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Who am I?
My name is John Isaiah Pepion, and I am a Plains Indian graphic artist from the Piikani Band of the Blackfoot Confederacy. I'm based out of the Blackfeet reservation in north-central Montana, where the Rocky Mountains meet the plains. I am best known for my ledger art, which is an art tradition that developed in Plains tribes: as the buffalo hide we traditionally used for painting became scarce, Plains people were forced to adapt by making artwork on ledger paper from accounting books. I come from a family of artists, and ledger art has been in my family for hundreds of years.
What influences my art?
Being a member of the Piikani band of the Blackfoot Confederacy, it was important to me to represent the horse on my first wool blanket with Eighth Generation. Horses are still such a major part of our lives on the Plains today; the Plains Indian horse culture is alive and well. You see horses in a lot of my work, including my fine art and the products I make with Eighth Generation.
What makes my ledger art unique is that it's about my community, my identity, and who I am as an artist. ou can hear me talk a little more about it in this short video I did with Eighth Generation: A Rez Kid Decides to Go For It.
When did I start making art?
Though I have been making art my whole life, I never really thought of myself as an artist until I was injured in a car accident. While recovering, I started drawing on ledger paper to pass the time. Now, I'm well-known for my work as a ledger artist. Many years later, I still use art to find personal healing, as well as a vehicle for cultural preservation. I often talk with youth and my students about the therapeutic nature of art.
You can read more about ledger art in this blog interview I did with Eighth Generation.
How did I get started designing blankets and working with Eighth Generation?
In 2017, I entered Eighth Generation's blanket design contest and made it all the way to the final round. Although I didn't win the contest, we began discussion about partnering with Eighth Generation through the Inspired Natives® Project. I became one of Eighth Generation's first Inspired Natives Artists® in 2019. The cotton and wool blankets on this page, as well as the other products, are the outcome of that partnership.
What size are the blankets?
Our cotton throw blankets are 50" x 60". Our "Signature Series" wool blankets are 80" x 60" (fits over a Queen size bed).
What materials are the blankets made with?
Our cotton throw blankets are made with 100% cotton. Our "Signature Series" wool blankets have a 100% New Zealand wool pile (the part you feel) and a 100% polyester warp (the interior structure for durability).
Where are the blankets and other products produced?
Our cotton throw blankets are produced in the USA. Our "Signature Series" wool blankets are imported from China. Our Gold Label blankets are made in Eighth Generation's Seattle studio from 100% Merino wool for full-sized blankets, and a cotton/Merino blend for baby blankets. Many other items, like the fine art prints and jewelry are made in Seattle, too. Read each product description for details on where it's made and what its content is.