Thursday, August 9, 2012

Recent Projects

A Hopi-style Katsina I carved from a length of Cottonwood root that my Nephew and I collected along the Rio Grande in New Mexico. It has a base coat of white Kaolin clay and is ready for further painting and adornment.

The time I recently spent in New Mexico reinvigorated my appreciation for the arts and crafts of the Native American tribes indigenous to the area. I discovered a terrific book on the subject called "The Native American Curio Trade in New Mexico"  by Jonathan Batkin at the Case Trading Post in Santa Fe's Wheelwright Museum and was inspired to start a series of small gouache paintings depicting objects typically offered for sale in a classic New Mexico trading post.

My interest in painting the Navajo Rugs was inspired by the myriad small rug paintings that originally hung in the trader's office at the historic Hubbell Trading Post. The project really came together when I discovered a box of delicate antique wood frames in the garage of an estate sale; they were a perfect fit for the paintings! I have many more in the works; here is what I have painted thus far:

Navajo Moccasins. I purchased the pair that served as my models at the City Electric Shoe Shop in Gallup, New Mexico.

Pottery Sherds. 

A Navajo Rug. 

A Zuni Silver and Turquoise Ketoh.

A Hopi Katsina. 

A Navajo Rug. 

A Zuni Knifewing Pin. 

An Acoma Pot. 

A Navajo Rug.

A Hopi Katsina. 

A Navajo Rug. 

I really like the way they look  as a group. I have several more curios to paint before the series is finished! 

A few weekends ago I finally got around to soaking my rawhide drum head and lacing and assembled this drum based on a style of souvenier drum that was crafted using the circular wooden boxes that rounds of cheese were shipped in. It sounds great; very loud and resonant. I made the beater from a Redwood branch and deerskin. 

And finally...  I have been looking at examples of Dentalium shell necklaces made by various Pacific Coast tribes and have started assembling my own versions using beads from my collection, Dentalium shells, and abalone pendants. I collect the abalone on my beach rambles in Northern California and pick out the best pieces to shape and polish for the pendants. This is one of the more colorful versions.

Thanks so much for looking!!!

1 comment:

Mr. a-go-go said...

Hiya bub,
This stuff is super cool! The phone didn't do them justice. My mom used to do kachina paintings. She hasn't for some time. I'm going to send her this page and light a fire under her butt.