Joe Big Mountain
Joe Big Mountain is an Indigenous Porcupine Quillwork Artist, mastering in the Indigenous ancient art form of wrapping & sewing quills from a porcupine into wearable art in many forms. Big Mountain comes from the Mohawk, Cree & Comanche Nations. He grew up participating in Pow-wows & educational performances - by doing so, he was encouraged by his family to start crafting at a young age and took to quilling.
Porcupine quillwork has been utilized by various Tribe’s across North America for thousands of years for a number of reasons, whether it be for ceremonial purposes, to adornments in battle, along with stating where you come from and what Tribe you may belong to. There are hundreds of different techniques in quillwork & uses for parts from a porcupine. He uses traditional and contemporary techniques to enhance his craft to make each piece unique to his own.
After selling his art here and there in person he was encouraged by his friend Elias NotAfraid, who is also an Indigenous artist - to take his artwork online to showcase his talents worldwide. He then came across an Indigenous Artist Collective, B. Yellowtail; where he then grew his platform in showcasing his art. After several years with the collective he chose to branch out on his own & start his own business full-time called Ironhorse Quillwork.
He gets great inspiration for his work from his late grandmother, who was also an artist that made beautiful beadwork. He hopes to continue this art and keep traditions alive by teaching his children to carry on a legacy of their own. Big Mountain takes great pride in his artwork, creating heirloom pieces to be passed on for generations