Tiffany Vanderhoop Beadwork & Jewelry: A Celebration of Heritage & Wearable Art On Martha’s Vineyard

by Guinevere Cramer on May 9, 2017

in Interesting Islanders, Made On The Vineyard, On Point - MV Lifestyle

I have admired Tiffany Vanderhoop’s Beaded Jewelry for sometime now. Each time she posts a photo of her handmade beaded earrings or there happens to be a pair at Citrine in Vineyard Haven, I have to admire them.

Martha's Vineyard Jewelry - Tiffany Vanderhoop Beaded Jewelry

The intricacy, the ornate designs, the beauty she can create with her hands and what used to be simple teeny glass beads.

Martha's Vineyard Jewelry Designer Tiffany Vanderhoop

I met with Tiffany at her home in Aquinnah. Originally from the Haida Gwaii tribe from the West Coast (her mother), Tiffany is now an active Wampanoag (her father). She lives on tribal land, with her four children and her partner, Jason Widdiss, also a member of the Wampanoag tribe.

I have always been in awe of the Wampanoag people, so much culture, tradition and strong sense of community. I can’t help but want to know more. So this meeting was a treat for me.

Tiffany Vanderhoop Beaded Jewelry

Before Tiffany began creating beading jewelry, she spent years being a Ravenstail Weaver which according to the University of Southeast Alaska is “an ancient style of twining that creates dramatic geometric patterns in black and white with splashes of yellow highlights. This design forces your eyes to dance across the designs.” The intricate woven piece above is a headpiece.

It is an honor to be able to create such intricate, beautiful pieces, and she, her mother, aunt, brother and sister, have pieces that are part of a collection in the Ketchikan Museum (Alaska).

Their family pieces are part of a tradition that goes back centuries. How incredible. What a gift to all, a legacy for their children. So amazing. I also want to mention that Tiffany’s mother, Evelyn Vanderhoop, is a renowned weaver and is very well known.

Leila Kheiry Ravenstail Weaving

A book could be written about her Ravenstail work, and I greatly admire her abilities to do something so complicated.

Tiffany Vanderhoop BEaded EarringsWhy get into beading jewelry? Well, there’s something to be said for instant gratification. A single Ravenstail piece can take months. For Tiffany, it’s a nice change of pace to be able to create something beautiful, a piece of wearable art created in a couple of hours or days.

Tiffany Vanderhoop Beaded Jewelry Martha's Vineyard

With her jewelry, there are some similarities with her weaving work. She has an innate eye for patterns. She is able to see a pattern and recreate it in her beadwork. It’s an amazing talent.

At the Cliffs

After talking at her home for a while, we headed to her shop. She and her partner Jason, own Wayward Wampum, located among the shops at the Aquinnah Cliffs.

Tiffany Vanderhoop Wayward Wampum Gallery Aquinnah

Here, you will find a lot of Tiffany’s beadwork and Jason’s work. Jason makes incredible wampum jewelry — bracelets, pendants, money clips, and more. His pieces are really lovely.

Wayard Wampum

There is a great selection of Tiffany’s work here. You’ll find a couple different collections, including her Tribal collection, which celebrates her Indian heritage. Some of her earrings feature porcupine quills, as they have for generations. Others feature very ornate beading, some are whimsical, and some a little modern and chic, something for everyone.

Porcupine Quills Tiffany Vanderhoop Wayward Wampum Gallery AquinnahThe shop is fun to explore. Both of their families have a lot of talented members, and you can find some of their pieces at the shop too.

Tiffany VanderhoopFor Tiffany, it is a gift to be able to provide for her family but creating beautiful art — some that celebrates her heritage, and some that is just fun and beautiful adornments for daily wear.

Tiffany VanderhoopMeeting Tiffany and learning about her story was really interesting. The richness of the culture she lives in and how she is able to share it with the world, it’s such a gift. We are lucky to have artists so talented and passionate about their work.

Tiffany Vanderhoop Beaded Earrings Wayward Wampum Martha's VineyardAlso, how amazing are these earrings?!!?

Her pieces range from $25 to $250, and her work can also be found at Citrine in Vineyard Haven.

Martha's Vineyard Jewelry Designer Tiffany Vanderhoop

Thanks for reading the On Point Blog. You can learn more about the Tiffany Vanderhoop Beaded Jewelry on Facebook. Don’t forget to “Like” us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter, Linked In, Google+, Pinterest and YouTube.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jared November 12, 2017 at 1:47 pm

Love your wampum tube bead bracelet. I am also a wampum artist. I am a Mohegan Tribal memeber from the state of Connecticut. Would love to share some of my work with you. Im dying to learn the way you braid those tube beads together.

Reply

Guinevere Cramer November 13, 2017 at 9:15 am

Hi –
Your best bet would be to reach out to Tiffany directly via her Facebook page.

Thanks!

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: