Ketchikan is the home of master wood carvers who produce historic rattles, posts, masks and totem poles. It’s also home to world-class weavers, who practice an art form going back thousands of years. Using cedar bark and spruce tips, Native weavers made items essential to living in a rainforest: jackets and classic conical rain hats, and watertight storage baskets, which were used for dry fish, seal oil and berries.

Several locals are keeping this art form alive, and even resurrected a particular style – called Ravenstail weaving – after it had been dormant 200 years. You can find samples of their work at the Totem Heritage Center, Arctic Spirit Gallery and Crazy Wolf.

Churchill family – An expert Haida basket weaver, Delores Churchill learned the art from her mother and has passed it on to many, including her daughters Holly Churchill, April Churchill and Evelyn Vanderhoop. Delores has taught weaving in many countries and has assisted curators in identifying works in museum collections. Her daughters Holly and Evelyn also teach weaving, and – like Delores - are also internationally recognized for their work.

Kathy Rousso – Kathy’s work is well-known in Alaska and beyond, and she got her start in textile weaving right in Ketchikan at the Totem Heritage Center. Many years later, she has mastered several different weaving styles, from Southeast Alaska to Latin America and Indonesia. Her current technique fuses multiple styles, using only her hands and a needle.

Getting There

Kathryn Russo
1242 Water Street
Ketchikan, AK 99901
Driving Directions

Master Weavers of Ketchikan