chapter  5
Making life beautiful: my experience of doing beadwork: Anna MacLennan
WithANNA MACLENNAN
Pages 3

THE MATERIAL HISTORIES WORKSHOP HELD ON the 26th and 27th of April 2007 at Marischal Museum in Aberdeen was an opportunity for curators and academics from all over Scotland to meet with First Nations and Métis colleagues, including curators, academics and seamstresses from Manitoba and Saskatchewan, Canada. This interaction enabled a better understanding of the hide garments and beadwork that have found their way to Scotland over the years as a result of Scots’ involvement in the fur trade from the seventeenth through to the twentieth centuries. Unlike a conference setting, the Material Histories workshop focused as much on doing as it did on talking. The ‘doing’ involved beading sessions that formed the core of the twoday event. The participants were split into three groups and, led by Jenny Meyer, Jennine Krauchi and Sherry Farrell Racette, each group was taught to create a simple beaded fl ower pattern for a pin cushion. The differences in backgrounds, experience and knowledge of sewing that participants brought to the workshop meant that everyone would have taken something different from it, and I can only write from an individual perspective.