Prairie Edge July Newsletter

July 14, 2010


The lazy, hazy days of summer are upon us as well as the many visitors that travel through our front doors. As an employee for one of the most spectacular and unique shopping experiences around I all too often forget what an incredible experience this truly is! Too much of a good thing becomes commonplace, so I need to step back and re-experience the all too common in my life. I need to walk through our front doors everyday and use that experience as if it were my first trip here...through the eyes of our visitors!

Prairie Edge has never been referred to as simple or commonplace. It is our conscious effort to be much, much more. We rally around a strategy: a constant attempt to find the most noteworthy product available. From the simplest stuffed toy to the most expertly crafted headdress, when you leave our store with any item (no matter how big or small), we expect you to be completely satisfied with your purchase. So goes the same for those of you that live vicariously through our website. We are always here to help you with any question or problem you may have regarding the product or use of the Prairie Edge or Sioux Trading Post websites.

So let me give you a little local update. Were you aware that the SAGE you purchase from us is grown right here in the Black Hills and on the prairie? Well, please help me give a big round of thanks to our local crop gatherers for another splendid harvest. We just finished purchasing this year's new growth. Mother Nature decided we should have a great SAGE season so she too deserves a round of applause. That process has taken up any spare minute that was ever offered to the folks working in Sioux Trading Post.

Beautiful Butterflies
Eterusia Column

Since I brought up Mother Nature let's talk about another one of her creations...BUGS! The Prairie Edge Fine Art Gallery has the distinct honor of representing Christopher Marley and his elegant insect designs. Marley fashions magical patterns out of gorgeous colored butterflies and creeping specimens such as weevils, rhino beetles, walking sticks and frog leg beetles. Of course these specimens are in sharp contrast to how we normally experience bugs in our everyday life: bugs click, go thud, whir about our heads; they are at once alien monsters to avoid and familiar pests to swat!

Christopher Marley is a multi-faceted individual with an eye for the unusual in nature. In addition to fashioning his unique art forms, he is a schooled entomologist, gathering his inspiration from the bugs he collects and uses in his artwork. It's challenging for most people to think how a six-legged critter can look good---except exterminated, ending up as some sort of abstract glob on the bottom of your shoe! But the work is truly exquisite. It is clean and modern, colorful and exciting---true works of art with all the necessary elements of line and form. Sagra beetles are arranged in a spectrum of gradating color, swallowtail butterflies stand singly, alluring and proud---we are compelled to actually like having bugs on the wall! Each piece is framed in a contemporary and sleek black metal frame and each composition is created on archival materials, hermetically sealed to last a lifetime. You seriously should check it out!

Beaded Grandfather Clock
Four Grandfathers Clock

This is the time of year when many of our Prairie Edge friends stop in on their annual trek to the store and one of those fans is Gwen Fedor. Or should I say that we are a fan of Gwen's? This lovely lady graces our doorstep once a year with some of the most phenomenal beadwork creations you will ever have a chance to witness. If you have been in the store for a visit you may have seen the antique shoe shine bench that Gwen absolute ONE-OF-A-KIND! Well, this year she brought in many new and spectacular pieces and one of them is a handcrafted grandfather clock that stands 103" tall is 24" wide and 11" deep. Created by non-native beadwork artist Gwen Fedor, this exquisite modern grandfather style clock is not only functional, but also serves as a dominant centerpiece for any Native American art collection. The main body of the clock is of hardwood construction which tapers from 24" at the bottom to 18" at the top and is covered in a Tiger Maple veneer. Accents including the buttresses and bull nose rails along the top and bottom are made from Cherry wood. The inside of the cabinet is open space to allow for storage and easy access to the batteries for the clock. The front panel has been beaded with a combination of Italian, French and Czech glass beads to create the "Four Grandfathers". Three of the Grandfathers are in a vision quest represented by birds, stars and horses. The fourth Grandfather waits patiently to receive his vision.

1890's Walnut Rocker
1890's Beaded Rocking Chair

Gwen also brought us an 1890's walnut rocker which features a seat padded with trade cloth and legging strips beaded with a combination of Italian, French and Czech beads. The back of the seat features a beaded image of an Arapaho warrior done in the same combination of beads with a trade cloth panel in the back. The comfortable seat tapers from 21" in the front to 17" in the back and is 40" tall. Gwen's talent goes beyond compare. We love it when something as spectacular as these items ends up finding a home.
Have a great July and we will chat again come August. We'll talk about the Sturgis Rally which is fast approaching! Till then take good care!

- Brenda

While we love talking to our customers face-to-face, we're proud to offer an incredible shopping experience from home. Explore the sites and let us know what you think; and by all means if you experience any problems please contact us for assistance at 1-800-541-2388 or send us an e-mail, we want to help.

- Best wishes from the staff at Prairie Edge and the Sioux Trading Post

Thank you!

Located in Rapid City, SD, Prairie Edge offers an extensive collection of Native American arts and crafts, educational materials, and an unparalleled selection of regional fine art. The store's trading company, Sioux Trading Post, maintains a comprehensive inventory of quality craft supplies, Czech and Italian beads, and Native American botanicals.

Prairie Edge | 606 Main St | Rapid City | SD | 57701
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