January 30, 2012

Bead Artist Profile | Terra Houska

Last month, I spotlighted a bunch of Etsy artists and shop-owners as part of a 'Holiday Shopping Guide' to promote the idea of 'buying local' and 'buying Native.' To continue this idea beyond just the holidays, I'm going to be doing designer profiles on Native Etsy artists in the coming months.

The second Etsy artist of 2012 is Terra Houska, the brains and creative hands behind Maka/Earth/Terra Lakota Creations. She is Oglala Lakota, and was born and raised in the Black Hills of South Dakota. A traditional powwow dancer, Houska started beading in college with her beading club, she says, just to learn how to do something different.

When she designs the jewelry that she sells on Etsy, she says she likes to take traditional colors and shapes and update them, making modern and stylish pieces. She explains, "I go through magazines, look at what celebrities are wearing, look at any type of jewelry that I could turn into something I can bead and give it that Native kick."

While she is influenced by popular culture fashion trends, she is also inspired by her two grandmothers. She says, "One of them loved to bead and sew and the other was really into shiny, flashy, and loud jewelry and clothes. I take both grandmother’s styles and put them into one."

Native American Coral beaded earrings.

Baby custom moccasins.

Pewter Sunburst beaded necklace.

Red teardrop beaded earrings.

Click here to see more at her Etsy shop.