My name is James Reed. I am a 4th Generation Shipwright and Artist raised and trained in the Pacific Northwest. “I am Kingsawin” of the Tongass Tribe of the Tlingit People. We are known as The People of the Tides a canoe culture of the Pacific Northwest Coast of North America. Gunalchéesh for visiting my website! (Thank you!).
I am from the Eagle moiety and Bear Clan. Ch’áak’ (eagle). I come from Southeast Alaska, where for generations, our indigenous people have existed as mariners and canoe travelers, fishermen, hunters, gatherers, and traders. It was only natural for me to become a shipbuilder and artist like my Grandfather, Master Carver, Shipwright and Artisan, Charles “Charlie” Brown who was the master carver of the totem poles in Saxman Park in Ketchikan, Alaska. Kootéeyaa (totem pole)
Our Tribe has a rich heritage as craftsman and artists. I studied boat building at Bates Vocational College in Tacoma Washington, where I received a degree in Boat Building. I also taught boat building at Northwest Indian College at the Lumi Nation for two years after receiving my associates degree.
I have lived on my sailboat, SV SpiritHawk for over twenty years. SpiritHawk is a beautiful wooden 1972 Pacific Northwest Schooner that I rescued from a boatyard in Seattle and rebuilt. She is currently undergoing a second refit and repair, with upgrades, as I am getting her ready to sail the Caribbean next year. You can follow the refitting process on facebook @sailingspirithawk at www.facebook.com/sailingspirithawk
I am often asked how I came to be known as Kingsawin. Our people are part of a matriarchal society. My mother gave me my Indian name, Kingsawin, which I use as my artist name. It was my Great Uncle’s Indian name and it is an honor for me to continue the tradition.
2020 has been an interesting year due to the Pandemic. I decided to put my Formline Eagle, Owl and Raven designs on Facemasks. We had so much fun designing them and many people enjoyed where a piece of art during this difficult pandemic time. In the process of creating the face masks, to sell in our Etsy Shop, we realized how many of our creative works could lend themselves to clothing. We started adding more art including prints, posters and active wear clothing to our spirit and totem animal collections. We are thankful to the Great Mother for this opportunity. I am excited to introduce a line of jewelry and sculptures in 2021. We will post more about that in the near future. Gunalchéesh *, Kingsawin.
*Gunascheesh Definition: Thank You in Tlingit or Lingut as our language is known.