Bill Ritchie's art in Washington State
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Lois Chichinoff-Thadei Collection

Note: Image of Lois' Number 28 is not available, shown here instead is the active side of Mini Halfwood Press No. 33, a likeness of Lois' press.

Mini Halfwood Press No. 28

Specifications: Made in 2007. Mini Halfwood Press. Serial No. 60028. Black walnut, ipe, steel, plastic, brass.

Comment: Lois called from Olympia in 2006 and we had interesting exchanges. Because she is of First Nation heritage, I wondered if she might want a spruce base on her press - suitable for carving. But, no, she is a weaver of baskets and a ceramic artist. She also makes jewelry, I found out. There was a long wait, and then she called again and showed up that very day with friends, Becky and Hank, and took home her Legacy Mini Halfwood, No. 28. She gave me a lot of ideas for story telling because she is an Aleut with a Russian name and my novel, Emeralda, included early-day fur seal hunters in the Aleutian Islands.

Lois Chichinoff Thadei
Bill Ritchie, Becky, Lois and Hank with Lou's new press the day she got it.


Lois Chichinoff-Thadei from the Native American Encyclopedia


About Lois: "Weaving was the core of my creative expression. Guided by ancient hands and echoes of voices recently passed, I manipulate materials. The pieces determine their own dimension and form. I offer only the hands, while others were the heart and soul of my work. Printmaking is the documentation of my life experience, and that which I remember of my ancestors. Now, at this stage of my life, I know if I keep telling our story, someone will remember and we will not be forgotten.” –Lois Chichinoff Thadei

According to the Native Americann Encylopedia, Lois is an Aleut enrolled in Sealaska. Born into the Tlingit and Haida community in Ketchikan, she is part of the Lauth family by both adoption and her father’s marriage.

Creativity is part of her family’s everyday life. Her Grandmother, Sophie Chichinoff Ford Thadei was a skin sewer and weaver. Her father, Louis Thadei, Jr. (Aleut-Sealaska) embellished found objects. Her Aunt, Johanna Paddock Snyder (Aleut – Sealaska) was a skin sewer. Her sister Sharon Lauth Brown (Haida – Sealaska) is a weaver and skin sewer and her brother Fred Lauth (Haida – Sealaska) has always been a totem carver and 2 D artist. As an artist, Lois is working in fiber, paper, metal, wood and glass. (Read more about Lou in the Native American Encyclopedia)

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