summer at the University of Alaska Southeast. She is also President of the Ravenstail Weavers’ Guild and has been an officer in the Guild since its formation in 1990.
Ms. Parker has also completed three Ravenstail robes of her own. Since 1995, her designs include many creative pieces including hats, dance bibs, headbands, headdresses, checkbook covers, coin purses, leggings, tunics and aprons. Kay has weavings in the collections of Juneau City Museum, the Alaska State Museum-Juneau and several private collections. Kay held her first solo exhibit in June 2006 and has been demonstrating and exhibiting since 1990.
Kay Parker lives in Juneau, Alaska, where she was born.
I began weaving Ravenstail seriously in early 1990. I have woven all teaching projects designed by Cheryl Samuel, helped weave on three Ravenstail robes, and an apron and leggings set projects with groups of women (one robe, apron and leggings set belongs to the Alaska State Museum in Juneau the second belongs to the Ketchikan Totem Heritage Center and the third one was for Jani Criswell’s wedding). I have designed and woven three Ravenstail robes which I have and are used by dance groups. My most recent weaving projects include new items I have created and designed: a Ravenstail Vest, a Ravenstail Tunic, two styles of Ravenstail Hats and a circular weaving to hold a carved frontlet on a woven cedar hat.