Vicki Blanchard

Nulhegan Band of Coosuk Abenaki Nation

Juried Artist Since 2014
Image of Vicki Blanchard
Vicki Blanchard

Vicki Blanchard is a traditional beadworker. She apprenticed with Debbie Dostie (Master Beadworker) through the generosity of The New Hampshire Traditional Arts Apprenticeship program in 2013 and is looking forward to another apprenticeship.

One of her goals is to apply for another Traditional Arts Apprenticeship to round out her beading skills to include gourd stitching, which some may refer to as peyote stitching. With the addition of this technique, she would have knowledge and experience in all of the traditional ways of beading that our ancestors used.

Additionally, Vicki makes stoneware and earthenware, with a variety of glazes and both gas and electric kilns under the name Noki Pottery. Since she doesn’t own a kiln, she relies on her pottery instructor Janice Shaughnessy and Pheobe’s Pottery Studio, to fulfill her craft as a potter. In addition to her contemporary work, she has rediscovered the ancient art of pots used for storage and cooking by her ancestors.
Vicki is a citizen of the Nulhegan Band of Coosuk Abenaki and a member of the Vermont Abenaki Artists Association, the Abenaki Trails Project and the Washington Area Artisans.

Image of Vicki's pottery.
Pottery by Vicki.

Pottery:

I have always been drawn to clay and pottery, when I was about 10 years old I found a clay deposit in the brook behind my house.  I made a ball out of that clay which I still have today.    I began to study under juried potter Janice Shaughnessy after raising my children and building my career as a paramedic. Making functional and sculptural pottery, I traditionally create pieces on a wheel.  The rhythmic whirling of the soft clay in my hands helps me to relax and unwind especially if I had a stressful shift as a paramedic.  These pots are food safe and can be used in the oven and microwave.
I am now embarking on a journey to rediscover the art of creating pots as my Abenaki ancestors would have.  This includes researching, examining and photographing ancient pots from our homeland of N’Dakinna (NH & VT).  Studying these pots has allowed me to rediscover the forms and tools used on their vessels.  I have begun to incorporate these patterns and shapes into the pots I am creating today.  My traditional journey includes finding local sources of clay, creating my pots with hand building methods and firing them in a fire pit, just as my Abenaki ancestors would have.

Beading: 

I create beaded items through the traditional Native American beading techniques of loom beading and appliqué. I use the traditional Woodlands designs and patterns for my beaded pieces.  Some items I have created include an heirloom pair of bead appliqué moccasins for my grandsons, barrettes, eye-glass case, belts, dog collars, bracelets, lanyards, and ear rings.  I have been able to learn the art of traditional beading through the New Hampshire Traditional Arts Apprenticeship program, for which I eternally grateful.

Image of beaded barrette
Beaded barrette by Vicki

Contact Info: vblanchardhome@gmail.com

Exhibits

2013

Nulheganaki, Island Pond, VT

2012

Shaping our Heritage: An exhibit of the Traditional Arts Apprenticeships in New Hampshire, New Hampshire State Library,

Publications

2012

Shaping our Heritage”: Reflections Celebrating Traditional Arts, NH State Council of the Arts, Book.

Awards 

2012

Traditional Arts Apprenticeship program, NH Council for the Arts

2011

Traditional Arts Apprenticeship program, NH Council for the Arts

Affiliations

Vermont Abenaki Artists Association, Juried Artist since 2014