Arvella Cheama is a sister of Fabian, Lance, and Wilfred Cheama, renowned Zuni fetish carvers. Their half-brother, Dan Quam, began the modern style of realistically detailed pieces, and the others soon followed, reaping awards through the past several decades.
This charming vignette is one of Arvella’s favorites; two adorable, plump little bunnies facing each other from either side of a hollow log. The neutral tones of the Picasso marble lend themselves well to the woody subject matter. (Picasso marble is actually a form of jasper, but the random variations in the stone reminded someone of abstract paintings.) The rabbits are plump and round, and their ears are long and slender. As rabbits from Zuni country, their eyes are turquoise, of course.
Fur, ears and fluffy tails are meticulously carved, as is the log fragment they are both trying to enter. The hunched stance of the bunnies is typical and natural. Everything is carved from one block of stone, so the delicacy of the log, and the details in all the elements, are really impressive proof of the artist’s expertise.
Two bunnies, one log, and a lifetime of pleasure, in this fine carving by a recognized master of the art.