Noted for his prize- winning carvings that are authentic, exquisite, and modern all at once, we are pleased to show you one that fits all the boxes.
This refined lady is carved from one piece of dead cottonwood root, as is traditional.
Dead roots don’t harm a living tree, and cottonwood roots reach far down, to water; a spiritual symbol.
Dry farmers, like the Hopi and Zuni, rely on rain to nourish their crops.
Water is scarce and precious on the high desert, so many kachinas intercede with the heavens for plentiful water.
Here, the artist has carved a female companion to a kachina – a kachin’ mana.
Her face is painted in both warm, sunny yellow and cool turquoise, like water. Nature is in balance, day and night.
The parallel lines on her cheeks are symbols for rainfall.
She looks really pared down and simple, but there is a wealth of subtle and skillful detail that adds up to an amazing portrait.
Her hair is intricately carved into naturalistic layers, with finely arranged, thick windblown bangs in the front.
As seen from the back, the long hair is pushed to one side, draped gracefully over one shoulder.
An eagle feather sits at the side of the head, also carved in meticulous detail, and with depth.
A choker of turquoise and white is carefully detailed, around the neck, and a silver and turquoise pin, secures her long, teal dress.
The hem of the dress is softly gathered beneath the pin, and artfully painted to emphasize the three=dimensional folds.
Wrapped closely around the figure is a plain blanket, decorated at the hem, in the Hopi style.
The artist has depicted the overlapping edges of the blanket, with subtlety and grace. Note that part of her hair is inside the folded blanket.
Simple as the piece seems, impressive artistry is evident in composing each of the details.
For instance, the slight curves of the blanket’s edges are repeated in the folds of the skirt, the overlapped blanket at top, that echoes the lines of the hair, and even her hair, itself.
Seen from the back, the figure is amazingly beautiful and elegant.
The faint turn of the head and the textured lines of the hair and eagle feather, contrast with the smooth, unadorned surface of the blanket-clad body.
Texture returns, to balance the head, at the etched hem of the blanket, and the skirt.
A wonderful, effective sculptural detail is the rolled top of the blanket, around the neck.
It adds dimension, and a soft horizontal line that repeats those in the hem, for a serene, rhythmic pattern.
A seemingly simple carving is actually a masterful sculpture, full of precisely executed, artful details that add up to a carving of exquisite refinement and timeless beauty.