Best known for his award-winning, incredibly detailed, small insect carvings, this artist has gone large in this one-piece antler fetish/sculpture.
Beautifully adapting to the natural shape of the antler fragment, he has carved an amazingly realistic turtle, playing a flute, atop a vertical log. Although the turtle (a symbol of water and longevity, both) has a naturalistic, detailed shell and head, he also has turquoise blue eyes, and wears a bracelet with turquoise on each front flipper. Attached to the “log”, below the turtle, is a shield, inlaid with a cross of natural red coral and turquoise. This refers to the four geographic directions, where the turtle’s song and symbolic blessings are meant to extend.
On the opposite side, below the turtle’s back, a carefully detailed dragonfly – also a water symbol – is perched upside down, to sip water held in a little dip in the log. The body is finely articulated, and the wings are delicately etched.
The antler log has been artistically carved, to suggest the patchy bark of a dead tree. The whole ensemble sits on a gorgeous square of rich red agate, hand cut and beveled to display the layers of color. This base complements the red coral, and also refers to the red earth of the high desert, around Zuni.
Another masterful carving by this acclaimed artist.