Danielle Morsette

Danielle Morsette

Danielle Morsette was born in 1987. She has been practicing weaving for over ten years. She was born in Montana, from a father of the Stó: lō nation and a mother of the Suquamish tribe, and she then grew up in British Columbia, Canada. She currently lives in Vancouver with her husband and her young son.

Her finger-weaving practice is deeply rooted in her native origins. Through her woolen blankets, she explores and celebrates the legacy of her ancestors. On her loom – a fixed structure with two horizontal crossbars holding the warp under tension on each side – Morsette fills the whole surface starting from the bottom. She manually passes the shuttle of thick wool yarn from one selvedge to the other, gently tapping each row with a comb. In addition to her skillful use of twill and twining techniques, she unfolds in her work a typical repertoire of geometric shapes in the Coast Salish style: chevron, zigzag, stripes and lozenges. Her designs constantly push the tradition further. Morsette aims to renew the technique with bold patterns, by combining cedar bark with wool weaving, or by using unusual and sophisticated hues.

Danielle Morsette is considered an experienced weaver, as a repository of her community’s cultural identity, expressing her origins through her blankets. She is often commissioned to create ceremonial attire that will be worn during the potlatch ceremonies, the traditional Pacific Northwestern Coast gift-giving gatherings. Making a regalia would take her several weeks of intensive work. Both determined and humble, Danielle actively cultivates her art. Weaving has gradually become her way of life. She usually weaves at night, when she manages to steal a moment of calm, after taking care of her son during the day. She is also committed in teaching her know-how to other members of her tribe. A woman of her time, Danielle Morsette balances harmoniously between respecting her family legacy and embracing her own contemporary vision.

Morsette completed her first major commission blanket in 2010. Since then she has exhibited pieces at the Suquamish Museum (2011), the Burke Museum (2013) and at the O’Brian Gallery (University of British Columbia Museum of Anthropology) (2014). She has also received prominent scholarships to pursue her weaving from the YVR Art Foundation (2012) and the Potlatch Foundation (2015).

Biographical details from the Suquamish Museum and Tissus et artisans du monde.