May 4th, 2015 Last Updated on: May 4th, 2015
Boise Forte Band Of Chippewa Beader Courtney Cochran is a busy lady! A dedicated Mother, Spouse, Artist and soon-to-be-Student, she also beads! Her beadwork is sought after by many on the powwow trail, which reflects her own lifetime of enjoying powwows!
Q) Courtney's Collection is so popular! We are delighted to meet the visionary behind the business!
A) Hi! My name is Courtney Arlene Cochran. I was born in Duluth, MN. I was raised by my grandmother Arlene LaPrairie-Cochran.
Q) I know powwows and beading are part of your “things you love” list! What are some of your favorite remembrances?
A) My favorite beading memory is when i would sit at the kitchen table with my mom (grandmother) and bead while she'd sip her tea. My mom said she had no artist bone in her body and would watch and ask questions about beading. I loved that time together, to share my interest with her and we would talk the afternoon away!
Q) Is that how you came to begin beading?
A) I was introduced to beading when I was 13. I participated in powwow club at the Washington Center with other Native youth in our neighborhood. We were taught regalia making and needlework by an awesome woman by the name of Sarah Howes. I remember our first projects we created were the daisy chain and a choker made from bone. That's when my beading addiction started! I started experimenting and taught myself stitches like peyote and brick stitch.
Q) It's great you have such a wide variety of skills! Do you have a favorite way to find inspiration?
A) My favorite style of style of beading is embroidery. The cribliner that I bead on is my canvas and I can paint anything I can think of!
I am inspired by different materials like pictures on epoxy cabs, dentalium shells, quills, sweet grass and flat back gems! I also get inspired by customers request's of bringing video game and cartoon characters to life!
Q) Beading is such a vital part of each day for you! What does it mean to you?
A) Beadwork is a form of expression for myself. I create art with different mediums like, painting, photography, and drawing. But beading is my favorite!
Q) As you bead, do you feel like it brings you closer to your tribe and ancestors?
A) I feel connected to my ancestors through beading because i use some of the same materials like, leather, sweet grass, quills or bone.
To myself everything has a purpose or story even with my art. Every bead I tack down, even if it is a misplaced bead, spirit bead. To the person I am beading for and my thoughts and vibes I put into my work. I don't bead when I am upset.
One day I will teach my son to bead!
Q) That is tremendous! Has beading taught you anything about yourself?
A) To have patience! Beading is very tedious!
I believe the quality of my work makes it my own. Whatever project I tackle, my design or my customers, I aim to please! I take my beadwork seriously and put my heart and soul into my work.
Q) Oh, we can certainly see that in every piece of your gorgeous work! Anything else you'd like to share with us?
A) You can check out my Facebook page for more of my pieces or put in orders at
Q) Thank you for letting us enjoy your delightful beading!
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