Gilbert Pat was born in November 1945 in Sardis BC, located in Sto:lo territory of the Fraser Valley. Pat was educated in Mission, but relocated to the ‘Namgis village of ‘Yalis (Alert Bay) as a young man, where he married Francis Shaughnessy. During his time in Alert Bay, Pat was inspired and mentored by well-known carver Lloyd Wadhams Sr of Kingcome Inlet.
Pat developed his own geometric interpretation of coastal form line, and produces clean, consistent, quality pieces of jewellery for an affordable price.
Our most popular of Pat's work includes some delicate horizontal bar pieces that are punched on either end, to be suspended from a link chain. Pat has also designed some gorgeous vertical pendants with the top bent back, rather than having jump hoops to suspend them on chain. Feminine, delicate and shiny, with meaningful motifs, make these wonderful gifts.
His two sons Jason and Jeff are also proficient jewelers who have been deeply influenced by Pat’s style
Dragonfly, Hummingbird & Butterfly Necklace by Gilbert Pat
Dragonfly is correlated with medicine, and is the only insect among the Haida to feature as a family crest. Dragonfly is associated with motion and change, and has recently become a popular motif in northwest coast indigenous art.
Dragonfly is quite easy to recognize, due to the long narrow body, narrow wings, and large, roundish eyes.
Exclusive to the Western Hemisphere, Hummingbird is an agile feminine bird known for grace, beauty, love and joy. Hummingbirds can hover in the air without seeming to fly, but have swift movement and are quick to respond to danger. Hummingbirds are affiliated with emotional healing, and are seen as a good omen if one appears during a time of strife or sorrow. Fragile and sensitive to her surroundings, Hummingbirds are a reminder of the delicate nature of life.
Hummingbirds are generally depicted with tiny, fragile bodies, long slender beaks, and either a single or cluster of flowers. Hummingbird is sometimes illustrated with curled appendages similar to that of Thunderbird, though more delicate. That said, it is impossible to mistake Hummingbird for Thunderbird, due to the obvious differences between their beaks.
Butterfly represents transformation and metamorphosis, as Butterflies change from caterpillars when they reach maturity. In one Kwakwaka’wakw legend, a butterfly the size of an eagle landed on Numas’ head and told him many secrets. Butterfly is revered as a messenger, and is correlated with creation stories from many different tribes.
Butterflies are one of the easier motifs to recognize, due to the wings and antennae.
Franz Boas Indian Myths & Legends from the North Pacific Coast of America: A Translation of Franz Boas' 1895 Edition of Indianische Sagen von der Nord-Pacifischen Kuste Amerikas (2006)
Campbell River Museum & Archives
Conversation with Artist Rodney Seaweed