Fifth generation quill worker Monica Raphael learned the traditional woodland art of embroidering porcupine quills onto birch bark from her auntie and father over thirty years ago. Quickly mastering both the flora and fauna designs for which her family was known she has excelled in more complex designs while mixing traditional techniques with bright modern colors creating a modern twist to a timeless art form.
In 2018, after working over twenty years inspiring youth to seek the knowledge of their ancestors, Monica followed her dream of becoming a full-time artist. Her work is known for its craftsmanship and unwavering dedication to patience. One of her recent works is titled Debwaywin, an entirely quilled on birch bark regalia celebrating the right of passage to womanhood. This piece won Best in Division in Beadwork and Quillwork at the 98th annual Santa Fe Indian Market and was recently acquired by the National Museum of American Indian to become part of the museum’s permanent collection. Well-versed in the traditional arts and culture of the Anishinaabek, Monica is dedicated to preserving the culture she was raised in and is committed to sharing her knowledge with others to be carried on for generations to come.