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Chei (Grandfather)


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James Goodman attended stone sculpture classes at POEH Sculptural Center for three years and had hands-on guidance from Robert Dale Tsosie, Adrian Wall, Carl Bernie, and Ryan Benally.

He has won ribbons at many shows including 1st Place, Best of Category, and Best of Division, and just looking at his work, it is easy to see why.

James is focused on honing his knowledge of the character and personality of the stones he works with, preferring to let the stone tell him what it wants to be and interpreting that so he can aptly tell the stone’s story to the rest of the world.

Each stone is a spiritual journey for him and reveals its story to him as he works with it to show it’s true essence.

In this small but stunning sculpture, James has used Utah Peach Alabaster. With more white in it than traditional Orange Alabaster, Utah Peach Alabaster diffuses the light differently, casting much deeper valleys and brighter peaks.

The subject is the revered “Chei” or horned toad.

Horned toads are sacred to the Navajo, but also frequently seen all over the high desert.

These elusive little creatures are a lively challenge for sculptors, with their scaly skin and dinosaur-like heads. This wonderfully detailed horned toad is realistic from head to tail.

Unlike many sculptors, James works from the very small to the monumental, so the details in his work are always precise and realistic.

This little horned toad can seem both fierce and ancient, but he’s a blessing to all who encounter him!


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Utah Peach Alabaster, Felt